My goal was to return to my natural blonde. Apparently, it is very in right now.

It was hard making this decision because despite the presence of brown and red in my natural hair color, I am 100 percent platinum blonde at heart. I am bubbly, and memorable, and sometimes crazy. I am not stupid though, and nor are most all blondes. If the past nine months have taught me anything, it is that even in 2015, people still think blondes are dumb. Comments concerning my intelligence, or lack thereof, have included being asked if I had daddy issues, being stared at by foreigners walking down city streets, being instructed to join the Aryan Brotherhood in the event I am sent to prison, and being told I looked like “a drug addict.” My edge was emphasized for the first time ever. Dark eyebrows, and newly showing under eye circles can make you look real experienced. I was happy. I was a walking display of my aesthetic, which as my father best put it, is grunge granny.

Then, the roots grew in darker than they ever had before. Maintaining my tresses was expensive, and damaging to my hair, and anytime I got a touch up, I looked like an alien for a few days. I live from babysitting job to babysitting job. My lifestyle was not sustainable. There was the approaching school year, and my mother’s worries about my presentation. These things get to you. I was uncomfortable, and angsty as ever. So I convened with my two best friends and we headed to CVS. We bought two boxes of hair dye. One red to tone my hair, as it had been stripped of all natural pigmentation, and one to finish off the job, the soft honey brown I recognized from not so long ago.

I said goodbye to my imaginary kinship with Debbie Harry, Leslie Knope, Anna Nicole Smith, and Queen Elsa. I promised myself our spiritual paths would one day cross again.

My friends and I, we messed up. Yes I have reddish, brownish, blondish hair, but not in the way I intended. My roots are reminiscent of the Little Mermaid. With each shower, my tips become more purple. The whitest sections of my previously platinum hair have turned grey.

But, the color is liveable. People tell me it looks cool. But what happens when these drugstore pigments fade? When I wake up in the morning, hazy from sleep, I turn to a mirror, reminding myself of my mistake. With each passing day, it hurts more. I look at old photos of my hair, when it was completely untainted by dyes, perfectly highlighted, complimenting my eyebrows and skin. It makes me sad. I feel like the girl on America’s Next Top Model who gets all of her hair cut off—my self pity is as evident as a crying girl on national TV, too. ♦