It’s time for me to come clean: I, Alyson Rose Osterman, am a curlie.
There, I’ve said it! While this may not seem like a big deal to most, for me it’s monumental. You see, for the past 13 years I’ve lived my life as a straight-walker (a straight-hair wannabe). Ever since that fateful day in sixth-grade gym when the school’s most popular (and mean) girl taunted me about my curly locks in front of the whole class, I’ve tried everything to conceal my curls (be it getting the highest-powered blow dryer I could get my hands on, basically wiping the local beauty store clean of straightening products, or having my hair chemically treated via the Yuko Hair Straightening System).
Why, years later, am I finally ready to embrace the “real me?” The main answer is sadly simple: guilt. Launchpad’s July issue is celebrating my coil-headed peers, and here I am, feeling like America’s Biggest Hypocrite. So I’ve decided to do something about it; I’m taking a vow to kiss my straight-walking self good-bye and say hello to the true curlie me!
As a straight-walker, my very existence has been governed by these tenets:
- Don’t talk about being a straight-walker. On dates, avoid doubling with friends who knew the ringlet-ed you back in the day because, inevitably, they will somehow bring up how they miss your “natural hair.” Your date will then regard you with suspicion because he has no idea what they’re referring to.
- Bite your tongue. Instead, roll your eyes at your straight-haired friends who, upon having the occasional wave, complain that their hair is just too curly. (Not gonna lie: That’s super-annoying.)
- Keep your top up. Curse the carmakers who manufacture convertibles and motorcycles and market them as cool. And, above all else…
- Steer clear of any form of water. That’s right folks: any form of water. Humidity, the ocean, and even hot tubs. Trust me, it ain’t sexy when you step into a Jacuzzi with a silky mane that suddenly transforms into the human equivalent of a Chia Pet.
Yep, my whole life has been planned around my hair. Heck, I even had my wedding planned. Well, not really. I’m not engaged, not even seriously dating anyone at the moment. I just knew that my wedding had to be at least 20 miles inland of a beach or lake. Destination wedding at Death Valley? Sign me up!
It’s not that I didn’t like curls… I just liked them on other people. I didn’t know how to handle my curly mop! So at the suggestion of a colleague (who was probably sick and tired of hearing me complain about my hair), I set forth on a quest to find my perfect curls.