*In relationships, we sometimes get to the point that we feel we know everything there is to know about someone, or that they know everything there is to know about us. It gets more and more difficult to remember some of those little things that make us who we are. Things Mr. P. Doesn’t Know About Me is a recurring feature in which I share some of the little (and not so little) things that have simply never come up in conversation or seemed important enough to tell. They can be few and far between, as I am by nature a “talker” and share quite a bit, but when I do have one, rest assured, it’s a good one.
Yes, I am Aaliyah. Well, not really. You see, if I were Aaliyah, I would be a beautiful, world renowned singer/actress that was loved by all…and dead for nearly ten years, killed in a plane crash at the height of my sucess (as many other good singers and musicians have been). But there is one thing that Aaliyah and I had in common: a bang phase.
From the time I was born until nearly high school, my mother styled my hair. I never had a relaxer or perm; my mother would straighten my hair in our kitchen with a straightening comb. I would sit on the floor between her legs on a few couch cushions, head cocked to the side, holding my ear (even when she was nowhere near my ear), while she parted, greased and straightened. Once the hair was straight, she usually put it in pigtails one ponytail. Sometimes, family members would braid it and accessorize the beads to match my outfits (or put on the always appropriate clear beads), but usually, Mom took care of all hair care needs. I didn’t really learn to do my own hair until college, which was also the first time I went to a salon to have my hair done (although I worked in a salon!).
But in middle school and high school, my Mother would straighten my hair for me, and I was responsible for styling it the way I wanted it. Since I wasn’t really a hair maven, I had one go to style. I would make an off-center part that went two or three inches back. I left the hair on the right side (or, rarely, the left) of the part loose, then took the left side, along with most of the rest, and brushed it into a ponytail. I left some of the back loose, curled under with curlers, so people could see how long my hair was. So where do the bangs come in? Now.
I would take the loose section in the front and curl it with curlers as well, only I would take the bang and gently fan it over my eye, along my cheekbone, and off to the side, much like Aaliyah was famed for wearing. The thought, for me, was that this enhanced my other eye. You see, I have very pretty eyes. Slightly almond shaped, I have dark brown eyes that sparkle like brown diamonds. My eyebrows have a beautiful natural arch that is easily highlighted with a good brow wax/threading, which leaves my eyes looking open and fresh. I have fairly long eyelashes naturally. In short, I have a bit of Bambi in me, LOL. I considered my eyes to be my best feature, and I figured the “absence” of one made people take a second look at the one they could see, and they couldn’t help but realize how pretty my eyes were.
Of course, many people speculated about the hair-over-the-eye bang, just as they did with Aaliyah. I remember many people wondering if she always wore hair over one eye, even with sunglasses on, because she had a lazy eye or something equally less than aesthetically pleasing. In this day in time, that would be called “hating.” I have no idea why she started doing it. Maybe it was a stylist’s choice, attempting to creat a signature style for her. Whatever it was, I semi-followed the trend (I didn’t wear my hair down as she did).
Of course, it never caught on where I was. One reason was because not everyone could pull it off. You couldn’t do it if you have those bulgy, bugged out eyes, or too small eyes, or unkempt brows. Another reason was because it limited visibility, so klutzy people would hurt themselves. It didn’t look good with glasses, so you had to pull your swoop around just before the rim of your glasses if you wore them. Lastly, with all the chemicals that people put in their hair, it can be very irritating to an eye, especially if the hair gets in your eye (think about how many bottles of hair potions you have right now that say ”don’t get this in your eye” and advise you to “rinse thoroughly with water if this gets in your eye”?)
Of course, when I got to high school, it was all about wearing my (now quite long) hair down or in braids. Now my hair was one of my best features. People were amazing at how richly dark (black) it was, how silky it looked, and how long it was. I began to put more effort into growing my hair. When Aaliyah died, the trend seemed to die with her.
So, there you have it. I had something in common with Aaliyah, other than going to school in Detroit
*ahem* on Saturdays *ahem*. I pulled my bang down over one eye, sang along to the songs, and wore the baby pants with the form fitting tops and doo-rags…I never did quite get that hip roll down though.