MIDWAY: Apparently speaking

Ever since I started leaving my hair untied, I have been receiving mixed reactions. Dad says I could not look more horrible.

I’d look much better with a shaved head, he says. He is worried that my flowing hair will leave a bad impression on others.

Mom thinks it’s cool. She doesn’t mind my following the new trend. My friends admire my new look. Earlier, with my ponytail I used to look a real geek. My friends agree.

Well, my hair decision was only a part of self-experimentation. I wanted to know how I felt at my hair bobbing up and down freely. A free spirit and free and flowing tresses. Some people say that neatly tied hair makes one look confident and smart. But doesn’t it show one’s freedom of action and self-confidence if one lets one’s tresses chart their own course, swayed by both internal and external factors? If we accept the latter thesis, we might well argue that it is rather those who lack self-confidence and feel inhibited deny their hair the freedom it seeks in public.

They say first impression is the last impression. They also say a confident look makes a great first impression. But isn’t confidence all about presenting oneself impressively before others? I am having a hard time deciding what constitutes a good first impression. Is it a tiptop suit or a trendy, flowing gown? From one’s face or manners? Or is it one’s overall personality? But what makes up one’s overall persona?

Personally speaking, I don’t give a whit to what I look when I meet someone for the first time. In my own peculiar ways, I look for genuineness in personality. This is a mix of good attitudes, serene thoughts and respect for others.

People dressed shabbily might look more attractive if their hearts and minds are dressed neatly. Some people fall for good looks, others for good minds or hearts. It’s a matter of personal choice.

When I met a friend of mine after a long interval recently, he said how he still remembered my bushy brows, round spectacles and a curly, dark hair. So it was his concept of beauty. Another said a different thing about me, and so and so forth. But my query still remains unanswered. I continue in my elusive search for the right answer.