You Called Me Ugly

Dear Arlene,

It’s me. Remember me. I posted that my hair was going to start eating people. I called my hair monstrous. I was trying to be funny. You know, purple people eater. I’m funny. And a lot of people thought so, too.

We frizzy haired folks feel the sting of humidity for like no one else. We are out here looking like Pomeranians that licked light sockets. We are doing the best we can.

And, I need to touch up my roots. And I’m trying some new hair styles. So, yeah, my hair is a train wreck.

But, it’s mine. It’s frizzy, curly, straight, kinky, silky, coarse, brittle, breaking, damaged, shiny, and big. But at no point did I say it was ugly. This hair has been colored, bleached, crimped, flat ironed, braided, twisted, pinned, pulled, cut, and shaved. But what most of you don’t know, it’s been gone too.

I went bald.

You might think my hair has been like this all my life. Nope. My hair used to be straight and thin and shiny. It had golden highlights. My hair was gorgeous.

And then, when I was 7 or 8, it fell out. In clumps. In handfuls. It laid at my feet in school. It surrounded my desk. Patches of scalp emerged every day.

It really put new meaning to hair today, gone tomorrow.

Why did this happen? Idiopathic alopecia. That’s a whole lot of words. Basically, the doctor didn’t know what happened but gave me steroids to grow it back.

And that’s where the love hate relationship with my hair started.

My hair did not grow in the way it left. My hair grew in like straw and hay, sticking straight up out of my head. It grew in thick and coarse and yellow.

But it grew in. And grew back. We’ve since learned stress was one of the causes of my hair leaving my head. I had lost several member of my family, my grandfather was in the hospital, and bullying at school all culminated into a stress reaction resulting in me looking like a contestant in a Dr Phil look alike contest.

Since that time, I’ve had a love hate relationship with my hair. I love it. I hate it. I love you hate it. I cut it off and cry because I miss it. But at no point has it been ugly.

What’s ugly is going on to someone’s Facebook wall and commenting hateful remarks on a selfie. Ugly is bullying. Ugly is hateful for the sake of it. Ugly is your behavior.

Notice I didn’t say ugly is you. Because I’m not about that life.

But I did mean everything I responded to you. Not one damn ounce of my self worth is based on your opinion of me. My self esteem does not hinge on whether Arlene or anyone else thinks my hair is ugly. I did not wake up this morning wondering what Arlene thought of me. Or anyone else by that matter.

The best thing that came of this exchange is the support from my friends. I have never felt so loved and supported before. People rallied around me, cheered me on. Others spoke of supporting each other and spreading love, not hate.

In one post I saw more of the best of people than the worst.

That post helped me see the hope for the human race.

So, Arlene, even though you have excellent taste in football teams, you have poor taste in words. And even worse judgement in who you try to bully. See, babe, I’ve had years of practice dealing with bullies. If you think ugly is the worse thing I’ve been called, you need to get out more.

As for me and my purple people eater hair, we still have a lifetime of styles to try out. I can’t wait till you see them all.


The hair that ate Chicago and the Train Wreck Mom

Need to check your own beautiful hair. Click here.


14 thoughts on “You Called Me Ugly

Add yours

  1. Sweetie by no means are you ugly or your hair.. infact I love it! I think I even told you one a few occasions that your hair is beautiful…Arlene is a prime example of someone trying to be funny.. miserable fail! #purpleusthenewblonde #loveyourhair

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Love it, Jen! How else would a writer express her feelings than by writing! (And the thing I miss most about being able to have long hair is playing with the possibilities.) You go, girl!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You’ve never really talked about that time in your life. I’m glad you learned and grew from what was a bad experience to become the smart, beautiful and funny lady you are today. I love you so much, punkin’

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: