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Episode #111: Will your New Look Blind You?



Pictured: a tearful drive away from the salon. Please note the sunken eyes, despair and confusion, and of course - the purple bangs.


The dangerous liberation of a New Look.


Chop down your bangs. Indulge in that neon-purple semi-permanent hair color. Go bold with the brows. Black leather pants. Round, gold-rimmed glasses. An abrasively anti-meaningful tattoo streaking down your arm.

What a rush to realize these crippling, white-washed societal boundaries were only in our head after all! Why have I been shaving my legs, my delicate underarms, my heavenly mustache this whole time!? Screw those hairties, I’m going for hairscrunchies now.


Tossing those bland, beige ways aside to embrace a New Look is a stimulating act of courage. You went to war with yourself, and you get to believe - for just a moment - that you won.


Because soon enough, that New Look turns its ugly head and demands every waking moment of your day. It permeates your once-clear mornings with double takes in the mirror and piling hours pinning and re-pinning frisky bang flares that could not have possibly existed anywhere near your head before.

In my own mistaken case, I did it all at once.


The purple hair, the bangs, the tattoos, the glasses; all of it.


I found myself rubbing cleansing alcohol on my new inky wound while sourcing internet tween tips on taking out hair bleach, only taking breaks to google “how do erase tattoos cheaply,” all at once mixing new paint colors to replace the now-putrid purple.

Friends stopped recognizing me. Strangers would ask if many, many of my family members had recently died at once in a tragic accident.


I believe I took the New Look so far that I succumbed to semi-blindness.


Better put, I drove myself to semi blindness.


I was testing and trying out so many new vanity projects that I began to have piercing headaches. I assumed - excitedly - that this meant it was finally time to get a pair of glasses. Perhaps this whole time of bleaching and dyeing myself up was simply the journey toward new sight! And how fortunate that while I spiraled deeper into wigs, bows, and beyond, I had a New Look game-changer handed over on the silver platter of conveniently "unfortunate genetics."


In retrospect, I probably just lied on the optometry exam to just get a pair of glasses.


I mean, well, I know I did. Because this morning - a long while later, and finally bleach free - I took a new eye test and picked up a new pair of specs. Calls flew across the optometry community asking just how the prescription got to be so different. A medical mystery, of sorts.


Again, I have a guess. Spurred by fear of exploring my legitimate self, a self-inflicted ego-monster attack, or perhaps a byproduct of the crippling discomfort emanating from my new piercings, I truly believe I breathed out an “M” when we both knew it was an “N” on that bright white eye chart.


But isn't it worth fact-checking yourself with those who saw the rapid disorientation in person? I got my college roommates to weigh in.


Take a listen here:

G's: My wonderful hairdresser who does no wrong. This was on me.


@rileyoverend

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