There was this fight I used to have over and over again with my ex. It focused on the pile of hair on the top of my head. Any girl that has long hair is a friend of the bun. The messy, throw it up and keep it off your face and neck fix for long locks. I love my long hair. I wear it down, straight, curly, wavy, and sometimes just blow dried out. But sometimes, I just want it out of the way. Those sometimes are when I’m working out, cleaning, cooking, or just spending a saturday morning mucking about before going out. There are so many times my hair doesn’t have to look perfect, so I throw it up out of the way. The bun.
My ex told me it reminds him of one of the winter hats with the pom poms on the top. My reaction to that was ‘that’s so cute!’, but apparently that’s not the angle he was taking. Apparently, it was a huge turn off for guys. Not just him, all guys.
Now, my first question was ‘are you the speaker on behalf of all guys out there?’. Of course not. So I went to the internet. Out there are all kinds of tutorials for girls on how to get the perfect, carefree looking bun. It’s a fad now, piling your hair on the top of your head. I’ve always done it for convenience, but the new hipster trend of looking like you don’t care yet somehow look perfect, has taken over. Buns are all the rage.
So I went back to my ex, at the time, and said ‘you’re going to have to get used to it’, to which is responded, ‘what’s wrong with a ponytail?’.
Which brings me to a very strange thing to admit. And this is not meant to be mean in any way. I grew up in a not very wealthy neighbourhood. Cigarettes and cheese puffs were the way of life for a few of my friends. I had some overweight friends, and they used to slick their greasy hair back in ponytails every day. So when I pull my hair back, I think of them. Because I’ve always struggled with my weight, it’s become a fear of mine to look like them. I know, it sounds awful saying something like that out loud. They were beautiful people, but society taught me that the way they looked was not what I wanted to look like. That lesson, although I’ve learned a lot about accepting people for who they are and what they look like, has apparently never really left.
I see it, every time I pull my hair back. My face looks wider to me, my chin bigger. My hair immediately looks greasy despite being clean. If I wear a ponytail, I usually tease my hair up at the front, use a few bobby bins and hairspray. It’s a style that I put effort into, I don’t just pull it back. It’s work.
Secondly, it’s still impractical. My hair is so long, that if it’s in a ponytail, my hair still falls on my neck, and into my face if I lean forward. So… back to the bun.
Are you saying, ex boyfriend, that if I pull my hair into a messy bun in order to clean the bathroom, you find me so unattractive that I will affect you hours, even days later? You look at me in complete disgust, even though my ass is firm, my breasts are big and my eyes are big and blue? I’m not an unattractive person, but by ragging on my bun so harshly, I began to feel completely ugly.
Now he’s my ex for a reason, and I’m sure it’s surprising to all of you that we eventually broke up. Since he and I broke up, my bun has returned. At first, I would only wear my hair up in my own home, afraid to go out with it unless other people found me so unattractive that they’d shame me in the street. But I moved into a very hipster neighbourhood. All of a sudden, there were buns all around me. I mean everywhere. I’m sitting at a Starbucks right now, and I see two. And those two girls, one thin and pale, with beautiful skin and red lips, the other athletic in Lululemon pants and a bright smile on her face, both look attractive to me. In fact, one demure and the other outgoing, they have completely different buns on their differently colored heads, and no one is looking over in disgust. No one cares. And you know what, ex-boyfriend, here’s a message to you. Go fuck yourself, because me and my bun are extremely happy together in this new land of buns and acceptance. I look in the mirror after my morning run, face flushed and eyes bright, and I feel attractive. I still have my bun, and I love myself. Any man who makes me forget that is not worth my time. My bun is here to stay. You can leave anytime.