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Hello, my name is:

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Dark as the farthest corner in your house, long as a horse’s tail, and thick as a Webster’s dictionary. My hair. And in the stereotypical world of a middle school student, appearance was important – the hairstyle having the most value. There were not many options for an Indian girl like me. The only style of hair was a braid, and if I felt unconventional, two.
Despite the grand attention my hair received, it came with drawbacks. My mom had to wake up every morning to braid the thick waves, I would get frequent headaches from the weight upon my head, and the amount of shampoo and conditioner that I needed was preposterous. But these snags weighed almost equally to my hair’s boon: strangers were awed by the river of my flowing locks; it set me apart from just “another Indian girl”; and relatives from India would say, “What a good Indian girl she is to continue following the Indian culture,” as they admired my capability to follow such an Indian tradition of long hair in the United States.
But I soon grew tired of my wild, long hair. I wanted an alteration in my appearance but I could not come to a decision. My mother urged me to maintain my long hair; she was sure that both of us would lose a part of our heritage if I didn’t. She constantly reminisced about when she had hair longer than mine, but had to cut it off to fit the fast-pace lifestyle of the U.S. But a fear arose in me that when I cut away my hair, I might also be cutting away my identity. I was always associated with my long, braided hair. If it was gone, I could not comprehend what more there was to Sneha that made her matchless.
After many weeks of thought, one lucky beautician got to battle the jungle atop my head. My hair was snip, snip, snipped off…from my hips to an inch under my shoulders. A new me, just in time for high school. This decision eventually transported me to the realization that hair is just hair. Our hair my grow and change just as we do, but by no means controls how we grow or change. My old hair was not my name tag and it was not my bond to my heritage. I was. Even though my hair now swung loosely at my shoulders, I strengthened the ties I kept with my heritage by performing modern Indian dance. I was recognized as the comical and perceptive girl that I was. No longer did my name tag say “Distinctive, long hair”.

Instead, it said


Hello, my name is: Sneha





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mmm222 said...
Oct. 17, 2009 at 1:53 pm
great essay. very creative, i love it!
 
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