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Dyed and Reborn

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   When it comes to baptism, hair dye is my holy water. Sure, it may seem a little superficial to some. For me, however, aesthetic is everything. It isn’t just about making an impression; it’s a direct representation of how I feel on the inside. When I make an internal change, I want the external to reflect.

   After leaving home for the very first time, I buzzed the sides of my head. My anxiety had always prevented me from leaving the house and then I found myself moving to the other side of the state. The scared little girl had finally disappeared and in her place was a woman ready to begin the next chapter of her life. I walked into the nearest salon and let the stylist buzz my head into a Mohawk that would’ve made Brody Dale proud.

   During my first year away, I made new friends, met new boys, began my third attempt at the great American novel, ran from drama, and struggled to find my place in the world. After I’d booked a photo-shoot with a published photographer, I traded my buzz cut for a long red wig. When I published my first article in the campus newspaper, I opted for a short, black wig with blunt bangs. To commemorate the tragic end of a short romance, I dyed my grown-out buzz cut black. I was progressing in school, in life, and ultimately finding myself. Black symbolized a feeling of power, but also the unknown.

   Rebirth is the process of being reincarnated or born again. We die and go onto the next life. As per my own definition, I believe we are “born” into the next phase or chapter of our present lives when we reach the next level of maturity or progress. Some of us keep this to ourselves and some of us tell our friends, post it in a Facebook status, or alter our physical appearance in a new and drastic way. We want people to notice. I want people to see my new look and notice the change. Whether they like it or not is irrelevant. It’s about letting the world know that I have opened a new door or started a new chapter. Yes, I am the girl who runs to the salon after a bad breakup but it’s more than that.

by Lauren Milici