Going to My Head.
One evening in New York, I was making my way through the crowds in Union Square and noticed that one guy, in a group of passing guys, had trained his gaze on me. He was preparing to say something, I could tell. I braced myself for a "Hey, baby" or something of that variety.
As he faded past me and into the crowd, here's what came out: "Nice forehead."
It was the first time that I had ever been publicly mocked by a stranger for my forehead, but it wasn't exactly surprising. I learned early on that my sizeable frontispiece was an aesthetic liability. I wore bangs for my entire childhood and adolescence -- first because that was the cute hairstyle that my mom had picked, and later because hairdressers informed me that I "needed" them.
When I decided, at age 18, to seek independence for my forehead and grow out the fringe, it felt like a major rebellion. On the one hand, I had set myself free from my grade-school look. On the other, I became subject to people telling me that I looked like Helen Hunt, a comparison I do not find desirable. The Hunt comments later gave way to Leelee Sobieski comments. I hoped that the similarities would remain superficial, and that my life trajectory would not mimic those actresses' careers.
I know that Helen, Leelee and I have company in our forehead status, but none of them makes me feel better. It's one thing to have a fivehead and be famous with a great body. It's another to resemble Clint Howard.
Having extra space up there affords me little advantage, as far as I can tell. It would be nice if it meant I could rule a planet, or come up with the cure for cancer using my huge frontal lobe. Instead, all it really means is more real estate for my skin problems.
Women's magazines always say to accentuate anything "different" that you may be self-conscious about, thus turning beauty lemons into lemonade. I'm not sure how one would accentuate a large forehead, other than using it as space for advertisements or tattoos. Lately I'm wondering if it's time to just grow my bangs back instead.