It’s not a disabled thing, it is a human thing
Lets get that straight first, because if I had pink hair and a nose ring odds are someone, somewhere would ask me why? What happened for me to be that way, did I have a hair-dye-related-accident or a momentary lapse of judgement at the piercing place?
Pink hair is different, it isn’t conventional right? I guess using a wheelchair isn’t conventional either and if there is one thing I have learned, it is that when you boldly defy convention, wether it be with pink hair, nose rings or wheelchairs, people ask you questions.
Questions arise out of human curiosity, I understand that, in fact to those I know I express that I would rather them ask me questions, about anything disability included – there is nothing wrong with asking questions, in a context and environment that is respectful mind you.
However there is one thing I’d like to make clear and it comes back to our girl with pink hair.
She has bright pink hair and a nose ring, this metaphorical young lass. One day she decides to take her beautifully bold self into her local for a coffee, it’s nothing new when a few customers look at her, some with admiring, bewildered expressions others offended by her disregard for convention (I’m sorry conservatives of the world)
But as she goes to order her flat white, the lady making-her-coffee asks this beautifully bold girl one question…
Actually the coffee lady didn’t even say it that nicely she used the words what did you do to yourself?
Now pink haired girl, she flashed a smile and simply replied “What did you do to yourself”
For some reason, the questions directed at pink haired girl, come with a negative air. There must have been a hair dye accident, she must’ve planned blonde and got handed pink, because she couldn’t possibly want or love this outside-the-box hairstyle she has, something so different must be a curse, right?
Pink haired girl, she chose her hair colour, not for attention, not for kicks, but because she gets to make the choice about how she lives her life, there was no accident, there was no horror, she loves pink, she is bold and she makes the choice, to be herself. The same choice, she’d make even if her hair dye faded.
Now take pink hair dye girl and mirror her to myself, everywhere I go I am noticed, I am used to it, but for some reason – when people, who inappropriately ask questions, they do so using words like, wrong, happened, broken.
I’d like to know why, because nothing is wrong with me, I may have not made the choice to be using a chair, but I make the choice to be contented, to be bold, to not factor my wheelchair into my actions as a limitation, all of these choices add to the fact that nothing about me is wrong, broken and nothing happened.
I cannot comprehend, why these words are even used when we talk about any type of diversity, because you could use the same terms to question normality. Why is your hair brown? Why do we time the microwave in minutes, what happened, did something break to make us do that?
It is just what is done, just as a life lived with a few quirks, pink hair, nose ring, wheelchair. Whatever. Is still a life lived, a human life, that deserves respect and dignity.
Not really hard to comprehend is it, because the moment pink haired girl threw the question back in the face of the ask-er the lady was taken aback, but it’s fair isn’t it? For pink haired girl to wonder, what happened to her peer, for her to ask, what happened?
Why would it be negative for her to have pink hair, I mean even if you lack understanding surrounding what pink hair dye means for the individuals who live with it as a part of them, it doesn’t mean you can show any less respect then you would to another woman.
This woman with pink hair, she might be subject to some unique challenges because of it, she as I said gets attention, she has a lot of work to do, if she doesn’t want her hair to fade. But she does it, she has it because she loves it.
She finds joy in the wonderment of individuals and authenticity in her bold actions, there is nothing broken, nothing negative about her choices. So why do you think there is? Why do you think she needs to change – not you the reader because you might love pink hair, like our girl in question.
I am talking to you, the coffee woman who asked “what happened” why do you do that? Why do you associate negativity with unique actions, diverse people. What makes you think we’re broken, I will never be too sure.
But I can tell you, the reader, why you should be proud of your pink hair, your diverse natures. I can tell you, how to deal with the “what happened’s”
People are afraid of diversity sometimes you have to respect that
Just as you expect respect, you too must respect that people sometimes don’t get it. Now do not get this confused with being submissive, always stand your ground, never let anybody say anything to you, that you feel discredits what you deserve.
But always be tactful and strategic, because if you bull in a china shop it and shoot down the person whose aiming at you, you are both no better then the gun itself. Get me?
Confident people, tactful people are those who are able to stand their ground in a strategic way, think about your words, your actions toward those who challenge you, because if you believe you, or all people, deserve respect. It begins with you. You must show respect, but that is not the same as being submissive. Think before you speak, even if those who speak to you, do not.
Just as our pink haired girl did, take what has been said and spin it around, because if they are not happy to answer, what they just asked you. That is indication enough, that what they said, isn’t needed in conversation.
You make your point. You keep respect in tact.
Confidence Creates Authenticity, Authenticity secures your identity.
Pink haired girl had the confidence to have pink hair, she is authentic to herself and her hair has become a part of her identity, her identifiers might change, but the thing about pink haired girl, is that she will always be authentic, because she has developed the confidence to be so, in the face of any questions, she has the ability to tactfully and respectfully reply, stand up for herself. She has the confidence to do these things, meaning she is authentic, her identity, her own.
Never be afraid of being confident, never be afraid of defying convention, because fear destroys authenticity. You are not built to be a carbon copy of Kendall-flipping-Jenwhatever
You are meant to be yourself an authentic you, the truth is that, you being who you are leads the way for others, pink haired girl, could inspire the girl watching her across the street to buy those bright red boots, authentic people may sometimes be the subject of questioning, judgement. But they are also a source of freedom, because when you are authentic, you allow those in your presence to be empowered in the same way.
Be confident, be tactful, be authentic.
Because you are you and nothing about you is broken, nothing about you needs to be fixed or changed, what needs to be changed is the idea, that diversity is difficult or wrong.
It isn’t it is beautiful
Pink haired girl is you, you are bold, bright, authentic.
It’s not a disabled thing it’s a human thing.