Monday, October 4, 2010

Welcome to Oz

My favorite theatrical production is WICKED – The untold story of the Witches of Oz. I've seen it three times! (Chicago, San Francisco and Richmond). As you know, in the land of Oz there’s an Emerald City. It’s the one place where Elphaba – the green wicked witch of the West – feels at home (at least for a while).

Now imagine that you live in the Emerald City. In this place everyone dyes their hair green. Parents dye the hair of their newborns as soon as it begins to grow. Children and adults are expected to regularly dye their hair to keep it presentable. You yourself have dyed your hair all your life. Maybe you’re a student at Emerald U., or a professor.

Suppose you discover that the green dye used to color your hair is mildly toxic to your scalp, and you just don’t like the color green for hair. You decide to let your hair grow out in its natural color. As your brown roots begin to show, people take notice. They stare at you. They laugh at you and call you names. Businesses refuse to serve you. Reporters and cameramen from far-off lands follow you around and local newspapers do stories on you. All because you want your own, natural hair color. How messed up is that?

Welcome to Oz.


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