the only blonde
Joe Cottonwood

She went out easy.
With previous dogs, there’s been
a moment of spiritual shudder,
sometimes a visible struggle.
Not here. By my side
under my touch I feel the chest
rise, fall, rise, fall. And rise no more.
Without a sound the heart rests.
Life departs. A border crossed,
as if she welcomed the end
of cancer’s grip.

I tuck dog legs against dog body.
They are immediately
different, dead weight
utterly unlike a living limb.
Her eyes remain half open
as she so often slept.
She could be half-alert in death.
Still she is warm and has
that marvelous Dakota fur,
the only blonde
I’ve ever loved.

#blonde   #dogs  
That to be blonde
Thomas Tinkler

How funny is it
That to be blonde
Mean a myriad of things

One who is blonde is
But never boring

Blonde is thought to be a mark of perfection
Strong Nordo-centricism
Stronger white supremacy

Are there not a brunette with the same attributes
Are there not matronly persons with red hair
Or black
Or pink
Or no hair at all

Why does such arbitration continually define us
Mere colors shape who we are
Far more
Than a more fair method

Who decided this
How do we fix it
Do we

edium ash brown locks to a light golden blonde. But I speak the truth!
Christine Castellana

You have probably heard this phrase before and if you haven’t, you will now. “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” Coco Chanel said that and although her perfume gives me a headache, the woman knew what she was talking about.  When women go through major life changes, they cut their hair. It’s just what we do, ask any female.  I think this applies to a radical change in hair color, as well. It’s symbolic of our internal struggle. Just look at any girl going through a break-up! One day, she’s a plain Jane, she gets her heart broken, and all of a sudden she turns into Lady Gaga. Honestly, though, I believe that a major hair transformation can be the first step to embarking on a new journey in life and I say this because I've lived it.

No one seems to believe me when I tell them that my life DRAMATICALLY changed as a result of me transforming my medium ash brown locks to a light golden blonde. But I speak the truth!

It all started in the spring of 2014. The fall and winter leading up to that time was a sad, pathetic period for me. I was mourning the loss of a long-time friendship, and although I managed to keep a smile on my face, I was really hurting inside. I screwed things up big time and was kicking myself repeatedly. After a certain point, I became fed up with feeling so down-in-the-dumps that I just HAD to change something about myself on the outer surface. I didn’t want to be the same loser of a person anymore.  I was tired of being boring, staying at home, and going on Tumblr looking for images of emotional quotes in fancy fonts. I literally wanted to “lighten up” and not take life so seriously.

First it started off as me asking Becky, one of my best friends and go-to hair stylists, to “throw some highlights” in my hair. A couple months passed and then I thought “Why not go all the way? GO BIG OR GO HOME, BABY!” And poof, I had blonde hair.

The changes were immediate. Starting the next day, everyone I encountered called me “blondie.” Older gentleman seemed to love it most of all, eyeballing me up and down like a piece of meat. I was completely disgusted. People at my job who I had always thought were sweet, old men in my eyes, turned into creepy perverts. Small talk turned into flirtation and lingered glances. It completely mind-boggled me and was vomit-inducing.

I also noticed that when I went to stores and gas stations, people were much more willing to hold doors open for me. “After you,” they'd say, with a wink. More men would randomly talk to me and say, “Hey, how are you?” Even with my resting bitch face, people still would come up to me as if I looked super friendly and willing to chat. I’d often find myself standing in front of strangers, nodding my head, and saying “Uh huh, uh huh, uh huh, hmm,” as they told me about their days. I have the hunch that they would think of anything to say just to keep me in their presence longer.

I also noticed even the online community went a little coo-coo. I had guys on Facebook that I had never met before start requesting me. When I asked one guy what possessed him to request me, his response was, “I saw your picture and felt compelled to.” This picture was a close-up of me with my blonde hair and my friend’s dog. My profile is private otherwise. Come on. I am sure it was the “personality” that poured out of this photograph that drew him in. And I will admit, for a period of time I had an OKCupid profile. My messages from potential matches sky-rocketed once I posted a picture of myself with blonde hair. Everyone all of a sudden was interested in “getting to know” me.

My “favorite” moment was when a guy who completely was a jerk to me came out of the woodwork.  For the sake of privacy, even though he doesn’t really deserve it, we will call him “Jake.” The previous summer, he had lead me on for a couple months only to reveal to me later that he actually was interested in my friend (who has blonde hair, by the way). He had wanted to hang out with her the entire time, yet talked to me instead basically out of boredom. I specifically remember him saying, “I don’t see this going anywhere. Honestly, when I met you I was interested in your friend.” Then he basically said that he only talked to me because he was drinking beer after a long day at work and just felt bored enough to initiate contact. I didn’t even know him all that well, but needless to say, my feelings were hurt. I thought that maybe I had a chance of developing a friendship with this person. Maybe a friendship that could lead to something more, depending on how things pan out. Obviously, that plan was thwarted once he revealed his true motive. He later told my friend that I was too self-deprecating and my propensity for toilet humor did not score any points with him either. Oops.

As soon as I had blonde hair, a year after this all happened, all of a sudden Jake texts me out of the blue. “Hey, how are you? Long time no talk! Loving the blonde hair! We should hang out some time!” Seriously? Now, I am the kind of girl where if you piss me off, you’re most likely going to hear it from me. I gave him no mercy! I said, “Oh, you are just talking to me because I am blonde. What changes your mind this time around? You didn’t even want to give me a chance last time, why a year later do you think this is a good idea? I think you are a jerk” To which he replied, “You seem more confident now.”

Which leads me to think was all of this attention actually from the blonde hair or was it really from the confidence it brought me? I’ll admit, as beautiful as I thought the hair color was, I was not confident right away with it. From past experience with radical hair decisions, I was prepared for the worst. I thought I was going to be laughed at. So it definitely was not the confidence when I first had it. It is quite possible that as time passed, I gained more confidence. I think blonde hair forces people to look. So once they got past the blonde hair, they actually saw that my face is kind of pretty. With all of the compliments I received, I did start to finally feel like a beautiful girl.

The attention kept coming, confidence or no confidence. The date offers increased, the glances increased. Even women would look at me in an odd way. Now, all women have this really amazing talent where we can tell immediately if another woman loves us or hates us. Oddly enough, women didn’t give me judgmental, "I hate you," looks at all, which is what I would have expected. I actually caught some checking me out. There was a period of time when I genuinely thought I was attracting more women than men! Men often look, but won’t say anything. Women on the other hand would flat out tell me, “Girl, you are looking SEXY! I can’t even deal with it!” None of them even seemed jealous, it’s like they were all cheering me on. It was definitely odd for me and completely unexpected.

I think what made me feel so awkward about everything was that I had always been, up until that point, a chunky brunette known more for her hearty, belly-laugh than for being a “beauty.” I was the chubby girl in school who never had boyfriends, only male friends that I joked about poop with. I wasn’t known for being a looker. I was made fun of for being overweight and slow in gym class. I listened to emo music, had short hair, covered my body with sweatshirts even in July, and wore plaid slip-on Vans. I looked more like a boy than a femme-fatale, blonde bombshell. My mom was genuinely worried for a period of time that I may be a lesbian because I put no care or time into my looks. The fact was, I was too self-conscious to embrace my femininity. I wanted so much to look girly, but I felt like I didn’t have the body or the looks to pull it off. I had zero self-esteem and used humor as a defense mechanism.

So to go from twenty-four years of feeling like a fat, ugly loser to suddenly being called “sexy” was a new concept to me that took some time to adjust to. I hated the attention at first, learned to enjoy it,  then found it to be rather annoying and bothersome. After a year and three months, I had my friend dye my hair back to a beautiful dark brown with some red undertones. I am extremely happy with it.

I will say, offers for dates have been non-existent and less people approach me in public again. My romantic life is quiet and I am not even talking to anyone. But I feel like ME, I feel like the person I was supposed to feel like, but never did. Once I saw dark hair in the mirror, I sighed with relief. It was like that feeling when you plop onto your bed after a long day and think to yourself how grateful you are to be back home. That is how I feel now. I am happy to just to be me as nature intended.

The light hair wasn’t a complete departure from myself, but more of me exploring unknown territory or a different facet of myself. Now, I am the original Christine, but new and improved because the confidence and lessons learned from my blonde era have now carried over into my brunette life.

Now, as I mentioned previously, I had blonde hair for a year and three months. A lot can happen in that span of time and it certainly did! I went on a trip to Vermont all by myself, I modeled for a couple photographer friends of mine, I performed poetry at an Open Mic, I house-sat for three months all alone, I had two jobs over the summer, I made amazing new friends, I dated, I posted videos of myself singing on the Internet, I helped a band I love book gigs, I went on a road-trip with a friend, I learned Reiki, worked on art projects and probably a million other things that I am forgetting.  Every experience morphed me and changed me into something better and the blonde hair was apart of that. Maybe it was that tiny spark of confidence that snowballed into bigger and better things for me. My self-development was so strong over the past year, it makes me want to cry sometimes at how far I have come. I was doing things that I never thought I would do. I can honestly say that I don’t hate myself anymore and I have to thank the blonde hair for that. Now when I look back at pictures from that time period, I can see my golden locks and say to myself, “Wow, that was a fucking amazing year.”

Terra Lopez
Terra Lopez
May 31, 2014

in a perfect world

Brian O'blivion
Brian O'blivion
Jul 1, 2013

and watch it burn

what if i were a blonde bombshell
Ashley Garza
Ashley Garza
May 13, 2013      May 14, 2013

what if i were a blonde bombshell

would it be different if i changed

would it be a little better

could i be a pulse on your radar

a blip on the screen

a little bit of static flipping through the channels

or maybe just me

could i have a place in line

a moment of your time

would it be different if i changed?

patient yet forlorn on saint valentine's day

Marshall CB Hiatt
Marshall CB Hiatt
Mar 24, 2014

People wonder why I forgive.
I wonder why they don't.
Mistakes are taken.
They happen.
It is a duty,
A necessity to forgive.
To apologize for others,
When they won't for herself.

My dad asks me why I let myself get used,
I tell him
We use amazing things every day and smile.
He doesn't get it.

Every plus has a minus.

Jul 29

Skating down the street, I was
Came out to see me, you just
Whispered in my ear, you just
Clueless, I was
Foolish, I was
Just tell me what does it take to make it good now
How many times did you stay awake
And today you come out of nowhere
I was skating down the street
You just came out to see me
You just whispered in my ear
You were Clueless
You were foolish
But its too late
Everybody is mashing
Everything is bashing

Julie Butler
Julie Butler
Nov 11, 2014

I guess I know just what you're thinking
But you know not of what I do
When I'm sitting in my room
Daydreaming only about you
I guess you feel a little foolish
I guess I acted like a fool
I wish you knew how I was feeling
I wish you knew it's all for you

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