When you think of the Huffington Post, what springs to mind? Balanced political views from a wide range of contributing writers? Obscure news stories from around the world, overlooked by mainstream media perhaps?
I expect many things from Huff Post, but 8 hairstyles every girl should know is not one of them. And the way they gushed over this groundbreaking blog was so embarrassingly orgasmic, you’d think they’d discovered the cure for cancer.
I’m a girl, and contrary to popular belief, the ability to create a ‘messy chignon’ with my eyes closed does not feature quite so highly on my list of priorities as Huff, Style me Pretty and the ‘geniuses’ at Irrelephant seem to think it should.
In the interests of redressing the balance, and humbly pointing out that there might be more pressing matters to the female sex than how to do a giant bun on the top of your head, I’d like to present 8 essential things that EVERY girl should ACTUALLY know.
1. How to Cook
Before you start launching your flaming boob holders at me, let me explain. Cooking is an essential life skill for anyone – male, female or undecided. You may think you appear cute and modern when you proudly exclaim “I can’t even boil an egg”, but when you don’t know how to make your meals from scratch you are relying on food corporations, who’s single most important goal is profit, to nourish your body. Not too bright.
2. What you Believe In
Look, I’m not going to tell you what to believe in. You can believe that the world’s elite are all giant lizards for all I care. Just believe in something. Be passionate about something. Even if what you’re passionate about is nihilism. Otherwise, you’ll become vapid and start to believe the myth that beauty and wealth equals happiness. If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything. Not cool.
3. The Definition of First World Problems
When I was little, I spent a large portion of my life traveling around some of the poorest places on the planet with my mum. What I learned was that those people who had virtually nothing, those we seek to pity, had the most to give in terms of kindness, generosity, and pride. When you don’t know where your next meal’s coming from, what is important to you becomes more fundamental, and certainly doesn’t center around the value of ceramic straightening irons.
To gain appreciation for what’s really valuable in your life, try seeing more of the world, and not just from the confines of a Marriott hotel. After that, if the thing that keeps you awake at night has anything to do with your inability to complete the perfect ‘beachy wave’, you’re in serious trouble my friend.
4. The Joy of Reading
‘Use it or lose it’. Isn’t that the saying? Well this couldn’t be truer than when referring to your mind. I’m not insinuating that if you don’t read books you’ll go mental, but if you don’t use your grey matter you’ll quickly become useless and boring.
If you’re reading, you’re learning. You could even learn how to boil an egg (see part 1). There’s a whole world of knowledge and experiences to be had in the pages of books, and reading will make you way more whole, interesting, useful, and popular at dinner parties than mastering a side braid.
5. How to Bounce Back
Shit happens. Things fall apart. As such, if you are to be a fully functioning human woman, you need to be able to deal with a crisis.
One of the benefits of being female is having the right to cry. So I say cry away. Make a night of it. Get some wine and a duvet and a copy of Adele’s ’21’, and really go to town. But set yourself a deadline. Allow yourself 24 hours to bathe in the murky waters of misery, then it’s time to start getting better. In this scenario, you’ll find reading much more helpful than styling your hair into a loose French braid (see part 4).
6. How to be Street Wise
I live in a university town, and every year I dread Freshers Week. Not for the reasons you may think but because every year, without fail, there is a rape in the park. So regular are these attacks, that there must be plentiful warnings to students to avoid this route at night, which are being ignored.
Please don’t think that this is in any way victim blame. I strongly believe that women should be able to go where they want, when they want, wearing whatever they like, without fear of attack. Sadly though, life isn’t like that. I’m not preaching fear either. Minimize your exposure to dodgy situations and empower yourself by making the right choices. Hopefully you wouldn’t let your friend wonder home pissed on their own late at night, so please look after yourself the same way you’d look after your friends.
This also leads to…
7. The Importance of Female Solidarity
If you don’t enjoy the company of other females then your female friends suck. Get some new ones. Good female friends boost each other’s self esteem, they don’t crush it. If you are envious of your friend’s figure, don’t sit and seethe in an oily gloop of envy and self hatred – tell her. In turn I’ll wager she’ll point out some of your qualities that she’s been secretly envious of, and everyone feels better.
If you’re the type of girl who gleefully watches as another female struts out of a nightclub toilet, cheerfully dragging three feet of toilet roll behind her which is attached to her shoe with wee, and doesn’t tell her… You’re no sister of mine.
8. Self Worth
One of the many differences between men and women is how we measure our self worth. Where we women tend to value ourselves through the eyes of others (e.g. how attractive am I to X, does Y like me), men set their value by what they achieve. This is where we can learn from men.
If you don’t have any of your own interests, if you have no desire to learn and master new things, if you aren’t constantly embracing self-improvement, then you’ll eventually have nothing to bring to the table. And that makes you feel like shit.
Sure, having good hair makes you feel better about yourself to a point, but there’s so much more to you than what’s on the outside. Aren’t you even a teeny bit intrigued by what those things might be?
The folks at Aussie Haircare have chosen the strap line:
“there’s more to life than hair, but it’s a good place to start”
I say that’s backwards. How about…
There’s more to life than hair. Once you have the rest of you sorted, it’s a good place to finish.