Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sara Janssen and Dreadlocks

In my last post, I had originally written a little bit about Sara Janssen and dreadlocks and my midwife's assistant. But then I decided it was totally irrelevant and took it out. "Since when has a story's relevancy ever bothered you before, Katie?" you're probably wondering. Yeah, I know. Whatever.

Here is what I wrote about Sara.

Sara Janssen has got to be one of the awesomest ladies ever. Look at this face. Really, click on the link and look. Look at her smile. You know just from looking at her that she is happy. You cannot fake the light that she radiates (no matter how much you Photoshop it). Sara is living a fabulous life, traveling around the country in an RV, living on the money they make from doing photography, raw food demos, raw food coaching, etc. They stopped in Bozeman for a while (a year?) to have their second baby but they’re headed out on the road again soon. Sara is such an inspiration. I promise you will be uplifted by reading her blog(s). She doesn’t even know who I am, but I think she is great. The main reason I admire her so much is not because she lives in a sweet RV or because she eats raw food, but because she decided what she wanted out of life, and she did what she needed to to get it. I tend to allow myself to be a victim of circumstances, and I whine and complain a lot. Sara is the opposite, and I am totally inspired by her. I love her decorating and her ability to make a beautiful, uncluttered home out of a small space. Before starting the RV trip, Sara, her husband, and their daughter lived in a 300 square foot home.

Sara is growing dreadlocks. Sometimes I think dreadlocks look so awesome and then I think they look like pieces of poop. See, I'm a walking contradiction, yet again. Strong, awesome women and dreadlocks seem to go together. Maybe that's why I like them, rather than actually liking the look. Chandelle tried dreadlocks once, which proves my theory about strong/awesome women having them. One of the midwife's assistants when I had YoungestSon had great dreadlocks. Her name was Katia, which I liked. I never got to see her dreadlocks down, but she said they were hip length. She was so awesome. I only got to meet her twice, but she really seemed to be a strong, confident woman. I'm not sure where she was from originally, but she lived on a farm in Costa Rica and (obviously) wanted to go back there to be a midwife. One of the silly 'societal questions' I struggle with is whether women should shave their legs. I know that the practice has been around for thousands of years (see Egypt), but here in the U.S., it was popularized by the razor companies around the time of World War I. I am grateful for razors (because men need them to have goatees), but I think that advertising campaigns by razor companies is a stupid reason for an entire nation of women to shave their legs. So sometimes I decide that I'm never shaving again. I can't shake the perception that it's gross if I don't, but I try. Anyway, before my baby was born, I shaved my legs so my midwives wouldn't think I was gross and uncivilized. My main midwife is a total hippie, so I should have known this was a non-issue. And during my seemingly-eternally-long labor, I discovered that Katia had unshaven legs. Far from thinking it was gross, it made me think that she was strong and confident. I realize I only met her twice, but from what I saw, she was worth admiring.


Katie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chandelle said...

I wanted to cry when Sara was selling her RV. Jeremy and I have talked so many times about living in an RV until we can buy land. In the end, we always decide that we wouldn't be able to afford a sufficient up-front investment to have a place that's really livable, nor could we afford sufficient renovations to make it livable. I could easily and happily live in 300 sq. ft. That's why a yurt looks better all the time.

I stopped shaving at Jeremy's suggestion. He was always teasing me about my feminist ways and asking why I continue to submit to the patriarchy by assuming that my body hair is disgusting. :) I really did think that it was just gross and unkempt to not shave, but of course, I was raised with that conception, from my parents, the media, my entire culture.

I stopped shaving as an experiment, but I felt great about it. I actually feel cleaner, which makes sense since that's part of the purpose of body hair. I do sometimes shave under my arms in the summer, because deodorant doesn't stick very well with hair (I don't know how guys do it) and I'm paranoid about it. But I usually just shave it once and then it grows back by the autumn.

I've noticed that, even though my leg hair was pretty heavy and darkish when it was growing out, now it's very thin and fine and light, like it was when I was first going through puberty. So I don't feel very embarrassed about it. I admit that I might feel differently if I had very masculine, coarse body hair.

I don't feel comfortable enough to show my arm hair yet, even though I see many people at Jeremy's school wearing tank tops and showing it off. I still perceive it as dirty, in myself, even though I think it's beautiful on other women...weird. Jeremy definitely likes it, and pulls a pouty face when I talk about shaving in the summer. :)

I enjoyed my dread experiment, but I really don't think I would do it again. My controlling nature came out in full force. I spent more time than ever thinking about my hair, which was the opposite of my intention.

There are a lot of people are Jeremy's school with dreads, and I still think dreads are beautiful, but I don't think I could pull it off. I still think about it, but my hair is just starting to grow out anyway. I think more about shaving my head again than anything else. I have tentatively decided to grow my hair long again. It was pretty long for a while, but it was also damaged from brushing out the dreads, so I think I'll let it grow out and see how I feel about it when it's healthy. If I don't like it, I might shave it again, and keep it that way, as celebration for reaching my weight loss goal or something equally inane. :)

FWIW, I think you would look amazing with dreads. I love red dreads so much. A male friend of mine had tremendously long red dreads and they were so awesome. I read that he cut them off recently and I was seriously bummed.

Katie said...

"FWIW, I think you would look amazing with dreads."

Now you're tempting me. . . .
I cannot even imagine what my employers would think if I showed up to work in dreads. They are non-confrontational, but very conservative. One of the principals of the company just got back from being a mission president. I've only ever heard 2 swear words in 3 years. We do have some non-LDS employees, but all the engineers went to BYU :-D

I think I'll do it. . . someday. Maybe if I decide to chop all my hair off I'll put in dreads first just for fun and then chop it.

Right now I'm torn between wanting to grow my hair out super long and wanting to chop it short (not shaved). I loved your hair long, but I do like how you look with short hair too.

Simply Mother said...

I so wish I could be comfortable with unshaven legs because I hate shaving. It's just not something I want to spend my time doing. Plus, razors that don't burn and chafe are way too expensive.

I may be getting there. I only shave now if I'm going to be wearing shorts or a skirt in public, and even then, 80% of the time I forget. Oh, and I have no problem just putting on pantyhose over unshaven legs, even in a short skirt. But I hate wearing pantyhose too. I say I may be "getting there" because a few times when I've forgotten, I've talked myself out of being self-conscious about it, even when I saw people notice. I still can't make myself think it looks nice though.

Katie said...

C - that's pretty much how I am. I always wear nylons unless I have an ankle length skirt. I would wear nylons at work no matter what - not wearing them wouldn't feel professional to me. My legs are blindingly white. Once my sister asked me if I was wearing white tights when I wasn't wearing any :-P

Katie said...

"even though my leg hair was pretty heavy and darkish when it was growing out, now it's very thin and fine and light"

How long did that take, do you think? Mine might already be like you're describing; I don't know. But I figure that now would be the best time to experiment since no one will be getting a close look any time soon!!!

This is one of the things that I would be flexible on if my (future) man preferred me to shave. But if he thought I was gross or insisted on it, then maybe I'd dig in my heels and refuse to be flexible ;-)