September 20, 2012


Last year, I gave a riveting lecture on the changing roles of women during the Industrial Revolution. We discussed how women, for the first time in recent history, set aside their domestic roles to pursue work outside of the home. Fascinating stuff, I know. In the midst of this discussion, I showed a plethora of pictures from the era. This was one of them:
As I presented the picture, I asked my students what their perception of it was, and what they noticed about it. One of my female students raised her hand. Expecting an insightful, and in depth answer, I eagerly called on her.
"Katelyn. What do you think about this image," I enthusiastically prompted.
"Ummm....Mrs. Russell?"
"Yeah," I said.
"You totally have that chick's hair."
Great. Fabulous. A nineteenth century factory girl. That's exactly who I want to look like.
Although, to be fair, I did have my hair in a rather severe "schoolmarm" bun that day. But, come on! Buns are in. And hip. Right??
Since that time, I have been hesitant to scrape my hair back into its characteristic bun. Then I woke up late this morning. Crap. I put aside my fears of having another teenager make fun of me, and I went for it.
Then it happened. Again. Another teenager noticed my bun.
"Mrs. Russell?"
"Yeah," I said.
"You always have such different hairstyles."
I winced...anticipating that something mean was coming.
"Oh yeah?" I said.
"Uh huh. I really like them."
I let out a sigh of relief. Something positive!
And so, the bun lives on!

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