I'm not really touchy feely. I don't like group hugs. You're going to lose me if you talk for too long about chakras or my personal pathway to anywhere. But this week, I am empowering women right and left. No, really. Two different women have come up to me to thank me for not dying my hair. Did I say, "No, really" yet? I started dying my hair when I was a teenager. I've spent nearly half my life working in beauty supplies and salons, so I've always had access. I didn't dye my hair to cover the silver—I dyed my hair because I fucking loved dying my hair. Orchid. Peony. Cobalt. And especially, mostly, perfect glossy black.
But about five years ago, I stopped. I wanted to see what my real hair looked like. And surprise, surprise, I've got quite a lot of silver. I knew I had some. I didn't know I had most. So I decided to see what I was like with silver hair. And surprise, surprise, I kind of liked the look.
The first story I wrote with a silver-streaked heroine was "Art of Darkness":
“Mouth open,” Killian instructed, dangling the bright red rubber ball gag in front of me, and I parted my lips and lifted my neck to make it easier for him to fasten the buckle beneath my heavy, silver-streaked hair. The rubber tasted bitter, an obscene flavor I found oddly pleasing.
“Close your eyes,” Killian said finally, and that’s when I started getting scared.
Killian, I would have said, if the gag hadn’t been in the way. Killian, please.
The words sounded clear in my head, but as I could no longer speak, I hoped my eyes spoke loud enough for me. Hoped he understood what I was saying. Of course, he did. He knew me well enough by now. In fact, I had no doubt that he’d put in the gag before giving this instruction for the sole purpose to see if I’d obey.
“Close your eyes,” he repeated, his voice sterner now, and I drew in a deep breath through my nose, but kept my eyes open.
I felt as if I’d never blink again.
But my silver-haired girls are popping up more often now.
No, I am not drawing the characters out of any sense of dismay at the beauty industry. I'm painting them silver because they look like me. I'm not going gray out of solidarity with my feminist sisters. I'm going gray because I find it interesting that I've run out of black. That I look sort of cool with silver hair. That I don't have to sit for hours with dye on my head.
Back to my story. Two women this week stopped me to compliment my hair. Both women said that I "empowered" them by my choice to turn my back on conventionality. I said thank you, of course, because a) I know how to take a compliment, and b) I'm not a total asshole. But really. How does my choice to go gray empower someone else? Or is this the new buzz word, and I simply didn't get the memo.
I'm actually waiting until I go totally gray.
I'm planning on dying my hair ruby.
P.S. Today, you need to go to Erobintica's house. She's talking about, um, sword swallowing. Remember to comment. You could win this.