Jo Stanley: The shock reaction when I bleached my hair white

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I used to carry my hair around in a box. Just some extra pieces that I wore, like Bert Newton, whenever I did telly or a red-carpet event. A clever make-up artist would magically pin it in to make my hair look thick and luscious, because my own hair is baby-fine and sits on my head like a lank helmet.

I had short hair for most of my life. As a 10-year-old, I had Princess Diana’s ‘do. In my 20s, I had a crew cut to match my anti-establishment, feminist, arty-party ways. But when I hit my 30s, an ambition to work in television – and its unspoken understanding of what women were supposed to look like – convinced me to grow my hair long. No one ever told me this, but conventions of femininity kind of got in my head and hijacked my look.

smh.com.au It was ridiculous. I spent a decade back-combing and teasing, jumping on every supposedly miracle-working contraption – including a crimping iron that made me look like I’d just woken up from 1984 – all for an average result at best. It hurts to think of the hours I wasted trying to get “body” – I could have done a PhD on the actual body.

And then, two months ago, I did something I’ve always wanted to do, but never had the guts. I bleached my hair white (see below). I’m a hybrid of Billy Idol, Pink and a Collingwood footballer. And now, instead of brave, according to the comments on social media, I’m “shocking”, “outrageous” and “hideous”. Or, if the commenter is ruder, I get “yuck”, “disgusting” and “sorry, but you look more like a man”. The last one particularly makes me laugh. Firstly, why does blonde equal bloke? And secondly, if you were sorry, you wouldn’t say what you said, would you? Fortunately, I find all that online noise funny, not hurtful. Although I do wonder, who says that? It makes me think of a crazy person yelling randomly on a bus.

 

read more at smh.com.au

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