At the risk of perpetuating the myth that there are differences between men and women, allow me to suggest one tiny little quirk that separates penis-enabled humanoids from the vagina-enhanced. Women think that men have manifold opinions about their hairstyles. This is not true. We barely have opinions about our own hair. Mostly, men just worry about whether they have hair or not. Then our thoughts become very mission-oriented. Shave it all or get a trim? Shampoo or shampoo AND condition? Goop or no goop? Blow dry or how does this stupid thing work or what’s a blow dryer?
We know that women love to run their fingers through our hair, or alternately, love to run their fingers over our Jean-Luc Picard. But I can tell you that we don’t really think about YOUR hair. At least, not in the way you think we think about your hair. When it comes to your hair, we have two general opinions: “Your hair is gorgeous,” and “Your hair is hair.”
So, let me emphatically state that if you have curly hair, we are going to think one of those two things. In my case, I think curly, kinky, wild gypsy woman hair is sexy. The more unruly the ringlets, the better, I say. I love curtains of curls cascading over shoulders. I love burying my face in those tangles and then gently grabbing a fistful of coils and pulling that hair. Tugging. I love the way it spills across my chest once she’s found that spot for her face between my shoulder and my sternum. Huzzah for frizzy, bouncy corkscrews of hair!
But, you know, if you have straight hair, or bangs, then I have to admit that I also think your hair is great. Not that I think about it. I have better things to think about, like whether or not my iPad comic book addiction is adversely affecting my nonexistent dating life.
I know there are plentiful issues out there about gender relations or the continuing evolution of masculine identity to write about, but I just found out the other day that women have been told to straighten their hair, or die alone. The source of this misinformation is the millionaire matchmaker herself, Patti Stanger, a television personality I have confessed to having a crush on. But something has happened to her over the past season or so. I hate to contradict the brassy relationship mechanic, but there isn’t a man alive who would pass a woman over because her hair is a wacky ramble. Patti’s theories about male behavior are highly entertaining and also mildly insulting. Most men don’t want robots and those who do get exactly what they deserve.
Those women who are frightened by Patti’s edicts should remind themselves that her show is about pairing assholes up with other assholes. Which is why I tune in. “The Millionaire Matchmaker” isn’t a show about modern love. It’s become a garish cautionary tale about what happens when the heart is a piggy bank and “having money” is confused with “being interesting.” Who wants to be fingerbanged by King Midas anyway?
All of the women I have ever loved have had jet black or chestnut or golden curly hair, save for two. One was half-elf, and her short hair was in keeping with the style of her magical people. The other had straight black hair and sometimes when she was hard at work on some project at home, she’d pin in up in a bun on her head with chopsticks. This wasn’t a conscious style decision, just a practical one. As she was bent over her computer, it kept her hair out of her face. I’m fairly certain she never saw me look at her and smile a greedy little smile. But all the others have had crazy, beautiful, curly hair. Some people call this “ethnic” hair. I know there are all kinds of issues concerning hair and racial identity. For instance, my Mexican-American mother’s hair is naturally straight, and growing up she would wear it straight because she was proud of her Native American blood. She had “ethnic” hair. We all have “ethnic” hair.
Sometimes I think women whip themselves up into a fury hypothesizing what men are thinking, as if we all, however many hundreds of millions of us there are in America, share one giant Google Doc where we update “what we think about women.” The problem with trying to guess what we want and like is that it makes you vulnerable to exploitation by emotional hucksters like Patti Stanger. (I guess we’ve broken up, P-Stang.)
If you want straight hair, or really high-maintenance hair, just know that you are doing it for other women, not for the man in your life.