Describe your personal style, however you’d like to interpret that — your clothing style, your communication style, your hair style, your eating style, anything.
Being young can often mean being trapped into making extreme efforts for the sake of fashion. For me this was particularly true with hairstyles. At the beginning of the seventies, I was in my early teens and anxious to look my best. At age 13 that meant long hair, flowing dresses, and love beads. Then for some reason that escapes me now, at age 14 I got an Afro. When that grew out, there was a brief transition to the Great Gatsby, with a Louise Brooks bob and a cigarette holder. There was the “Purdy” cut. Then Ziggy Stardust invaded the world, and my hair stood on end. My eyebrows went missing around that time too. I thought I was beautiful. This was swiftly followed a biker phase, accentuated by the Farrah Fawcett look, which lasted until a revival of the perm, this time, waist length straight hair was transformed into a mass of corkscrew curls. Presenting this fabulous look at my then boyfriends house, his little sister anxiously asked whether “it” would get off my head anytime soon. Miraculously, I avoided punk, but did manage a transition to Goth in the eighties. Back to the Louise Brooks bob, but this time my head was shaved at the back from crown to nape. A shocking pink and gold eye-shadow combination and white lipstick completed the look. Not long after that a ubiquitous shade of purplish red infected hairdressing salons everywhere, including mine, and the bob morphed into a mullet. This was sometimes accessorised by a black and white clip on braid (“why”? I ask myself now). I’ve been a red-head, channelled Morticia Addams, and was platinum blonde for two hours. Somewhere in all that I had Bo Derek braids – they hurt.
Over the years I accumulated a range of hair styling devices that rivalled a medieval torture chamber and enough accessories to fill a warehouse. My hair was crimped, straightened, twisted, bleached, ironed and subjected to enough chemicals to warrant investigation by Greenpeace. I must have spent at least five years of my youth parked in front of the mirror developing weird cramps in my biceps while twisting my mane this way and that. These days my hairdryer gathers dust and the gizmo on the last can of hairspray I bought corroded with age. There’s space on my dressing table for a good book and the cat to snooze. I feel like I’ve escaped.