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Tell Us About Your First Protest

Illustration for article titled Tell Us About Your First Protest
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As all 50 United States and a handful of cities across the globe protest racial inequality and the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless other black Americans by police, the world is watching. It’s inspiring to see how outrage against injustice can mobilize into meaningful protest, and it’s made me curious about all those who are marching for a cause for the first time ever. No one will forget this time in American history, and for those people, they’ll never forget the moment they learned the power of collective organizing.

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This week, instead of using Pissing Contest as a welcome distraction, I think it might be nice to share stories of our first protests. What was the cause, where were you, what did you learn? How did it change your life? If you participated in a Black Lives Matter movement for the first time last week, how was it? I’m curious to hear all about your experiences.

But you know the drill: before all that, it’s time to reveal last week’s winners. Here are your most disastrous makeover stories.

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Boopboopboop, this is a solid case against cutting your own hair while drunk:

Mine was as much a makeover, as it was a horrible drunken mistake (in my experience, the WENN diagram of these two is normally a circle).

I have healthy and relatively thick hair, but it’s also very fine. Sooo, I’m prone to many a fly-away, and the scourge of all scourges- baby hair. I hate it with all of my being, but in recent years have learned to make reluctant peace with it. Mainly due to the below.

A few years back (I was still in my mid-twenties then, so not a teenager- there’s no excuse), I’d been out to the pub with my in-laws and drunk, umm, quite a lot. I came home and was washing my face in the bathroom, and all the baby hairs we’re sticking to my wet, cleanser-covered face (too drunk to wear a fucking headband). So of course in a moment of pure drunken genius, I decide that the best thing to do is to just take my manicure scissors and snip them off, right at the root. After all, there’s not that many of them and they’re so fine, I shouldn’t be able to see them at all if I cut them!

How very, very wrong I was. Being fine and not weighed down by their own heft, once the hairs were of sufficient shortness they just SPIKED UP. Al the way around my front hairline. I looked like a hedgehog in a wig, and continued to look that way for a good 3-4 months until the hair re-grew sufficiently to start actually behaving like hair again. The lesson is simple, but apparently bears repeating, if only to myself- DON’T DO STUPID SHIT WITH SCISSORS WHEN DRUNK!

Bernd, I am so sorry:

That time I was 14 and I didn’t have stylist so I just went with my mom and left with the ‘I want to speak with a manager’ hair.

But worse, because my hair is thick and heavy and should never be cut that way.

BrooklynRoscoe, statement eyebrows are it:

One time I decided to trim my own bangs and I ended up snipping off half my right eye eyelashes to nubs. I would love to say this happened in high school or college, but it was like 3 years ago when I was 35.

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Ree-sah, Nooo!:

The worst make over I’ve had is easily the make up trial I had before my wedding. I asked for a natural look. Against my wishes, she tried to contour my flat and wide Filipino nose into a pointy one! She thought I looked amazing and took a pic of this for her portfolio. I went with a different make up artist for the wedding and specifically stated “No contouring!”

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ItsSmallerOnTheOutside, this is a nightmare?:

Freshman year I decided to dye my hair red BUT the color I chose was more magenta and I had the brilliant idea to leave it on longer than necessary to make the color brighter. Oh it was definitely brighter but it killed my hair and turned into this weird plastic straw like material.

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Stoncils, this is... not the kind of disaster I was expecting to hear about in the comments. That is so tragic:

In high school, I had a pony tail down past my shoulder blades (guy). It became my ‘thing’. One weekend in senior year, I decided to chop it off. I was so pumped for people’s reactions. That Sunday night, the captain of our softball team died in a car crash. I didn’t find out until I walked into first period and one of our mutual good friends saw me and, through sobs, said ‘nice haircut’.

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Samantha Stevens, was it Halloween?:

’90s — remember the ’90s? Shopping in a department store and got offered a free makeover by a lovely cosmetics consultant. When I looked in the mirror when she was finished, I was treated to the sight of light-orange lips lined in solid black lipliner against my pasty skin. I thanked her then ran, ran, ran to the women’s room to wipe it off.

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bourbonmillerj, I hope you were actually compensated at the end of that nightmare:

In 2012 I agreed to be a hair model in a large, regional hair show. I wasn’t being compensated, just doing it as a favor, and was assured the stylist would listen to my requests. I had two: 1. Natural hair color (I was in law school and interning) and 2. No bangs (due to a cowlick that meant bangs always ended up looking like a late 90’s teen heartthrob’s hair a la Jonathan Taylor Thomas). The master stylist spent two days backstage doing my highlights, they were incredible, and planned to show off a cut technique on stage to the 300 or so stylists in attendance. I got on stage holding a tray of the company’s products as he introduced the technique, explaining that I’d requested no bangs but he really needed to show everyone his cool new trick. He grabbed half my head of very thick, fine, coarse hair, twisted, and cut it off into the kind of bangs you’d see on a toddler. The front half of my hair was now long, ugly bangs with a part in the middle and the back was like weird steps. I started sobbing and ran off stage. About 20 sympathetic stylists found me in the bathroom, brandishing business cards and offers to fix it for free they felt so bad. It took 2 years of learning new ways to pin up my hair to grow those suckers out

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Drop those stories below. Remember, if you are sharing photographs from ongoing protests, think twice about doing so—or blur out protesters’ faces.

For a list of where to donate to help people fighting for racial justice, go here.

No. Senior Writer, Jezebel. My debut book, LARGER THAN LIFE: A History of Boy Bands, is out now.

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DISCUSSION

thedrdonna
"Not a real" DrDonna

Trans March SF, back when I was a baby trans and still mostly masc-presenting! I was so dang nervous, because I wasn’t out at work and it was really one of my first times going out in clothes that sorta-kinda fit my gender identity. At that point, it still felt like I was waiting for the other shoe to drop-to get outed at work, to have my family or friends reject me, all the stuff I had been terrified of while in the closet (and all of which never came to pass). Going there, seeing the amazing variety of people, realizing that my “women’s jean shorts and tee” outfit was *boring* compared to the naked people and drag queens and huge glorious profusion of NorCal Weirdness... It was a truly unique experience and I wouldn’t give it up for anything. It’s been a few years since I was last able to go (it’s always on a Friday, and I work a regular 9-5), but it had a huge effect on me, underscoring that I wasn’t alone, that I wasn’t weird, that there are so many people out there who go through the same thing and much more.

Plus, it really underscored for me what a joke Pride parades have become. Rainbow-themed parties where the police are invited and corporate sponsors build huge floats...nothing like the actual protests and revolutionary actions that birthed the modern LGBT movement.