Un-American hair

‘Rapunzel, rapunzel, let down your hair!
Sorry fair Prince, this is as far as it goes’

Most of the time I like my hair. Sometimes when I shower and don’t bother to put any styling stuff in, it just lays dormant on my head and I despise it. But when it’s all spiky and sprayed into an electric shock-like state it’s good.


But it’s not very American. I went to a party on Saturday night and felt like the tomboy that I suppose I am. I was doing comedy later that night so I was wearing my usual jeans, t-shirt, my so cool it’s the 70s Adidas track jacket and my beloved Pumas. Oh yes, I stood out. The rest of the women were skinny enough to be anorexic, wore jeans with proper heels (the shoes had heels, not the jeans, though built-in heel jeans could catch on) and had blonde hair that was long enough to be described as tresses, as in ‘her golden tresses cascaded down to her heaving bosom’. Or something like that. I felt horribly intimidated, especially by the ones that actually talked to me and commented on my spiky boy hair. ‘I love your short hair, I wish I could wear mine like that’. No, no you don’t. You’ve been growing your fabulous blondeness since you were 5 and would sooner have a freaky double ear-lobe than dream of cutting it short. And don’t call it gamine because I looked it up in the dictionary and it said: gamine – a girl or woman of impish appeal. I’ve already been described as a red-headed pixie and an imp sounds a toadstool hop away from elf. Without my consent I’ll become the comedy hobbit of Austin.

The thing is, I can dress up. I’ve got three Betsy Johnson dresses and a pair of shoes with pointy toes. But I’m on stage more often than I’m invited to swishy parties. I suppose I could grow it, but with my chest moving further south by the day, it could take an awful long time for my tresses to reach them, let alone cascade over like a hair waterfall.

By the way, the Rapunzel reference is a Brothers Grimm fairy story. You know, the really mean brothers. To precis:- a woman gets her precious child taken away by a nasty enchantress. The child grows up locked in a tower and because there’s no barber, her hair grows so long that the enchantress, implausibly, can climb up it by calling for her to ‘let down her hair’. There were no ladders back then either. A Prince falls in love with Rapunzel which annoys the enchantress so she cuts Rapunzel’s hair and banishes her to a deserty place. The Prince gets bamboozled by the enchantress. He’s so upset he leaps from the tower and blinds himself on some thistles or something but eventually meets up with Rapunzel whose tears cure his blindness and they live happily ever after. It’s like an olde world after-school special.