Friday, August 21, 2009

The Pony-Tale

It was a hot day, and I was waiting in the car outside the grocery store, waiting for my little sister to pick up a few things.

While observing the people walking into the grocery store, I noticed an interesting phenomenon. All of the girls, even those a good couple of years younger than me, were parading into the store with their hair down.

Now, this is definitely not a new discovery. It was not something very shocking. But I couldn't help thinking how ridiculous my fellow frum girls are. I never set much store by this "wearing your hair in a pony is bad for shidduchim" thing. I mean, seriously, are people going to ask why I wear my hair in a pony? And if they do, can't I say that I am the type of person who doesn't like to waste my time, and ironing my hair each morning seems like a bigger waste than any other? Same goes with money. I don't know where the MP's priorities are, but why would someone get their hair blown daily, when there is ice cream to be bought? And who's to say a girl can't look prettier in a pony?

So either way, I wear my hair in a pony. Weekday, shabbos, vort or wedding. The only times in the last year that I actually wore my hair down, was a couple of close friend's weddings and vorts.

Oh, and then there was the time that I decided to have some fun with my coworkers. For no good reason, smack in middle of the week, I ironed my hair straight and wore it down. I walked into work, and my coworker looked at me knowingly. "Did anything interesting last night?" I smiled in mock embarrassment. "Sorta." she pressed on, and my evasive answers made her fairly sure that there was an impending simcha. It was so successful, that the next day I wore my hair down again. I'm pretty sure all my coworkers felt really sorry for me, when I stopped wearing my hair down. "Poor close to getting engaged and it's all over now."

So I sat there looking at these girls, who probably spent a good deal of time and/or money making their hair look nice and straight, just so it could be worn down. I was pitying them, for their slavery to fashion, feeling proud of my independent thinking, when a girl walked into the store, and my thoughts went haywire. The idiocy of our culture hit me like a ton of bricks, an I was suddenly unable to hold back the loud, mocking laughter.

The girl who had acted as a catalyst for these thoughts was a girl I knew from high school. She is probably a year or two younger than me, and she got married recently. And here she was, parading into the grocery store in all her newly-married glory....wearing a pony wig.

Are you laughing at the ridiculousness of our society yet? Seriously, when a girl is single, an has to wash her hair nightly, she has to make extreme efforts to wear it down. But when she gets married, and is fully expected to wear a decent wig, blown and looking nice, suddenly, she isn't cool if she doesn't have a a pony on her head.

Something is wrong here. Seriously wrong. Can I officially be embarrassed of our society?

Edit: If you wear your hair down because you like to, or because its comfortable, and plan to wear your sheitles down also, then obviously this post is not directed at you. :-)


Staying Afloat said...

I was halfway through your post thinking, "But what about all the ponytail shaitels? Baruch shekivanti.

inkstainedhands said...

So first of all, I just want you to know that I enjoy reading your blog and hearing what you have to say on things...

And now that that's said, I can go on to disagree with this post in some ways. :]

This is coming from a girl who HATES to wear her hair up, and cringes every time she looks in the mirror in school, where she has to wear a ponytail. For me, a ponytail is either a sign of a bad hair day, or a sign that I am in school.

"But I couldn't help thinking how ridiiculous my fellow frum girls are. I never set much store by this "wearing your hair in a pony is bad for shidduchim" thing." -- I'm sorry, but how do you know that that is their reason for wearing their hair down? And why should it be ridiculous? I cannot understand how you can call girls ridiculous just because they are wearing their hair down. I mean, sure, I think it IS ridiculous to spend hours ironing hair, but your initial statement did not mention the waste of time; you just said at first that they were ridiculous for wearing their hair down (presumably because they think it's bad for shidduchim).

"and ironing my hair each morning seems like a bigger waste than any other?" -- Yes, it is a waste of time. But be careful not to assume that every girl who wears her hair down wastes an hour of her time on it each morning.

For me, it takes about the same amount of time to wear my hair down as it does to wear it in a pony. I have curly hair, but I don't iron or blowdry or anything, and I usually wear my hair down.

"I was pitying them, for their slavery to fashion," -- So now wanting to look nice is 'slavery to fashion'? If this is what you call it, wouldn't this statement of yours -- "but why would someone get their hair blown daily, when there is ice cream to be bought?" -- indicate slavery to your taste buds?

Once again, I do not condone wasting hours on one's physical appearance; I'm just saying that if girls wear their hair down because it is more comfortable for them or they think they look better that way, why should you have a problem with it? There are many girls who just come straight out of the shower, their hair dries naturally, and it looks great. So why should they wear ponytails?

Sorry for the length of this comment.. I think I'm done now. :]

Anonymous said...

I have an additional comment on the pony/hair down business...
There was a girl in camp. She was wearing a her hair in a pony most of first half.Gets engaged some time in the middle...and get this... comes back to camp and now wears her hair down! Besides the point that i think its retarded of all those girls who wear their hair down in camp to begin with (your supposed to be chilling out,relaxed, stress free... ) i find it quite humorous that only after the fact (engagement)she went around camp with her hair down!...whatever... just seems a little mixed up to me ;-)
A gutten shabbos everyone!

Something Different said...

SA- Yeah, apparently I am not the only one who thought of it.

ISH- Ok, I think you misunderstood. I wrote this post the other night at 3am, so it makes a lot of sense that I wasn't clear. I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing your hair down if you like it that way, you find it comfortable, or any other reason. I do find it weird when girls think they have to drive themselves nuts, doing their hair, despite the fact that they don't want to, or don't like it, purely for the sake of shiduchim. Also, I find it ridiculous when girls make themselves crazy doing their hair daily, then go buy a pony wig. I presume that when you get married, you won't do that.
And bout the ice, it was a joke. I don't spend the majority of my money on ice cream, no matter how much I would like to. I just mean that getting your hair blown professionaly daily, (as some girls I know do,) is a huge waste of money.
Am I clearer now?

Anon- LOL! THats hilarious! And good shabbos to you too!

inkstainedhands said...

It's just that from the way you wrote that post, it seemed as if you were ridiculing all girls who wear their hair down. The entire post was about how ridiculous you thought those girls were. Then you also wrote that you always wear your hair in a ponytail, even when there are special occasions. That gave the impression that you think girls shouldn't even bother at such times.

Of course, I don't personally know you so there is no way for me to know exactly what your thoughts are on this. All I know is from what I read in that post, and it's common knowledge that communication through a screen is not the best option.

Something Different said...

ISH- You're right, I wasn't clear, I added a note to the bottom of the post now.

I think girls look beautiful with their hair down, but shouldn't overdo it. Thats all.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

My perspective,

1) Ponytails can be pretty sexy (סליחה מכבודכם). can hair-down. It depends on the person I guess..

(As an aside, I always tought that the fact that unmarried girls have their hair tied, whereas married girls have (what seems to be) their hair untied in "our community" is just one representation of it's ills)

2) I still don't understand: What's the point of all these girls dressing fancy every day. I mean, if they just met a guy (they liked) in the street (or in Touro, or in "the office") they still wouldn't go for it! It has to be a set-up date n'all. So what difference does it make how you dress o a rainy Tuesday morning?

Freeda said...

It's a good thing you added that note SD, cuz to keep my hair looking neat in a pony is a day long effort while doing it and wearing it down - takes ten minutes in the morning and then I can forget about it the whole day. It's an easy, fast way for me to look put together- so why not?

But i hear your point and agree. Anyone who drives themselves crazy in any way for shidduchim is nuts in my eyes. Hashem will send you your bashert, doing your hair is NOT hishtadlus (unless it's for a date so you'll look better).

I just saw someone I know at a wedding- in a ponytail sheitel....

inkstainedhands said...

Shlomo -- "So what difference does it make how you dress o a rainy Tuesday morning?" -- Is dressing decently simply because you like it unheard of? It is an error to think that girls dress nicely just to attract guys. I've been to plenty of all-female Shabbatonim or get-togethers where girls dressed to kill (and wore heavy makeup and spent hours on their hair) even though there was not a guy in sight. They don't just do this for guys or for shidduchim. (So all you males shouldn't take too much credit for how girls dress.)

Freeda -- "to keep my hair looking neat in a pony is a day long effort" -- I know what you mean. I see girls fixing their ponytails and re-doing them every fifteen minutes, obsessing over every little bump and stray hair. It gets ridiculous after a while, and it would be much easier to just leave the hair down and stop wasting time on making the 'perfect' pony.

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

ISH: Ha. It's been evident on this blog and the Bad for Shidduchim blog that wearing "Shabbos clothes during the week" is somehow "better for shidduchim". i.e. it's either for the shadchanim or guys..or something.

(The guys in Touro (and oher such places) also "dress fancy" during the week. Again, nothing to do with the girls, so..

And as an aside, I shouldn't be saying this, but I'm not sure if some girls notice or not, but if you're outside fixing your ponytail hile standing, it could put you in sort of a revealing poition...

inkstainedhands said...

"i.e. it's either for the shadchanim or guys..or something." -- I don't know... not when it comes to school Shabbatonim and teenagers...

"I'm not sure if some girls notice or not, but if you're outside fixing your ponytail hile standing, it could put you in sort of a revealing poition..." -- Yes, a lot of girls just don't notice that. (So when people lecture girls on the evils of wearing their hair down, this is a valid point to bring up.)

Freeda said...

ink- i would never fix it every 15 minutes- but even once an hour is 15 times too many!

And I like to look nice cuz I feel better about myself that way-not something that makes sense but it works... I never liked the dressed to kill look, c'mon- who are you looking to kill?

chanie said...

Yes, you can seriously think something's wrong and be embarrassed of our society.

I wear my hair in a bun- I'd love a pony, and sometimes I dare- but usually, it'll just poof. I straightened my hair once for grade eight pictures, spent over two hours doing it (granted, it wasn't with an iron, it was with a blow-drier), found that it wasn't even fully straight, and never bothered again. Until, that is, out of sheer boredom and nerves, I straightened half my head with my friend's straightener, while we were in her room talking, and then went to get in the shower and wash it out.

Too much hassle, and I've too little patience. :) Besides, people pay money for hair as curly as mine...why straighten it?
And the ponytail sheitels show the hair in the back of your head...where the sheitel ends and you can now see the hair underneath...

I'd wear my hair down, simply because I like it, except that it's curly, below my shoulders, and VERY thick, and my education has ruled out anything below the shoulders as not tznius...

But society is stupid...and makes stupider rules...and I was automatically a B4S club member years ago, when I stopped caring about how I dressed on Shabbat and to weddings. Luckily, I'm no longer around my mother much, because she disapproves of my dress style...after all, you have to conform to what society expects of you... [rolleyes]

inkstainedhands said...

Chanie -- I always have curly hair and I get it straightened perhaps once or twice a year, and that is it. I think curls add personality, and I would hate to look like everyone else, which is why I don't bother straightening it out regularly.

"But society is stupid...and makes stupider rules..." -- Such as not wearing your hair loose just because it's longer than your shoulders? Do you even have a legitimate source for that besides your teachers' words?

"...after all, you have to conform to what society expects of you... [rolleyes]" -- Yeah, like wearing your hair up because Jewish society disapproves of long hair.

stam[azoid] said...

Great post! And love the hair-down-to-work shtck. I used to pull the same thing :o)

Single on the Scene said...

BOSD-good for you! I, myself am a pony person. I'm too lazy to spend 1 hour blowdrying my hair each day and honestly what for? I work in a Frum office with mostly women and what are the odds that some cute lookin guy would walk in? I wear my hairdown mostly on Shabbosim, or for a Simcha but otherwise, I like it when my hair is outta my face and I think it looks cute!

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"I think curls add personality, and I would hate to look like everyone else, which is why I don't bother straightening it out regularly"

Yeah, that's another thing; why are girls straightening their hair all the time? A lot of times curly hair looks a lot more..vivacious. I mean, those White girls with super-straight hair wish they can have as curly hair as the Jewesses..

BigChamor21 said...

First of all, Shadchanim always asked my mother why I wore my hair in a pony so I am proof that people care. As for the pony sheitel, it does not look like a regular pony bec the front looks much better than regular hair, and it's also waaay more comfortable than having hair on your neck all the time.

Something Different said...

WYNI- I think you misunderstood. Girls in my circles (ie girls who are not going to meet a cute guy and date him, but date exclusively through a shadchan) are not looking good for guys. They are looking good cuz they think their mother in law is peeking at them from behind every shop window and has spies who report your looks to her on a minute to minute basis.

Freeda- So you wear your hair down cuz you like it that way. Good for you. I guess you wont wear a pony sheitel?

ISH- See my take on it above..

WYNI- Oh my goodness if some rebbetzins would hear that last comment.... :-o

Chanie- Buns rock! I used to wear em, but now my hair is tamer so I can manage with a regular pony.

Stam- Lol, yes, I am considering another failed romance. Things have been so dry at work lately. :-P

SOTS- And if a cute looking guy would walk into your office? Would you suddenly be upset that your hair is in a pony?

BC21- But if you always wore your hair in a pony before you got engaged (I wouldnt know! :-P) Then its ok to get a pony sheitel. Tho I think yours looks a little better than your natural pony..if you dont mind me saying. ;-)

הצעיר שלמה בן רפאל לבית שריקי ס"ט said...

"They are looking good cuz they think their mother in law is peeking at them from behind every shop window and has spies who report your looks to her on a minute to minute basis"- ....why would the mothers care if a potential wife for their son dresses fancy 24/7?

inkstainedhands said...

When I get married, there is NO way I will be wearing a pony sheitel.

I hated ponytails all throughout high school, and I will continue to hate them.

Some people look good with their hair up; I don't. I'll stick to having my hair (and sheitel) down.

Freeda said...

SD- you're making the assumption that I'm going to wear a sheitel.... (and we all know what happens to those who assume...)

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth, I am a guy who thinks girls often look better in a neat ponytail.