Dear Charles Caleb Colton,
I know in “Many things in few words” in 1820 you shared . . .
Imitation is the sincerest of flattery.
and I just got a new haircut and I should let you know flattery isn’t always welcomed when it comes by imitation because I just got a new haircut. It is “my” haircut. I designed it. I forced the Clippy Cuts lady into following my pattern to the “T,” which she finalized shakily with the clippers at angles totally adverse to her tutoring.
It is my hair cut. Full of wispy hairs hither and tither, v-line plunges over my earlobes, razor sharp detailing at the crest of my brow to provide movement with sharp A-lines in two select areas to demonstrate I have weight lines and a rounded texturized crown demonstrating a true affinity for disconnection while resulting in an overall impervious appeal that conveys overall integrity.
That is MY haircut. It has taken me years to create. I started going to the stylist when I was just a year old. My mother ensured both my sister and I were indoctrinated at the hair stylist’s shop as soon as our hair began to flow freely. And, for many, many, many years our hair was her cut or someone else’s cut again and again.
It takes nearly a lifetime to learn how to work through another artist’s hands in the design of your own motif. Years of true dedication and formulation. No matter how much a stylist wants to give you the cut you ask for – their instructor – salon’s rules – latest craze – own favoritism – and bravado of those around them whether it be the individual paying for your cut or their peers . . . . their desire to provide “your” cut is always somewhat negated by the myriad of other cutter’s voices that ring incessantly through their head.
Once a woman has reached her hair pinnacle – that place beyond wonderment over what style she wants and needs – who will appreciate it or not – whether it will fly at school – at the PTA – at the office – with the man or woman in our life – whether the priest or rabbi will approve – what mother would say and how father would wince – once a woman has transpired the range of questionnaires for her coiffure . . . it is definitely HER HAIRCUT.
Somehow, Charles Caleb Colton, when the mother of a daughter’s former datee takes a gander at my haircut I held the cutter’s hand through every closure of the sheers, and mimics it on her head that has zero comprehension regarding the lifetime that transpired to create it – the ideal of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery ceases to stand the testament of time.
Instead, it is a just what it feels like. Hair style theft. I’ve been robbed – not flattered. Especially, Charles if the location where the haircut ripoff occurred is one where the style wouldn’t have occurred spontaneously of its own accord. In some regions of the world, country, city or town a haircut that is created over a lifetime “can” spontaneously erupt; however, in some locations every woman knows – an original hairstyle would never spring forth. And, my dear Mr. Colton, this is one of those locations. Whomever ripped off my coiffure through the tutelage of the copycat definitely didn’t have a hair epiphany resulting in my do.
No . . . it is a definite hair travesty – she saw my cut and style and asked to have it repeated. And, it just isn’t flattering. In many instances, imitation isn’t flattering or sincere – it is just a blatant act to steal another’s experience in an attempt to grab their light in life and try to make it their own. Just like the plagiarist – that form of imitation is a cheap act of theft and void of sincerity, integrity, creativity, or any other qualitative statement.
In closing, Charles, thank you for your observations of imitation of a good and earnest heart, which certainly 1820 had more of. I wish I could ascribe the theft of my new haircut to your quote that has lasted the test of time. I cannot. Instead, I am left with a person who has absolutely no comprehension of the life behind my haircut – the precision of each strand and its meaning – acting like a sincere human being. The imitation is obvious – she’s never had my haircut before seeing it on me but the intended flattery is just a benign insult to every sensibility of my hair’s lifetime.
Today, Charles, my response is . . . “Plagiarism is a crime and my hair is offended by the pirating.”