When I got that buzzcut, I was in the 8th grade, if I remember correctly. I liked it when I walked back the the lobby, but the look on my mom’s face was unbelievable. It’s actually incredibly entertaining to look back on, because she was so shocked and I had this just like “yeah, whatever” demeanor about it all. She knew I didn’t like it before I knew.
I always take a shower after I get a haircut, still pretty much to this day, to get all the little pieces off of me. And when I was just putting my foot in the shower, I looked back to the mirror. Something about being naked and vulnerable with my nearly shaved head, I couldn’t take it.
I got over it in like two weeks, but it was still the first time vanity had really taken a toll on me. The teenage angst was setting in, and it was there to stay for a while.
But!! It’s got a positive end. I still feel I’m slightly reliant on vanity for my self-esteem, but overall I’ve come a long way. When I was going through those phases, my parents and family members always told me that I would grow out of it. And young me didn’t doubt them, but it’s nearly impossible to look into the future when you’re self-conscious in the present is so fragile. So I just kept my head down.
If I’m honest, I think this poem would fit better into a collection. It kind of jumps from two large stages of growing up with little transition and minimal details. I feel the context of a piece inside of a collection is huge. Like way bigger than people give it credit for. Just in terms of emotional variance, imagine reading a poem about like… leaves falling, and then being thrown into a narrative poem bout World War II. There’s a lot of poetry just in how you structure the things you make, and I’m excited to read more into that in the future.
Anyways, please do be well and remember that vanity is nothing. [Steps off soapbox]