That Queenly Look
Maintaining It in This Lifetime and the Next
Getting and keeping that Queenly Look is no small feat, and you'd be amazed at all the details to which we must constantly attend. A good portion of our lives is, of necessity, devoted to our hair, our skin tone, our figure flaws, and our clothes. On parade day, none of this is a problem: We all wear huge matching wigs, we get tan enough (if only by the bottle or the bed) to avoid causing snow blindness in our audience, and in our fantastically enhanced matching outfits, our true body shape can't be discerned. But alas, we parade only one day a year, while we are Queens for Life, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Certain considerations must be taken.
When the Wigs Come Off
The Queens are split about fifty-fifty, I'd say, in the hair department. What I mean is that half of us have some-as in lots, abundant, tons-and the rest of us have about four hairs each that we try in vain to frump and twitter into the semblance of Big Hair. Big Hair is highly desirable. You must have Big Hair to perform hair-tossing and -fluffing. This is the main activity of women in bars, and it is done not only to attract men but to intimidate other women. Because, trust me, other women are intimidated-especially if they happen to be other women to whom the hair gods were unkind. A thin, mousy mop cowers beside a Crowning Glory.
A friend of ours, Gail Pittman-an aspiring Queen who thinks she can ascend directly to the throne, bypassing the Wannabes-is a hugely successful, self-made businesswoman. She used to be a schoolteacher and now she owns and runs a gabillion-dollar company that produces her signature line of pottery and sells it in the finest shops nationwide. She has done it-made it. And in addition, she's the sweetest thing ever to draw breath. It would take a really small person to begrudge her the smashing success she has truly earned. You cannot help but love her at first sight. But sadly there are really small people in this world, and they are just the type who can only feel bigger if they make you feel smaller.
Gail was scheduled to make an appearance on a midsize town's local television talk show, and she had gotten all dolled up for the occasion, as she is wont to do: look nice for the people. For all her success and her universally renowned sweet disposition, our Gail does have a flaw; and she had the great misfortune of being in the clutches of one of those really small people, who also happened to be the local female talk show host. As the guy backstage was counting off the seconds-to-air time for them, ''Two . . . one,' the host leaned over to Gail and said, 'I thought so-you have thin hair! You're on!''
To say that Gail was undone does not even begin to describe it. She could hardly speak. She couldn't even think about what the creature was asking, for worrying about her hair and how very thin it must appear with all those lights shining through it and how she wished she'd worn a big hat. It was the longest ten or fifteen minutes of her entire life, and she has never fully recovered from it. We can only assume that this was the desired effect. I mean, what positive intent could be attributed to a woman who would say to another woman, immediately before a live television broadcast, ''You have thin hair''?
Women with Big Hair talk with it the way Italians use their hands. They send messages with it and use it for punctuation. Their heads swivel like owls'. Women with Not Much Hair do not whip their heads about in the violent manner espoused by women with Big Hair. When desiring to look at something on the opposite side of the room from where we are currently gazing, those of us without Big Hair make a single, simple, discreet movement, one that does not disarrange our hair nor create strong wind currents that could endanger others. A Big Haired Woman, on the other hand, making the same turn will first duck her chin, then abruptly jerk it up and around, causing her massive mane to be lifted up and out in an alarming fashion, actually standing, for a moment, straight out from her head before collapsing and swirling about her head and face. Consequences to others depend on the length of said hair and the position of the hair in relation to its surroundings. Innocent bystanders can suffer lacerated eyeballs if they are not alert. Busboys have had the entire contents of their trays swept crashing to the floor by proximity to an ill-timed hair toss. An event of this magnitude, however, wouldn't be classified as a mere toss; such a grand toss is used primarily to communicate a willingness to perform sexual acts. When property damage occurs, it is usually the result of an actual hair fling, used to indicate extreme displeasure or, in the vernacular, being ''pissed-off big time.''