I am a “hats” girl. Always have been. When I was little I was never seen without one of my two favorite hats, a beat up baseball cap that my Dad gave me, or my cowboy hat. I was a major tomboy, and even though I had long hair, I always wore it pulled back so that I could pull my ponytail through the back of the ballcap, or tuck it under my cowboy hat. I never really was much of an “appearances” kind of kid, or a girly-girl. I didn’t wear makeup, or carry a purse until I was well into my teens. It just didn’t seem important. I mean really? When you’re breaking and training horses, taking transmissions out of old trucks, and learning to weld, which handbag to carry is not really something you have to worry about. And who wants mascara running down their face when you’re swimming your horse upriver? And dresses? Fuhgeddaboutit. Those were reserved for church, and were immediately ripped off and tossed haphazardly when arriving home, while running full speed towards the barn. But, hats. That’s a different story. You really don’t think about needing one until you are outside. The sun, the rain, the wind, all those things are what hats are made for.
Now that I am grown with two children of my own, I still like to wear my hats. I like fedoras, newsboys , berets , anything that can be jaunty and masculine but feminine at the same time. I like to buy costume jewelry brooches and pins to wear on them. It kind of adds my own twist.
I look back now and realize that when I was growing up and wearing my two favorite toppers, that sometimes it wasn’t always about protection from the weather. Sometimes I think I used my headgear as protection from other things. I was very different from the girls my age, and caught a lot of teasing on account of it. So the hats became almost like an armor to wear to keep people from getting too close. There is something about a hat that kind of keeps others at a respectable distance. The brim on a hat can hide your eyes, and can make it easier to see what others are thinking , without them doing the same to you. I ‘m not really sure why I felt like I needed that force field of protection at that point in my life. I felt different , and you know when you are a tween or a teen that “different” is a very hard thing to be.
I don’t feel vulnerable like that anymore, so now I just wear hats that feel fun. Or whimsical. I don’t have to hide. I’ve grown into my uniqueness, and what people think doesn’t bother me anymore. It’s really okay to be different, and every body will not necessarily wear the same “hats” in personality, or in life!