My boyfriend’s mother, who is in excellent health and has a full head of hair, has taken to wearing wigs. She photographs herself in them and texts the pictures to us. My strategy has been to ignore the photos and hope the wigs go away. My boyfriend responds by saying how much better she looks with her own hair. Should we come right out and tell her we don’t like the wigs?
-Hannah, Oakland, California
Perhaps you live in a simpler neck of the woods, Hannah, but when I walk outdoors, I see folks who have injected synthetic materials into their faces to minimize wrinkles; surgically implanted devices into their cheeks, chins, breasts and calves for greater shapeliness, and sewn hair into their scalps.
Plopping a wig onto your head seems like child’s play by comparison. Leave Rapunzel alone. If she wants to fiddle in a temporary way with her hair color and style, what’s the harm?
When it comes to the beautification projects of others, my credo is: “Answer ever, volunteer never — and even then, only as tactfully as possible.” I can see why you might interpret the pictures she sends as requests for your opinion.
By that measure, your boyfriend is doing a reasonably good job, saying he prefers her natural hair.
But if I get a vote (and it is primary season, after all), I cast mine with the Wig Party, which favors playfulness and a bit of temporary fun, over the expense and excruciating pain of those cosmetic procedures — which must have preceded Dolly Parton’s new film “Joyful Noise.”
Wednesday, May 22
We sat down with Anne Pasternak for a few questions about Creative Time's past and future, as well as the importance of having an awareness about public art in the city.