When you spend your life as a TV News Reporter, you get used to being cosmetically examined. Your hair, your clothes, your body are all part of your TV Reporter package.
There are lots of rules about what you can and can’t wear on the air.
Of course, one of the rules is no weird hair color.
This was never a problem for me.
Well, except for the time I went very black and the time I went very red. I was promptly sent back to my hairdresser both times, with a “don’t ever do that again” admonishment.
I never felt restricted though. Not really. This was the life and career I loved and I freely accepted traditional reporter wear and hair.
And yet today, I’m walking around with some hot pink streaks of hair on my head and even though it started with a dare…well, I’m kind of liking it, which surprises the heck out of me.
Here’s the scoop on this dare.
I told one of our media and communication classes at Temple University a few weeks that if we had more than 600 students register for our career fair, I would wear pink hair.
Honestly, I don’t even know why I said it. It sounded crazy and silly. (Maybe subconsciously I always wanted pink hair??) All I know is I just really wanted them to register for the fair. I also DID NOT think we would get 600 student registrations.
Well, almost 700 students registered. Surprise!! ( I mean REALLY surprised.)
I was thrilled of course.
I was also immediately reminded by students I OWED THEM PINK HAIR.
As the queen of first time experiences and dares, there was no backing out of this one.
My hairdresser Su Shan looked at me and said, “Your hair is just not going to take pink color very well.”
“Well, what else can we do?”
“Pink hair extensions?”, she offered.
And so Su Shan of the lovely Starshine Salon in Manayunk placed some hot pink strands strategically in my hair; enough to be noticed.
Was I worried about what people would think?
Don’t we all when we do something new?
I worried it might be a little “out there” for my presentation at Pfizer this week. Nope! The pink hair was fully embraced on OWNIT Day. (Thank you, Pfizer. I had so much fun with you!)
I worried that a group of parents thinking of sending their children to Temple might think it isn’t a very professional look for a Director of Career Services. Nope. I explained. They clapped. YAY!
But the sweetest part is the little surprise smile I get from students when they walk into my office for counseling. I’m told I can be a tad intimidating.
Pink hair is apparently just enough to break the ice a little before I review their resume and we talk about their future.
Maybe they think…”hmmm…pink hair. Crazy woman. Great. I can relax.”
Students stop me in the hall…”Like the pink hair.” “Nice pink hair.” Sometimes they just give me a little extra nod, smile thing.
I realize after all those years of being told to conform to be a serious journalist, I’m thoroughly enjoying a little rebellious wild, funky streak.
This will STUN my friend Loraine. She was so giddy when I told her that I had to go get pink hair because she KNOWS that this is SO outside of my comfort zone. It WAS outside my comfort zone.
By the way, if you are one of my students reading this…let me be clear. No tattoos showing, no nose rings and no PINK HAIR for you if you are going on an interview. Just saying. When you are your own boss or 60 years old, you too can do as you please.
I was thinking, the pink will come out the next time I’m at the hairdresser but…I don’t know…I might just keep it for awhile. The pink might just be saying what I’m feeling…I’m a creative type. I’m unpredictable.
I am doing the new.
I can break my old rules.
I can wear freaky pink hair and you know, I’m just daring enough to OWN IT without apology or further explanation.