Tuesday, September 11, 2012

An elusive wish.

We stood in line
to be selected for the play
five- year- old, confident, eager
knowing all the lines
by heart.

We need a blonde ingenue, the director stated
to parents and children waiting to be called up on stage,
a sweet, innocent, most beautiful and fair
ingenue whom everyone will love
and admire.
If you are blonde, come up front.

We looked around, and all of us with dark
hair and dark complexions
marched out without an audition.

I'm o.k, I said,
squeezing Mother's hand.

And for the next forty years, I kept looking for
that magic product that would help me look like that
blonde ingenue, that sweet, innocent, most beautiful
and fair.

Wanting to be  chosen stays with you forever.


  1. oh it does
    our lives are stilled
    at moments like that
    they keep that part of us from moving forward sometimes
    until you have an epiphany like I did at 50
    that we are who we choose to be
    and I went platinum for a while
    discovered that beautiful sensual woman who I really was
    only I had to believe it
    now I'm just many shades of blonde
    My father was mexican so I know this line of hurt....well

  2. Who decided that the only ingenue had to be blonde and fair of skin? "Blondes have more fun" was a huge advertising ploy in the 60s--even as a child I understood it (I was not blonde). Stuff like that only contributes to girls' and women's low sense of body image, much less self-esteem. Insidious, and dangerous.

  3. We are who we are. If we want to be something different from who we are, we can do that. It will be a learning situation, for sure. What one leans for that experience depends, again, on who we are.

  4. Isn't that the truth! Who decides what is beautiful?? I wasn't blonde, wore clothes my mom made for me, and didn't fit the mold.

  5. what is it about blond hair? i had a mousy brown bowl cut as a child and recall wishing i had "long blond curly hair with bangs"

    you touch so eloquently on that childhood sense of longing....and yes, it stays with us.