I have a confession to make: I almost transformed my brunette self into a white-blonde bombshell.
When reading the aforementioned statement you instantaneously join one of two groups depending on your immediate reaction. One group, the Molly? As a white-blonde? Oh hellllll to the noooo! group, receives my shaming middle-finger as a consolation prize as a reward for the disgusted looks of horrific surprise and for sipping oh-so-casually on that Haterade. However, the second group, the Molly as a white-blonde? Wait a second, she could totally pull it off! And look totally hot! group, is totally welcome to come indulge in some you-are-all-my-new-best-friend desserts. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
Nonetheless, all change is good change, no matter how extreme or dramatic it may be. When I was lazily scrolling down my Instagram feed a few days ago, examining the picturesque lives of my friends, family, and the rich and famous with only a trace of FOMO, I stumbled upon a startling image of my all-time favorite beauty blogger: Emily Weiss of Into The Gloss. Long gone was her short chop in a deep chestnut color that strongly resembled the color of my own mane. Instead, her dark locks had been replaced with dry, damaged, and oh-so-sexy platinum blonde. Can you say love at first sight? I sure did. With the recent loss of my father, the trying tribulations of junior year, and my continuous desire to stand out and make a statement, big changes are extremely necessary and rocking a brand-new head of hair was one change that was teasing me like never before.
I quickly saved the image to my iPhone and proceeded to message it to a copious number of friends to see what they thought. “What if I went platinum?” I wrote, my fingers tingling with excited anticipation. “Or maybe white-blonde?” I rapidly received all kinds of responses ranging from ecstatic to mortified. It was a hot topic, and everyone pertinent to the situation was more than eager to share their thoughts. Usually, I am quick to dismiss any negative opinion of my looks; my outfits seem to be so obscure and extreme to others that their unknowing, unknowledgeable, and unnecessary commentary means nothing to me. However, this was different. For some reason, as I continually pressed send and waited to hear a response over…and over…and over again, I was desperate for approval. Would I look hideous? Or would I look as jaw-droppingly beautiful as Emily? Could I even resemble Ginta? These questions echoed in my head repeatedly as I heard the mixed responses of my loved ones.
My boyfriend did not like this idea. I repeat: my boyfriend did not like this idea. At all. His response was seemingly heartbreaking and may or may not have caused the shedding of tears. The responses of the various “sperm-shooting individuals” that I questioned with the imperative decision of whether or not to bleach my hair invoked similar negative and rude connotations. However, most of the females (egg-supplying superwomen?) that I asked were overjoyed, intrigued, and euphoric; some seemed to be more excited than I was about the possibility of change. Only a few girls were devoutly devastated, stating that they were continually envious of my locks and that I would regret this decision majorly. I even texted my hairstylist, Phoebe, who quickly responded that she loves blondes and that the look would look amazing on me, if I was willing to sacrifice length. Length? I have to go…short? I thought. I hadn’t even considered the toll that bleach takes on hair, especially long hair like mine. Another tremor struck my heart. Considering I experience slight anxiety with big decisions (and if you don’t think bleaching your hair is a big decision, you need to reevaluate your principles) and the opinions of my peers were not resonating well with me, I did not feel as if I was coming any closer to a decision.
The day after I stumbled across the beloved platinum-reveal photo of Emily, I scoured the internet for more hairspiration. There is a big difference between platinum and white-blonde, and if I was going to go through with something as drastic as this, I would need to do as much research as possible to get the perfect image of what I wanted to look like. And anyways, who actually wants to do their homework when they can stalk pictures of Ginta and Anja? I stumbled upon a gallery on who else than Emily Weiss’ blog that showcased the most drool-worthy white-blonde girls I have ever laid eyes on. Twenty-something pictures in, I was sold. The stark white-blonde hair against eerily pale skin was mesmerizing; it was a Nordic/Scandinavian look that screamed edgy, beautiful, and badass. It had to happen. I then turned my research to colorists and decided that I just had to get it colored in New York, no questions asked. I narrowed it down to two stylists, Aura Friedman at Sally Hershberger Downtown (the colorist that Emily used) and Mirjam Bayoumi (the salon that Elin Kling recommended for the perfect Scandinavian blonde). But now the question still faced me dead in the face: should I take a trip to the bright side to see if blondes really do have more fun?
Another question, however, comes to mind when considering major hair transformations: why do women want to transform their appearances so dramatically? I pondered this question intently in deep meditation, but seeing as I did not receive any answers or signs from my late father (loving known as Big D) or any other godly beings, I turned to the most prestigious information source known to [wo]man: Google. My query, why do women want to transform their hair, prompted 280,000,000 results in an astounding 0.62 seconds. It was time to research. After an hour scouring the links I was prompted with, I was still unsatisfied; I did not feel as if I was retaining any of the information because it just wasn't what I was looking for. My question, lingering in the air like the smell of one of my ghastly farts, was still unanswered. I thought that it may be time to throw the towel in, to conclude this article with an open-ended door into the unknown, when I stumbled upon an uncannily relatable article on The Man Repeller. While discussing J. Law's recent pixie, Melanie Khan referenced an August article in the Atlantic by Casey Quinlan. This pertinent article states that connecting trauma to dramatic and extreme transformations “seems to confirm that a woman’s value lies in how she looks, and that only psychological instability would cause her to make a drastic change in her physical appearance.” Yeah, I was speechless too. When I finished reading, I realized that not only my original question of why women desire to transform their hair dramatically was answered, but that Casey Quinlan was moonlighting as my therapist. More questions began to formulate inside my head. Was I really trying to hide my psychological instability of losing someone as monumental and important as a father at age sixteen the cause of me wanted to spontaneously dye my hair white-blonde? Or was I just acting spontaneously and instinctively? Was hair just hair, or was my hair my blanket of comfort that was shielding me from what I really needed to see?
Putting all of the information I gathered throughout this discovery process -- my peers reactions/opinions, the hairspiration photos I found, Quinlan's article, and my own realizations -- I realized that not only was I channeling the trauma of losing my father into my drastic desires into my hair, but that I wasn't sure what I wanted to do. Maybe I would never know if going white-blonde would solve my problems, but what if I bleached it and absolutely hated it? Was I trying to escape the similarities of my father that I was continually finding not only in myself but on myself by going to the light side? Not only do I not want to answer these questions, but I also don't want to find out the answers the hard way. For now the pressing matter of white-blonde hair has been postponed. My hair is dangerously long and dangerously brown, though everyone tells me I have to-dye-for natural highlights. However, after (finally!!!) reading Emily’s detailed explanation of her experiences going platinum on Into The Gloss today, I have decided to table the decision, but open the conversation to all of Pull This Off's loyal readers. Dish it out and tell me how it is - could I pull it off? Is Quinlan right about the deeper psychological meaning behind the dramatic transformation? Would I look like a prepubescent cherub with a white-blonde 'do? Lay it out, let it out, and tell me how you really feel. Let's make this comment thread white-hot.