“I’ve always been told I have the most beautiful hair anyone has ever seen. That is why I have cut all my hair off. And I don’t plan to grow it out in the near future.” I stared at my dumbstruck family and straightened my shoulders.
They had always told me my hair was my best quality, but I wanted them to ask me about my job, my life, my interests – I was only asked about what hair products I used. I was hoping my extended family would now finally get to know me.
“Well, I like it. Sometimes we all need a change,” my sister said. I knew she would be the first one to speak up. She was the only one who didn’t ask me about my hair before everything else. “How is work going these days? Is your boss getting any better?”
Before I could even open my mouth, my mom stood up suddenly and threw her napkin onto the floor. She stormed out of the room and made it to the stairs before I heard her sob. I had been expecting her response, but still had yet to find out why she reacted so poorly to my objections to my hair. I assumed she had some sort of trauma with her hair and appearance growing up, but she would never tell me what had happened. It wasn’t until later I found out it was my grandmother who induced the trauma by shaving my mother’s head.