Tag Archives: Big hair

My Reigning Days as Miss Midwest Afro Queen

When talking about a girl’s body image, you have to go back. Waaaaaay back. All the way to the early years. Because a child will remember if people noticed her and whether they said nice things or a plethora of backhanded compliments. You know the ones.

Oh she’s as skinny as a beanpole!”

WHAT THE HELL IS A BEANPOLE???

She eats just like a bird!”

THAT’S CAUSE YOUR EGG SALAD HAS SHELLS IN IT, LADY!

Thankfully what I remember hearing is comments about my hair. I had long strawberry blonde hair and strangers would often comment to me or my mother how beautiful it was. They also commented occasionally on my freckles, which when you’re 6 are adorable. I can’t say the same at 28 because now I only have them on my arms and they’re called moles.

*le sigh*

Back to my hair. On nights before big school days, my mom would often braid my hair in two pigtails. Then one or both of my older brothers would grab hold of the braids, making motorcycle noises as they “drove” me screaming around the house.

The next morning, my mother would help me get dressed in some sort of skort or jumper, as that is all my closet consisted of. Then she would take out the braids and begin brushing my hair.

Then she would brush even more…

and brush just a little bit more…

until my hair was the equivalent of one of those static electricity balls you see at science fairs.

And that is why I held the title of Miss Midwest Afro Queen, circa 1991.

Exhibit A:

Afro Hair 1Exhibit B:

Afro Hair 2Exhibit C:

Afro Hair 3Exhibit Holy Friggin D:

Afro Hair 4Thank god there was no such thing as selfies then! My hair wouldn’t even fit in the shot!

 Afro Hair - close upI used Xpro II to make me look tan.
What do you think?

 Tell me your thoughts! What comments did you hear growing up?
What fashion choices make you happy instagram wasn’t around then?

Should my mother be allowed to touch anyone else’s hair?

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I Might Need An Intervention: When Brand Loyalty Becomes a Problem

Hey Friends!  I’m beyond thrilled to welcome my special guilty pleasures guest today for her debut on the Happiness Project!  Please give a warm welcome to Renee Schuls-Jacobson and her guilty obsession with HAIR! 

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Since the 8th grade, I have had a love-hate relationship with my hair.  I love being able to hop out of the shower and just towel off and go, but I never feel I really look polished enough when it counts.

Over the years, I have stretched and pulled, given myself deep conditioning treatments and slept in bandanas: each curl pressed flat and curing overnight in V-05 in an attempt to give myself straight, swingy hair: the kind of hair I always saw girls toss across their shoulders and catch in one hand before they laid down on their towels in their bikinis. I wanted Farah Fawcett’s hair. Or the hair from the “Gee, Your Hair Smells Terrific” commercials.

Instead, I got long, curly hair that morphed into a frizzy pyramid if combed or touched. The rules were clear. Never touch my hair once it dried.

Seriously, sometimes it looks like this!

Seriously, sometimes it looks like this!

I’ve posted pictures of myself on my blog.

Usually, I am wearing a hat.

But occasionally I have shared other photos. Confession: these pix were usually taken immediately after I saw Michael, my hair guy. Because Michael knows how to make my hair behave. But I can only afford to look like a glamour-girl once every nine weeks.

The rest of the time, I’m on my own.

Many years ago I fell in love with a hair care product. You know the good ones? The ones that are on the top shelf? Or at eye-level? Yeah. Well, now drop your eyes about two shelves down.

Now go lower.

My senior year in high school, I discovered paradise in an aerosol can. In 1985, a magical white foam gave my hair manageability. After just two {maybe three} dollops, my hair was perfect. And by perfect, I mean it did not move. Sometimes my hair was crunchy. I didn’t care. It never frizzed again.

A few months back, I noticed my mousse had been out of stock for a while.

Eventually, I got jittery and decided to inquire.

“I don’t think we’re getting that brand anymore,” replied a heavy-set woman at the front desk, her hair knitted into tight braids.

Hurrying home, I parked myself in front of the computer, prepared to conduct my own Internet search.

By then, I was getting low on my stuff.

I found my junk mousse at drugstore.com marked with a red asterisk.

I scrolled down to figure out what that bit of red meant.

Ohmyholyno.

I didn’t think it could happen again. They did this to me in the 1970s with “Pink Lilac in Love” fingernail polish. It was the best color in the whole world. Don’t even try to Google it. It won’t come up. It isn’t even on Wikipedia. But I remember when my favorite color disappeared. You know what happened? I stopped wearing nail polish.

Years later, Gabriel Cosmetics discontinued their ZuZu Luxe lipstick in Uber. You guys, I bought the last 10 tubes; that’s how much I loved that stuff. I rationed carefully so as to make sure I had one tube left to use for my son’s bar mitzvah back in June of 2012. I have long since finished that tube and continue to search for the right lip color. I haven’t found it. Not yet.

But we are talking about hair now. How could they discontinue my mousse? I actually made an appeal to the makers of Condition 3-in-1 Maximum Hold Mousse. I begged them. Please, I’ve been using it for 30 years.

Please, don’t screw with my mousse.

I was instructed to purchase as many cans as I could afford.

I ordered 20 cans. And then I ordered 20 more. When my friend came up to visit from Florida, she brought me another 10 cans. Can you imagine? She checked a bag filled with mousse for me, you guys. Because she has a curly-haired daughter, and she understood my plight. She knows I have tried eleventy-three skillion other brands and that nothing else works.

So it’s official: this former clutter consultant is now a hoarder.

IMG_0860

About 47 more to go. Is that wrong?

I plan to hold onto my remaining bottles of mousse for as long as possible because I have yet to find an alternative.

And here’s the worst thing. I kill about two cans of this stuff a month. That’s 24 cans a year. I’ve got two years’ worth of product stashed here.

Unless the chemicals inside break down, which I’m told, they might.

It’s looking grim, people.

Eventually, the jig is going to be up.

And then where will I be?

Why do manufacturers do this to us? Make us fall in love with their products and then discontinue them?

What items have you loved and lost? And seriously, if any of you curly-girlies out there have suggestions about what to do about my impending frizz, please let me know.

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Catch more of Renee on these Social Media Sites!  She’s one of my favorite writers to stalk follow!  I heart you, Renee!  Thanks for being a part of the Happiness Project!

@rasjacobson –  on Twitter

Blog: http://rasjacobson.com

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