The Return of eLf ideas

ideas of an eLven being in Canada

Monday, November 29, 2004

At Last, I Gave In, I Finally Dyed My Hair

On my way to Canada last year, I was looking forward to seeing lots of blonds. That was inevitable, of course; Canada is a North American country, home to many Caucasians. Upon arrival at the airport in Vancouver, British Columbia, my neck was literally restless. Wow! Blonds, at last. They really amazed me.

After a few days, my relatives brought me to Metrotown in Burnaby, British Columbia's largest shopping-entertainment complex. Wow! More blonds! They were everywhere. Again, they amazed me. And, aside from blonds, Indians (people of India, not the Native Americans or the First Nations Peoples), I noticed, were also common in this part of Canada where I am, but seldom do they dye their hair blond.

Being a Filipino, and now the foreigner in this country, I longed to bump into fellow Filipinos at the mall. And then...bumped into many of them I did. But... What! Filipino blonds? Blond Filipinos!

Yes, I've long noticed that many Filipinos, regardless of age, who I've been seeing here have already become blonds themselves. And they amused me (read: amused, not amazed).

What is that? Adaptive mechanism? An animalistic instinct? Mimicry? Camouflage?

In fairness to those Filipinos, not only they but also many other Asians (Japanese, Koreans, Chinese) who live here—male or female—have the penchant to dye their hair blond. I don't abhor them for that, but it made me think and wonder. (In fact, I'd also been considering dyeing my hair. But not yet. I won't give in yet.)

I wondered, what could be the reasons in dyeing their hair blond or any shade of light brown. Trend? Cool? Weather? Aha, mimicry! Of course, Canada is a North American country, home to many blonds. So, dyeing the hair blond is the best way to blend in, to mix in.

Why blend in? Why mix in? Hmmm. To be inconspicuous? Why elude getting noticed? To avoid falling victim to racial discrimination? Hmmm. To avoid being recognized as a Filipino? Hmmm.

But to blend in, to mix in? That's mimicry – an animal species' practice of imitating a characteristic of another species or natural objects to conceal and protect itself from predators.
Hmmm, lots of predators then in Canada.

Oh, well, what I'm certain of is that among the many reasons behind Filipinos who live here dyeing their hair blond, the worse and most animalistic are: Like some species of insects and many small reptiles, they want to blend in; and, like traitors, they try to conceal their nationality because they are ashamed of it.

Nonetheless, I finally gave in. This afternoon, a few hours ago, I finally dyed my hair. But I did not give in to my animal instinct to mimic. I did not dye my hair to blend in nor to renounce my nationality. I did not dye my hair because I feel embarrassed being a Filipino in North America.

Instead, I dyed my hair to STAND out some more, to emphasize my being a Filipino.

For, this afternoon, a few hours ago, I finally dyed my hair ebony-black.



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