Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Mohawks Are Everywhere

Mohawks. Yes indeed, they seem to be everywhere I look these days. Within the last five years I myself have been guilty of wanting to once again, shave, chemically relax my natural tresses (and that's no lye!) and sport a modern day mo hawk. With every bit of mohawk temptation, I always decline.

Being the very cool age of 34 has nothing to do with maturity or some out grown rebellious phase. At this age, I have still vowed to never let my heart die, to always love the Bad Brains, and I am even more rebellious now than ever...I have just learned to pick my battles. 

I vividly remember being a freshman at Franklin high School, arriving with a brand spanking new pair of 10 holed Dr. Martins. I remember my best friend, who demanded that I call them 'Docs' because calling them by their full name was simply not cool. I also remember catching an earful of heat from those that simply did not understand why a  bi- racial, Black and Hispanic girl like me dared to come to school wearing combat boots. I had some nerve. By the end of the school year, it seemed like most of those who laughed at me had jumped on the bandwagon and were proudly wearing a pair of their own! I was not happy.

Later on, I began to experiment with my hair. In the 90's, more and more women of color would braid their tresses, adding extensions of synthetic or human hair. When I was 16, I wanted blue extensions and wore them proudly, in spite of the ridicule, later changing colors like pink, and purple. I lost a boyfriend due to my choice to wear bright blue braids. "You just want attention", he boldly stated. "You just want a boring, conservative girlfriend" I retorted as I stormed of, loving my blue braids even more.

Then age 19 just seemed to roll around. My first punk band was called Dehumanized. We were three Black and Hispanic musicians with a White drummer, adorned with mo hawks, liberty spikes, and various other homemade punk garb. We often ran the streets of New Brunswick, playing all ages shows, or partying.  Sometimes, people would yell "What's the f@#%'s wrong with you!" from their car windows. Throughout the day strangers who were bold or rude enough would ask "Why do you do this? Why do you dress like this? Are you a witch?", declaring my self expression as a phase, or simply calling me 'crazy' or a 'freak'.  All I can say is that I am, and always will be an artist. You only live once.  

Suddenly, rap tress Lil Kim began to wear wigs and weaves in an array of colors on what seemed like any video that appeared on MTV. More and more artists that were not Rock affiliated began sprouting up like dandelions, sporting little faux hawks and boldly colored tresses, all jumping on the band wagon. Now, they are everywhere, and having one just doesn't mean very much these days. 

Today, more and more females are going to salons to get a fresh 'Faux Hawk' cut, most of which have never even heard of the Bad Brains, or only dabble in Rock. Fashion trends seem to have such a way of saying "This is so cool! Jump on the band wagon here!" I can just picture a colossal sign in neon with an arrow pointing to a horse drawn wagon, with a line of monochromatic- copy- cats miles long.