For the last four months I have had turquoise coloured hair. It’s purely a vanity thing, this turns out to suit me very well and I now have a rule that for each compliment I get I can keep it for another week.. which has for the last four months worked to keep it turquoise.. I mediate on the huge number of compliments I get about this ridiculous colour hair and I wonder why I don’t see more people wandering about with such colourful plumage. I thought of it like this… Surely, while it is rare and therefore (mildly) noteworthy anyone who happened to dye their hair brightly would be liable to get compliments and so carry on having it a fantastic colour.. and therefore as time went by there would be more of us but so far in the past four years, I have only met one other person with permanently blue hair. (The fact that she was also a developmental psychology phd student is a level of coincidence I don’t like to consider).
So I find lots of evidence that people (and men especially) do not generally go in for colourful hair. I wonder why and this excellent article by Christopher Reed has me questioning it more deeply. In the animal kingdom colourful male plumage is a deliberate policy to attract the birds..
Perhaps some of the richest language of color has to do with sex. Janis Sacco, director of exhibitions, offers such examples as a male bird of paradise from New Guinea that not only sports much bolder colors than any female of the species, but also a ludicrously long tail. “Pick me as a mate,” he says, “because I have this splendid thing you females may select mates on the basis of, and I must be fit because I have managed to survive despite having to carry it around with me while wearing these obvious colors.
I don’t honestly know what are my motives for keeping turquoise hair but I can tell with confidence that I once dragged to bed by a lingerie model primarily because at the time I had bright pink hair.
It’s ironic really that the desire to have ‘brightly coloured plumage’ in humans comes from a wish to exercise consensual control via the alteration of our individuality; yet (as with so many things in this day and age) the society that we have built to ensure our freedom has in fact tacitly, and by proxy, assured our consent in the non-consensual control of our individuality through alteration…
Incidentally, I am the offspring of a senior psychologist. She has 7 clocks in her house, none of which tell the correct time. She is, however, aware of how far out they all are and can always tell the you the correct time…by the time she reaches the front door. 🙂
And, hey – Nice hair… 😉