I hate to make generalizations, but most of the time, men don’t seem to notice “changes” in women. By “changes” I mean a haircut, a new outfit, and that sort of thing. If/when they do notice these things, they either (A) keep quiet about it, or (B) say something, but get it totally wrong.
One of my favourite examples of this is the following story: after completing a photo shoot with me in which she was DRESSED as an alien, My BFF Louise changed clothes and had to run to a rehearsal for a play she was directing. She went in full “alien” makeup – bright green eyeshadow, green glitter blush, etc., etc.
When she got to rehearsal, she sat down and noticed that her cast – which I believe was comprised of men only – was looking at her funny. After a brief moment, one of them said, “Hey, you’re wearing your hair down.”
Nevermind the GREEN.
I work with 98% men. There are two other women in my group, and they are both so shy I have only heard their voices like, twice each in six months. Plus they’re always tucked in one of the labs working, so I almost never see them. So when I go to work, I never expect to hear anything about my appearance.
SIDENOTE: I never go anywhere expecting to hear anything about my appearance, but when I worked with all women, there was a constant stream of “I like you hair today!” or something random like that. This is a completely different environment.
Sometimes I’ll run into one of the ladies from downstairs and they’ll be like, “Cute outfit!” and I’m like, “Oh thanks!” and that’s it. I have to say, I kind of love it, because if I’m feeling self-conscious about anything – like a bad hair day or a what-the-fuck-happened-to-my-eyebrows day – I remind myself that no one cares. It’s liberating.
Last week, I dyed my hair. I didn’t do anything drastic to it. I just needed to touch up my colour and cover up my roots and grey, which at the moment is too randomly scattered for me to embrace in a sexy Stacy Clinton way.
Fucking Stacy Clinton and that grey streak. So hot, right?
I feel the need to emphasize that I didn’t walk into work with like, blonde hair or something. I didn’t go from Plain Jane to Lucille Ball red. I went from slightly faded brown to a slightly richer brown. No big deal. And of course, I didn’t expect to hear anything about it.
Flash forward to me sitting at my desk about halfway through the day. It had been a quiet morning and I was clicking away at my computer. Now, when I’m sitting at my desk, my back is facing my office door, so I don’t see when people walk in. It used to mean that I got startled approximately 83 times a day, but I’ve gotten somewhat used to it. And normal people (see: maybe 50% of the people I work with) knock, or at least clear their throat when they reach my door.
But what’s the fun in being normal?
I was sitting at my desk, focused on whatever I was doing when I heard a bizarre squeak/shriek/cough/expression of shock and potentially fear.
It wasn’t like, “Oh!” It was more like, “OhhWUAAAGH!”
Read that out loud.
Add some volume.
Add some slasher movie flavour.
So I’m sitting there and all of a sudden I hear, “OhhWUAAGH! Your hair’s different! Your hair’s different!”
After I nearly peed myself, I swooped around in my chair to see my 19-year-old co-worker standing there, staring at me in horror. I blinked at him.
“Yeah. I dyed it.”
“It’s…oh, okay. It’s different.”
And then he left.
I could have spent the rest of the day worrying about it, thinking that maybe I had made the wrong colour choice or something, but I didn’t. Because in my current world, that’s a compliment. So I just laughed to myself instead.
Lesson learned: Working with all men is hilarious.
P.S. My apologies to the men out there reading this and going, “I NOTICE STUFF!” I’m sure you do, and I thank you for it.