I want to wear headbands.
Recently, I received an email newsletter that contained a pattern for a headband. It’s basically a double-sided strip of fabric, placed around the top of the head, coming down just slightly over the ears, then tied at the base of the back of the head. They are truly adorable, and I think it would be a fun accent for spring and summer wear.
Headbands remind me of the sixties – Marlo Thomas and Mary Tyler Moore. I remember when my oldest sister used to wear a headband to match her outfit. All fond memories that take me back to easy, innocent, breezy summers.
Over the weekend, my youngest sister and I were going through our mom’s fabric stash. Mom was showing off her new organization. In one of the neatly folded piles, I pulled out a pretty white with red design cotton headband. On the end was printed, Karate Kid. We had a little chuckle about that, and then, just being silly, I tied it on my head. I have really short, pixie style hair, so it really had nothing to hold back, but my sister said, “Oh, it looks so cute!”
Mom took a picture of us, and it was a terrible picture, but the next day, in an email, my sister wrote, “I want to wear headbands.” I wrote back, “Me, too!” Then added, “Maybe we should each don a headband, hold hands and count to three and go!”
Stepping out, doing something different, is always hard. The fear of disapproval is always hiding there, holding us back like some invisible shackle, keeping us from experiencing life to the fullest and stealing the freedom to express ourselves. We tend to clone ourselves to society, go with the flow, hide our differences and always try to be socially acceptable.
I know that just when I think I am really being true to myself, there will present itself the opportunity to show me that there are still parts of me that I am holding back for fear of someone disapproving.
Today, my youngest sister posted a picture of her son’s new tennis shoes. They were yellow with spatterings of different colors, and I was shocked and impressed that he would dare wear something so flashy – and different. But that’s the way he is. He likes to put it out there, and I always have this sense of him just throwing himself into the air with great abandon and smiling the whole time. I hope he continues on – even as he hits puberty and the adolescent years.
When my daughter was in high school, she was a trendsetter. She’d see something she thought was cool, and she would wear it even though no one else had worn anything like it yet. She never had many clothes, as our budget wouldn’t allow it, but she managed, with her creativity and bravery, to put together such a display of fashion that she was voted best dressed in her class. She had a passion for fashion. It wasn’t something she could stuff in her pocket. She had to let her colors shine!
I think of people who are part of groups that are discriminated against for their gender, religion, color or sexual orientation. They can wear it like a headband or a pair of brightly colored tennis shoes and take the risk of harassment and disapproval, or they can shove it to the back of their closet and hide it to try to guarantee social acceptance. I can’t imagine their struggle. Here I am just trying to have the bravery and self-confidence at age 53 to wear a headband – hardly a definition of who I am. And yet, the thought of disapproving looks has me stuffing that cute headband in my pocket.
This weekend, I plan to make a few headbands. I am going to wear one bravely to work. Maybe I will start a trend. Maybe I won’t. But it doesn’t matter. I think it’s time to stop worrying about the approval of others, even if it’s just one headb
and at a time. I will wear it in honor of those who have been persecuted for their differences. They and their struggles to find their place in society will be my inspiration.