Good Hair Day

Juniors overcome negative perceptions, embrace hair types

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Frannie Lamberti, Staff Writer

Worrying about appearance is normal for most high schoolers — being unique can be difficult, but learning to embrace your features is even harder.

Junior Darya Moiny shares her experience with her insecurities about her hair. Having a different hair type than others, Moiny grew up trying to change her hair.

“Throughout middle school I constantly kept straightening it and damaging it,” Moiny said. “[I would try] to make it not curly because I did not enjoy [my hair], and I didn’t like how different it made me look.”

Junior Parker Neal also struggled with accepting her natural red hair. Growing up, Neal said she was picked on for her hair color.

“People had said things to me like ‘I don’t like redheads’ or ‘Redheads don’t have souls,’” Neal said. “It started with small jokes, then progressively got worse as I got older.”

Moiny said her thoughts about her hair while growing up influenced her general appearance.

“It made me more insecure about other things like how I looked and how I dress,” Moiny said. “It kind of began to diffuse into other aspects of my appearance.”

Neal shared her experience with bullying in eighth grade.

“There [was] this one kid who would make comments on my appearance and jokes about it in class with other people,” Neal said. “I remember I hated that class, and it was always one of the worst parts of my day.”

Neal said that made her look differently at herself and wondered what other people thought about her.

“I will never forget what was said about me,” Neal said. “Why do [people] have to make fun of someone for having red hair? I just never really understood.”

Now, Moiny has learned to love her hair.

“It was just taking a step back and trying to figure out why it bothered me so much,” Moiny said. “The access to social media and seeing there were others who had hair like me slowly made me realize that it’s OK to stray from the norm.”

Neal likes that her hair is unique and has natural highlights.

“I’ve never dyed my hair, and I don’t think I ever will — I also don’t edit any of my photos or try and make it look like I don’t have red hair,” Neal said. “I’ve grown to love my hair.”

Moiny’s confidence has inspired her to help others.

“I chose to donate it so others could feel and gain some confidence from the hair,” Moiny said. “That helped me become more confident, too.”

Moiny thinks people develop insecurities because of their environment and who they are surrounded by.

“We tend to like to associate [the things around us] as being the only good thing,” Moiny said. “We need diversity in our lives — we don’t learn without diversity.”

Neal agrees with Moiny that insecurities form from outside factors.

“A lot of times, negative comments about your appearance will stay with you.” Neal said. “It builds up in my head and makes it worse.”

Moiny wants people to embrace their differences and be positive.

“You only have what you were born with,” Moiny said. “You can spend your life trying to change it, but at the end of the day, there’s more to you than just what you look like on the outside.”

Neal wants other people struggling with the same thing to not worry about what others think.

“This is your life, your journey — focus on yourself,” Neal said. “If you’re feeling insecure about something, it is perfectly normal and OK, but you shouldn’t let it completely affect you.”