Yesterday I streaked my hair an electric blue and magenta.
It was a deviation from my erstwhile choices of red, pink, purple – yes, still a bit outrageous, but in a sedate kind of way.
This time, it was blue (and magenta).
And not just blue (and magenta) – it was also a neat uber close crop on one side – a neat woman undercut to compete with my son’s from just the day before complete with sexy long fringe side swept and splashed with panels of electric blue (and magenta).
My mother loved it. My brother loved it. My kids love it. I love it.
So why this blog?
This blog, because I triggered a reaction – in some others and then, as I noticed it, in myself.
The reaction questioned my choice – the looks ranged from surprise, to appreciation, to a second-look and wow… and at the other end of the spectrum brinking on envy, nonchalance, refusal to meet my eye, or a quick look to my hair followed by an uncomfortable silence.
And these reactions were from other men and women alike.
Honestly, I was amused – really, I was. I was amused at the stark discomfort that some people felt at my extreme comfort I had in being me.
But more than amusement, it was the realization that stereotypes are always going to challenge a shift. And what exactly was the shift here?
3 panels of blue streaks?
So let’s see…. Did that make me any more or less of – a mom? or a mother of teens? a mother of three?? an Indian woman/ mother? a yogi? a yoga ‘teacher‘??
Or was it just that it was incomprehensible for a woman who ‘supposedly‘ facing so many challenges in life, to go out and have her hair done… and colored in an outrageously, wild and defiant color? Ermm… or was it just not fair for her to be unapologetically herself, happy, in-charge of her life, taking each day as it arrived every morning, fixing the fu*k-ups and still showing up to life – on and off the mat? With that 100-watt smile that is her trademark and a laughter more infectious that the viral that seems to be doing the rounds?
So what gives?
Either way, I don’t think my yoga mat disapproved. I don’t think my asana faltered any more in my arm balances than they were wont to. I don’t think my practice judged.
But I guess, somewhere in being triggered by the unspoken judgments where breaking free from preconceived ideas and stereotypes simply because of me being me, I had fallen prey to it.
And, well, it stirs the pot of upset and inner frustration. (Even yogis get upset and frustrated, in case you were wondering – at least contemporary yogis who can still call a spade a spade!)
But, well, operating from values mean a whole lot more than the trigger that upsets and frustrates. So, The Curvy Yogi still shows up – every day, every moment. She shows up with her flaws, with her imperfect perfection and her perfect imperfections…. she shows up with her mat and without, with her smile and her laugh and her gathered wisdom and learnt knowledge… and she shows up with that authenticity and integrity that form the crux of her being.
And yes, of course, she shows up as the Indian mom who teaches yoga and trains yoga instructors in electric blue & magenta hair!