Wigs have become increasingly popular around here in Qingdao. I run into a lot of girls with beautiful long tendrils of shiny golden hair and then compliment them – they then tell me where they bought their hair. Some girls at work even started rotating the same wigs so I can’t really tell them apart anymore, at least not at first glance. At first it was a bit disconcerting to see girls pull their bangs right off or to see old ladies with luscious black curls pinned to their greying buns, but the trend is really starting to grow on me. I even bought one of those messy bun extensions that sort of matches my hair color. The real question is – if Chinese girls can change their black hair to blonde, why can’t I change my blonde hair to black?
You see, I’ve always wondered what it would be like to walk around China without being stared at, pointed at, or talked about. It’s true that there are more foreigners where I live now so it’s really not as big of a deal as it was a few years ago, but I still wonder what it would be like to truely blend in and not stand out. So I bought a wig! I bought a long black wig at a 格子铺 shop. I would finally fulfill my dream!
The next day I decided to dress up like a normal Chinese girl. I wore some clothes that I bought with my Chinese girlfriends – converse, tights, long hoodie, short skirt (the style in Qingdao is highly influenced by Korean styles). Then I put on my long black wig and ventured out into China. Only, I didn’t blend in.
I did on first glance. I was dressed like most girls my age and my hair didn’t stand out, but I’m really white. I’m usually pretty pale, but in contrast to the black hair, I glowed! People were doing double-takes. They’d all walk along not noticing me then stop, turn around, and check to make sure they saw right. People just stared on the bus. People usually don’t stare that much. My face was burning and my head was itching.
All day, it took everyone a few seconds to realize I wasn’t Chinese and then they just stared. I didn’t really get why people stared more than with my natural hair color. My friends later told me that I looked like the dead girl from the Japanese horror movie the Ring. So much for blending in.