Hair – part 2
During the spring break before high school started, I went to visit my sister in Tokyo. She was already busy with her hostess job, but she booked a haircut appointment for me with her hairdresser. My sister lived in one of the poshest areas in Tokyo, where elegant women shopped and lunched. I hoped the hairdresser of such women would turn me into a grown woman. But I failed to give her a specific instruction, and my abstract explanation of an ideal haircut manifested as a short-bob style that exposed my large, squared face. I came home in disappointment, but I consoled myself that it wasn’t the worst thing that happened to my hair.
About 1.5 years before this incident, I was looking at a magazine, in which a model wore a long black hair with heavy bangs. She didn’t look like a Japanese doll as I used to look in the same haircut as a child but looked like a chic Asian model in Paris Fashion Week. I showed the photo to my sister to share my admiration. She agreed and said I could pull the look, and if I wished, she could cut my bangs to look like the model. She said this with the authority of a top hair artist in Hollywood, and I consented to be her model.
When she was done, I saw in her face suppressed amusement and panic. She had gathered my hair from the crown of my head and chopped the thick bundle above my brows. I was a heroine of a comedic tragedy. My sister feined a compliment to save herself from my resentment, but I cried and blamed her on the heinous crime she committed. She defended herself with anger and victim-blaming, and with a too-common phrase of what was done was done. Her guilt didn’t last long as she quickly moved on with her busy life at high school. I went to school the next day with my dignity as high as I could maintain, yet I received snickers and pities from students and teachers.
I was recently watching “Fleabag,” in which Claire gets a “horrendous” haircut, and Fleabag lies to her that she looked “French.” Then she storms into a hair salon and makes a legendary speech on the criticality of hair for women (and men also?) She bellows, “Hair is EVERYTHING!!” and I laughed and cried. Fleabag and Claire are also sisters, who empathize with each other’s pain and protect each other from the cause of pain. My sister protected me from hurt when she said I looked edgy, and I protected my sister from guilt when I believed her. But eventually, I had my own “Hair is EVERYTHING!!” moment, and since then, my faith in my sister started to wane.