DEAR ABBY: What's the best thing to do when someone insults me for being myself? My hair has been bright blue for the last two semesters of college. I like it. I'm young, and my family is letting me express my "wild" side while I'm in school.
Six months ago I went to meet my ex-boyfriend's mother, and the first thing she said to me was, "You're one of my son's phases, right? Boys don't actually bring girls with blue hair home to Mama." Abby, it was with my ex's encouragement that I dyed my hair this bright color.
My family, my church and most of my teachers think it's OK. Is there a social stigma attached to exotically dyed hair? And what's the best way to react when someone insults me for just being myself? -- NICE PERSON IN WALLAND, TENN.
DEAR NICE PERSON: Whether there's a stigma attached to looking different depends on who is doing the looking. Some people -- your ex-boyfriend's mother, for instance -- find it off-putting. Did you tell her that it was with her son's encouragement that you dyed your hair blue? It would have been interesting to see her reaction. It would also be interesting to know what shade his current girlfriend's hair is.
When others comment about the unusual color of your hair, instead of treating it as an insult, smile and say, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Then change the subject.