Incongruous Hair Day

Yesterday I was finally called to the Bar as an Advocate and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore. I celebrated this momentous occasion by heading almost immediately to the hair salon, to get my hair cut and coloured such that any self-respecting judge would throw me out of his courtroom. (This is possible because I’m only starting work at my scholarship company in September, and it’s not a law firm.)

It was quite amusing when I left the hair salon, walking through Raffles Place in the evening with my ultra-conservative black and white court attire and my new hairdo, which is basically like the chick in Sinfest, plus bright purple streaks.

How Now Unibrow

I got my eyebrows threaded for the first time today, and I think I’ll never go back to plucking. For $5, I no longer have to squint into my bathroom mirror with tears of pain running down my face as I brandish small sharp tweezers dangerously near the windows to my soul.

Instead, I get to lie prone pulling my eyebrow skin taut with my fingers as a beautician rips entire lines of my eyebrow hairs out at a go. Then she mops my tears of pain up with tissue.

It’s a total upgrade.

Mullet Musings

Warning: frivolous. A growing hazard of this blog, dear reader, as my days are increasingly spent studying for Masters exams and desperately longing for respite from deep academic thinking.

My preferred hairstyle for myself is an evocative mix of militant feminism, anime punk and, for those who don’t like it, mental institution inmate who somehow got hold of some shears. Given that I was unfortunately born with horribly frizzy hair (I blame my mother for tainting my Oriental birthright of silky straight hair with her Eurasianness), this was somewhat difficult to accomplish before I decided at 19 that I would be ugly no more, straightened the lot of it, and chopped most of it off.

Further hair-related developments were helped by being in London, where Medusa herself could walk down the street and no one would bat an eyelid. I knew I had succeeded in my hair goals when after one particular haircut, I got eyeballed disapprovingly by a nun, approached by a chap who randomly saw me in Virgin Megastore to appear in visual projections for a club in Brighton, and got chatted up by an equal number of males and females the next time I went clubbing.

Since then, however, vanity has had to take a backseat to other demands on my time, and as fretted about recently, I’ve spent the last few months as a total minger as my last haircut, which featured radical fringe action, grew out into an increasingly curly mullet. Yesterday I decided something had to be done, and got it all straightened. Unfortunately, not being able to get it cut at the same time (Toni & Guy Academy does straightening and cutting at two different academies) means I must now live with a ramrod-straight mullet until I can get another appointment with the other academy for a cut.

And strangely, once ramrod-straight, the mullet doesn’t look like a mullet anymore, I just look like a stereotypically sweet demure Chinese girl with a stereotypically boring haircut, and I realize all those envious teenage years coveting the long silky straight hair of my pretty sweet Chinese girl friends were a complete waste of bitterness. This time next week, I aim to be shorn and spiky once again.


The July issue of Glamour is out, and as I peruse its glossy pages (courtesy of Tamara, household supplier) I grapple again with the fact that I am a traitor to my sex.

I’m not meek or submissive. I don’t buy the whole “surrendered wife” thing, neither do I believe in The Rules. I certainly believe a woman can have a successful career and be a great wife and mother at the same time, and should be allowed to do so. No, my friends, my betrayal goes beyond such peripheral issues to strike at the very core of womanhood: I prefer sensible, comfortable shoes to silly pretty ones.

I run screaming from any shoe heel that isn’t at least as wide as, well, my heel. No hobbling around on mildly obese pins for me. I like walking the streets knowing I could charge after a snatch thief or sprint for the bus if I had to. I insist on clubbing in shoes I can actually dance in rather than twitch awkwardly from side to side. I acknowledge that stiletto heels look elegant and feminine, but do not think I would look particularly elegant or feminine while shuffling along screaming in pain from my blistered feet and falling down frequently. Of course, there is the argument that many women the world over manage to spend the day striding around in 6 inch heels, which may also include breaking into the Kremlin and acrobatic sex depending on whether or not they’re in a Bond movie, but I just wasn’t born with that gene, okay?

While we’re on the topic of shoes and betraying my sex, I’m not even sure if I’m normal as regards numbers. According to Glamour I am meant to have cupboards overflowing with them. I have a small shoe rack from Argos with space left over on its top tier for two (sickly) houseplants. Here is the extent of my consternation – under a rarely-felt impulse to make too much information available to the world, I hereby list the contents of my shoe rack and ask fellow females (male views welcome too, unless you’re Alec who already makes his views on my shoes all too clear) out there to comment on my normality.

  • Dark grey slip-on trainers (Acupuncture), bought for £50 in my first year in college and worn pretty much every day since then. My shoe of choice for clubbing and holidays where I spend hours walking.
  • Black lace-up trainers (Nike) for my rare attempts at land-based exercise.
  • Red lace-up casual shoes (Mango) which I love because they’re red.
  • Light grey slip-ons (some cheapie brand, I think they cost $20) with lines in orange. Rip-offs of those types of trainer that hug the shape of the foot extremely closely.
  • Khaki casual rubber-soled slip-ons with two stripes, one navy blue and one burgundy (Shelly’s). They look better than this description makes them sound, I promise. Current favourites given that I am going through a brown phase.
  • Chocolate brown strappy open-toed shoes with slightly chunky 2.5 inch heels.
  • White strappy open-toed shoes with 2.5 inch heels.
  • White slouchy sandals with subtle leaf detail and a sort of toe strap (I really need to read more girly mags to bone up on the lingo)
  • Black courts with ankle strap, heels about 2.5 inches.
  • Black strappy evening shoes, 2.5 inch heels
  • Silver strappy evening shoes, 3 inch heels
  • Dark purple punk whore boots, a Christmas present from Alec a month and a half after we started going out.

Despite the fact that I think this is a veritable shitload of shoes, apparently I am meant to own more, and they’re meant to be sillier. It’s so hard being a girl.

Hair Dilemma

Okay, frivolous dilemma: I really want a haircut, because it’s grown out from the militant feminist devil worshipper cut I got back in April, and it’s gotten a little shaggy. The problem is that I have to judge the finals of the national debating competition next week, and do sort of want to look appropriately judgely.

I’m already the youngest member of the judging panel, and the only female. I have an annoying feeling that looking like a Japanese punk rocker in addition to all that might just make it a little difficult to exude sophistication and intellect to my fellow judges, most of whom will be considerably older.

Considering all things, I’ll probably get the haircut and rely on my judging competence to maintain my credibility. But I wanted to admit to those niggling doubts, all the same.

Red-Eyed Monster

Did I mention that in Singapore the whites of my eyes are a fetching shade of magenta? Naturally, this means contact lenses are a no-go, which offends against both my vanity and precision of vision (my black plastic nerd-chic glasses were made back before I went to university, and my eyesight has worsened considerably since then).

Dorothy Parker said that “Men seldom make passes at girls who wear glasses”, but this is an alternative point of view that makes for interesting, if not wholly convincing, reading.