“It does look nice, but straight hair looks more beautiful”
This is the sentence I usually hear from some of the people when I try to know their opinions about which hairstyle looks better on me. Most people are more inclined towards straight hair and they don’t really acknowledge curly tresses. I hold the media accountable for this notion, I mean, think about it for a second: all the ads (even those not related to hair products) show girls with straight hair, most TV presenters, actresses and singers wear their hair straight. Clearly, the image that is projected here is that straight hair is the “norm” and curly hair is not. What we end up with is girls who feel insecure about themselves if they go out without straightening their hair; they think that they won’t be deemed beautiful if their hair doesn’t meet the same standards set by the media and other girls they know.
I have actually been in that situation myself several years ago. My self esteem would be very low if I had to go out without the BabyLiss going over my hair. Yeah, that is the effect of social influence, which is the impact of other people’s words, behaviours, or presence on our actions and thoughts. In my case, people did not have to directly state at the moment that they like straight hair more for me to feel self-conscious. Since I know their opinions in advance, I would straighten my hair before going out without even thinking about it a second time. I would hear the statement mentioned in the beginning ringing loudly in my head, which then would affect my behavior. Then one time I decided that what I’m doing to myself is ridiculous. Why would I keep on hiding part of the image God created me with? I began to look at my hair from a totally different perspective and started to take good care of it and eventually loving it!
By time, my construal has changed. Previously, my construal was that straight hair looked more feminine, attractive, and just…better. My thoughts about beauty were influencing my behavior, which made me straighten my hair all the time. Later I began to interpret that there’s absolutely no standard for beautiful hair. What matters is how confident you are in your natural hair. Beauty has such versatile meanings and interpretations to be summed up in a bunch of useless labels. Your hair, whether straight or curly or wavy, is part of the beautiful YOU that you should not forsake for anything.
Photos are taken from Tumblr and Pinterest.