When I was turning 13, my Bubbe Helen asked me what I wanted for my birthday. More than anything I wanted a fancy wig. Earlier that year my friends and I had done a lip synch for the school talent show from the John Waters movie Hairspray. My mom had taken us to the thrift store and we had collected a bunch of ratty old wigs for the performance. I fell in love with the things, but I knew we were playing with cast offs. I wanted to be the first and only proud owner of a wig.
My Bubbe knew her way around a wig shop, having utilized them herself for quick fashionable hair styles throughout the years. She took me to the fanciest wig place in town, Jean Paree. I’ll never forget walking in and seeing all of the fabulous hairstyles on all of the mannequin heads. It was a transformative moment. I bought a long wig, the same color as my own natural hair color. It looked so natural! I liked that I was able to style it up or down, and that it had bangs.
I moved on from there. Buying both natural colored and bright plastic wigs. I wore them mostly when I went out with friends. When I wasn’t wearing them as a young woman, I had them all around my apartment on styrofoam wig heads.
Now that my kids are bigger, they too like to play with my wigs. My heart swelled with pride this summer when Sadie expressed interest in starting her own collection.
Now I leave you with the song that was stuck in my head the entire time I painted this painting. The fabulous band the B-52’s singing the song, Wig: