PDF Elizabeth Benedict Ê Me My Hair and I PDF ¹ Me My ePUB ´ Hair and Ê

Ask a woman about her hair and she just might tell you the story of her life Ask a whole bunch of women about their hair and you could get a history of the world Surprising insightful freuently funny and always forthright the essays in Me My Hair and I are reflections and revelations about every aspect of women’s lives from family race religion and motherhood to culture health politics and sexuality They take place in African American kitchens at Hindu Bengali weddings and inside Hasidic Jewish homes The conversation is intimate and global at once Layered into these reminiscences are tributes to influences throughout history Jackie Kennedy Lena Horne Farrah Fawcett the Grateful Dead and Botticelli’s Venus The long and the short of it is that our hair is our glory— and our nemesis our history our self esteem our joy our mortality Every woman knows that many things in life matter than hair but few bring as much pleasure as a really great hairdo


10 thoughts on “Me My Hair and I

  1. says:

    Hair Most women fight it Some love it Some even just embrace it's many moods We all have hair stories thoughThis book is some of those storiesAnd it's actually uite good Because I tell you you take a person with fluffy wiry hair like mine and you put her in a convertible with the top down the person gets out of the car looking like Buckwheat Or Don King It helps in one way to wear a hat but when you take it off you have terrible hat hair It looks like a cartoon mouse has been driving a little steamroller around your head This story is not in the book but it's one that immediately came to mind for meI remember when actress Keri Russell cut her hairshe went from this to this and people totally flipped out Her show that she was on at the time even suffered in the ratings because of it There is some serious stories to this book as dealing with chemo hair and the fact that black women feel like they have to spend a fortune on their hair Then there is one story in particular that talks about the other hair that women deal with A friend told her about thisWomen should vajazzle their vajayjays It made her feel better she said after a nasty break upA brief aside on what vajazzling entails someone strips all the hair off your vulva labia and anus and then glues crystals or pearls in some sort of decorative motif in place of the hair First of all Don't google this Or the phrase Willie Nelson vagina tattoo You can't unsee it You guys have no idea how bad I wanted to include that Willie Nelson vagina tattoo in this review Because you know I looked Just like I know you are gonna look Booksource Netgalley in exchange for review None of my friends have read this book yetbut reviewers should still be superstars So I'm including this review


  2. says:

    Me My Hair and I is a collection of short musings on a variety of women's relationship to their hair Certainly for me hair and its meanings have been a significant part of my life From my childhood battles with my mother over its length to my 70s long unstyled hair to my adjustment to the changes age has wrought my relationship to hair has in many ways at different times in my life defined the way I viewed myself my body and my place in the worldApparently I'm not alone These short musings and memories tell of how women glory in despair over and come to terms with their hair Many of the recollections have to do with their hair and their relationships with the mothers or other family members Many have to do with larger issues of self acceptance Some deal with the ramifications of hair and race in our societyThis collection is probably best read over time While I found all of the individual stories interesting reading it in a short time was a lot of time spent on hair However the advantage of reading it in a brief period of time was the cumulative effect of how much hair matters to women or many women anyway and to how we are viewed by others women as well as men Good hair means acceptance popularity success while bad hair means feeling like an outsider And how good and bad are decided has a lot to do with race and the values held by societySo hair and the obsession with it is both individual and societal It affects so many aspect of a woman's life how she is viewed by others and in turn how that gets internalized as part of her self image And how coming to terms with her hair can liberate a woman in many ways energize her and increase her self esteem exponentiallyI found these reminiscences to be consistently well written and engaging and often moving and thought provoking as wellMy thanks to LibraryThing for giving me this book in exchange for an honest review


  3. says:

    I enjoyed most of these essays they are not why I only giving this book two stars I'm giving it a two because of what was not included There was only one that I can remember African American writer and a handful of other non white Also there was no woman who wears a hijab even though there is a picture of a woman wearing one on the cover Just seemed like a homogenous group of writers


  4. says:

    Note right off the bat This is not a book for anyone under 30 Well that's not entirely true nor is it entirely fair because there are some important messages in this book What is true is that the youngest contributor to this collection of stories about hair graduated from college in 2010 That puts her somewhere around the 27 28 range right about now I'm 22 same age as that author was when she was diagnosed with cancer which I to my knowledge do not have and therefore really cannot identify with her story and just graduated college and am still somewhat trying to figure out my own story about my hairI saw this book in Magers uinn Booksellers in Uptown two days ago when I was there with a friend after dinner Instantly caught by the title because as someone who has a sort of tumultuous relationship with her hair it spoke to me Flipped through a couple pages decided I needed to buy it because the essay entitled My Black Hair and the few sentences I read were basically my life as far as I could tell Didn't have enough cash so I went back yesterday bought it started reading started liking it I also started noticing a few things about this book though I appreciate that several of the contributors had self described wild thick curlyfrizzy hair there was only as far as I could tell through the contexts of the other essays one account of a black woman There were other women of color yes but all the other stories about Jewish American women fighting with their mothers rejecting traditional practices of hair growing up and wanting to look like Joan Baez or Janis Joplin did nothing for me It's not that I don't know who all these women are I do; with the exception of two people I've never heard of before I've pretty much heard ofwatched the films starringlistened to the music of these referenced women it's just thatit wasn't part of my time Presumably all but one of these women are now in their 50's 60's 70's All of them talk about their mothers and daughters especially Cancer yes it is life changing in a not so good way is an important milestone and wake up call for a lot of them but it's something I have no experience with nor can I empathize with And it's not that I don't appreciate the self reflection that these women have gone through academically individually and stylistically but some if not most of the struggles are hard to really personalize The fighting with their mothers part thoughthat's pretty universal Also growing up in a culture that also calls good hair a blessing was relieving and also frustrating to read I remember my mom using relaxer on my own curly kinky hair when I was a kid only for Easter and Christmas the rest of the year I was in braids; having waist long box braids in elementary school only for my hair to succumb to the chemical and heat damage and start cutting itself My mom has always blamed me for that syaing I didn't know how to take care of it when really relaxer even mild enough for children should not be used on a child starting at age 6 And puberty was not kind either frizzing my curls that I straightened it almost every day Because as most of the contributors recalled middle school was toughThis book did make me think of my mother's own favoritism of my sister's waist long jet black ringlets over my shoulder length blackish brown turns red in the summer kinky curls even though she says my hair looks healthier now and me it's basically a backhanded compliment that my hair has never looked good until now; her own adventures with short hair then back to long hair the female professors I've had and their hairstyles my friends' hair what my boyfriend thinks of my hair he likes it like it is now natural and to my grandmother's delight does not think I should go back to straightening Which I won't and haven't done in two years simply because I'm lazythe books gives a lot to think about in a woman's life And I wonder if guys have to think about their hair as much Probably not 25 stars it was good but I need something a little youngerThe generational and racial gaps in the narratives were a little too wide for my liking A little variety in the women race ages occupations it seemed like all the contributors worked in academia or journalism and location PLEASE anywhere but NYC again I love the city but c'mon would be spectacular I want to hear about a Native American teenager growing up in South Dakota or a Latina in Seattle or a black girl in some small town in the middle of Iowa Variety is the spice of life Especially when it comes to hair


  5. says:

    I had no idea there was so much to say about hair Wow This was an eye opener for me since I'm that someone who just washes and goes As I was reading these various women's stories I thought about my past hairdos and remembered many stories that I have myself I remember going from long hair to super short abruptly the one time my grandma bleached my hair and how much I hated it until she put a golden blonde rinse on it my perm in the 80's when I was going to be a high school freshman and had to swim in PE and of course the hours I spent before school each morning curling and feathering my hair I'm sure there are many stories but now I'm pretty low maintenance Anyway this was a fun book to read and I found myself resonating with a few ladies than others Thank you LibraryThing for this advanced copy and the opportunity to read and review this book


  6. says:

    like being trapped in a stranger's bridesmaid spa day


  7. says:

    3 12I’m somewhat amused by hashtags such as #bighairdontcare #messyhairdontcare because women care a lot about hair One #badhairday can set the tone for one excruciating daybecause when our hair doesn’t look good we feel less confident Hair is generally one of the first things someone notices Women spend a lot of time on coloring and weaving and treating and styling In August I colored my hair bright red I got many compliments from a surly teen on the streets of Boston to a gray haired man in the office building where I see my therapist Now it’s a bit less bright as I used a color lift on it but it’s a kaleidoscope of reds and blondes I think it’s cool for now but will go back to the deep burgundy I generally color my hair I’m a natural blonde I had blonde hair all through grad school It’s not me It does not suit me My hair is also naturally wavy which I fought throughout high school and college Now I embrace my semi wild rocker hair Although EVERY time I get my hair cut the stylist wants to blow dry my hair straight which just doesn’t work and doesn’t suit my personality I think my hair is one of my best features My minimalist style approach works for me which doesn’t mean I don’t want my hair to look good I just don’t want perfect hair In the introduction editor Elizabeth Benedict writes “While it’s easy to make light of our obsession with our hair very few of the writers in these pages do that We get that hair is serious It’s our glory our nemesis our history our sexuality our religion our vanity our joy and our mortality It’s true that there are many things in life that matter than hair but few that matter in uite these complicated energizing and interconnected ways As near as I can tell that’s the long and short of it”Benedict asked 27 women to contribute to this anthology Writers include Anne Lamott; Adriana Trigiani; Myra Goldberg; Jane Smiley; Hallie Ephron; Suleika Jaouad; Patricia Volk; Siri Hustvedt and There’s a mix of races and cultures represented There isn’t a wide age range or economical range represented Most of these writers are in their 50s and 60s and well off that they can afford to spend much money on their hair Suleika Jaouad writes about losing her hair to chemotherapy treatments in “Hair Interrupted” “My disease has taught me that I can far effectively take control of my look by embracing it and having fun with it rather than forcibly trying to make something it is not” In “My Black Hair” Marita Golden writes “I feel narrow minded and judgmental when all I really want is a world where Black women are healthy and have healthy hair that does not put them in the poorhouse cause health problems or reinforce the idea that they have to look White to be valued And this does not mean that I want a world of Black women who have hair that only looks like mine” Anne Lamott writes a wonderful essay that describes the moment she decides to get dreadlocks Of her look she writes “Dreadlocks make people wonder if you’re trying to be rebellious It’s not as garbling and stapled as a tongue stud say or as snaky as tattoos but dreadlocks make you look a little like Medusa because they writhe and appear to have a life of their own and that’s scary” Then she writes “Dreadlocks would be a way of saying I was no longer going to play with the rules of mainstream white beauty” Patricia Volk shares the list of expensive products she uses in “Frizzball” including a Moroccan oil intense curl cream 45 and Coppola color care shampoo 15 She writes “I am one miniscule reason why the hair care industry according to Goldman Sachs is worth 38 billion a year in products alone” In uite an amusing essay “And Be Sure to Tell Your Mother” Alex Kuczynski gets a full wax to her vaginal area in Turkey “I arrived back at the hotel and my boyfriend remarked that I looked like an enormous eight year old” she writes Good boyfriend Many guys seem to like “no hair down there” She notes “I would learn that in Islam pubic and underarm hair is considered unclean for both sexes and is routinely shaved or waxed” Bharati Mukherjee explains Hindu hair rituals in “Romance and Ritual” She writes “Unmarried girls and wives take guiltless pride in their long lustrous hair But Hindu Bengali tradition reuires widows to keep their heads permanently shaved as one of many gestures of penance” Adriana Trigiani beautifully explains what we all know—society prefers straight hair to curly or wavy In “Oh Capello” she writes “I realize that this straight hair over curly thing is real; they want curls banned I’m a rebel—well not exactly I just do what’s easy—and easy translated from the Italian means curly and if it doesn’t it should” In “Much Ado about Hairdos” Suri Hustvedt explains “A never combed head of hair may announce that its owner lives outside human society altogether—is a wild child a hermit or an insane person It may also signify beliefs and political or cultural marginality” The essays are humorous contemplative provocative and honest These women write about embracing the hair on their head They develop styles to empower them They generally do what makes them happy and do not conform to societal standards Perhaps that’s why there are no twentysomething writers in this group Twentysomethings are still figuring themselves out Not that anyone figures everything out by any particular age; we just become a bit comfortable in our skin and with our hair FTC Disclosure I received this book for review from Algonuin


  8. says:

    Not for me A few gems in here I especially liked Anne Lamott and Deborah Tannen's essays but I would have liked commentary about how hair works as a societal construct and writers of color There are a few but there seemed to be too many essays for my taste about middle aged white women fighting frizz I am also not interested in reading about the exact products the middle aged white women use to fight frizz or the names of their New York City hairdressers


  9. says:

    While the concept of the book was interesting I wish there was diversity represented perhaps some international perspectives on hair as well as American There should have been diversity among classes too because not everyone can afford to go to a hair stylist I just got bored by the barrage of white women trying to make themselves into movie stars


  10. says:

    Not so much Hair story Very much HERstoryThe anthologies of stories here were often touching and insightful and it was comforting to read who even across age class and race hair is never a simple matter But several of the storiesessays had very little to do with hair and seemed to be the author's attempt at working through some other issue in life but forcing really forcing a line of hair connectivity through the matter so that it would be possible to publish in this collection There were a few stories that I felt needed editing or simply a different publication because they were hard to follow or just didn't really seem to have anything to do with hair truthfully That is of course not to say that they weren't beautiful in their own right But I was disappointed that of the stories weren't related to this topic of struggling with ones hair and it's the many meanings we our cultures and societies have imposed on it and our selves If you are struggling with your own hair and personal journey and are looking for specific stories to ease your doubts something to relate to and find comfort in you may just want to go online and browse free forums and YouTube channels and save your money If money is no object and you don't care about hair in particular but simply the experience of being female and having to perform your gender and uestioning society's rigid allowances for that performance and other various traits tied to identity then this is a pretty satisfying read Individually I felt some of these stories deserved 5 stars and a few 2 or 3 and the average was a 4 Again if you're trying to read and don't mind spending the money give it a go