My dear friend Yoli at Musings has very gently challenged me to show myself with "bad hair".
So here I present you with a photo that my husband snapped of me after a particularly arduous climb on China's Great Wall. The temps were significantly over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and the humidity hovering somewhere around 250 percent, by my reckoning. Not the most felicitous of climbing conditions. Thankfully, you can't see the huge sweat stains under my arms in this particular shot. It does, however, accurately feature my dreadful hair.
Let me preface this by saying that bad hair is much more prevalent in my world than good hair. However, in many ways, I won the roll of the genetic dice in my family - I have good legs (in a racehorse sense) and a decent metabolism. I am extremely - possibly excessively - tall (I'm just a shade taller than most of the men I know), and I have ginormous feet (though I myself very much admire my large feet, so that counts in the plus column as far as I'm concerned). So really, I'm not in a position to complain.
But when it comes to hair, as my mother never hesitates in reminding me, I got the worst of the worst. It's terrible. Awful. Fine, limp, and unattractively kinky (this is not the sort of "curly" that anyone covets), full of errant cowlicks, extremely prone to the wiles of either humidity or lack thereof. I challenge anyone to find me attractive first thing in the morning.
I am, as I told Yoli, pathetically vain, so I tend to post only the more attractive photos that are (very rarely) taken of me. That said, I'm a fairly self-confident human being. This has little to do with any actual merit, and a great deal more to do with my upbringing as a spoiled only-child. It also undoubtedly is due to my inherently optimistic nature. I always, for instance, have the unfounded conviction that I will look better tomorrow than I looked when I awoke this morning.
My optimism, I think, plays the largest role. I tend to focus on the good, rather than the bad, about myself. But here, for the sake of reality, is a list of both:
- terrible hair.
- unfortunate lack of a waist. I have virtually no feminine curves, and you would be hard-put to determine where to place a belt, which is why I virtually never wear belts.
- an excessively long waist. People often mistake me for someone with long legs - only because I am about six feet tall, so my legs seem long in a relative sense. But really my back and waist are disproportionately long in relation to my legs. If I were a short person, my legs would appear freakishly stubby.
- man-shoulders: my shoulders are like a coat rack, and not in a good way. I can't wear any of the trendy sleeves - frills, puffs, or mutton sleeves make me look like a man in drag.
- horse-face. I long for the kind of kitten face that has made so many of the beauties of various recent eras. I look bizarre in sunglasses and entirely out-of-proportion in hats.
- a complete lack of any sort of ability to deny myself anything: I'm a self-indulger.
- I have really nice legs.
- I am brave, independent, and not at all clingy.
- a good metabolism that allows me to indulge in my natural sybaritic tendencies without any great consequences.
- endurance. I can, and have, run 30 miles without suffering any great trauma, when the mood strikes me. I also navigated 11 months of chemotherapy while still maintaining my athletic lifestyle, and a day job. And I can sleep on the ground or in the sand as soundly as I would under the finest of down comforters.
- a world-class immune system. And this one is odd, because I had a form of cancer called Hodgkin's disease in my late 20s, a cancer that attacks the lymph nodes, and severely compromises the immune system. I had a number of tumors, including one in my lungs that (they tell me) was the size of a healthy grapefruit. In spite of that, I catch a cold about once every three years, and am otherwise healthier than your average horse.
So, tell me. What is your weakest point - the thing that brings you down in your least self-confident of moments? Please share. It would make me feel much better about my hair.