Dr. Phil

Dear Dr. Phil:

I don’t normally write letters. I have a natural aversion to drama if it’s not written by Mamet or Shakespeare and I don’t feel the need to clutter the in boxes of television personalities with my opinion, because lets face it, you will probably never read this letter.

However, yesterday on your show you said something that resulted in an outcry from a fair number of my friends (and several interesting phone calls). You see, I am one of the terrible members of society that you mentioned on your show–you know, the ones who don’t deserve friendship–the girls over 21 who have blue hair.

Fortunately for me, my friends are far more open minded then you are and were quick to assure me that they were, indeed glad that they had chosen me for a friend.

You see, my friends realize that I am more than just a hair color. I make the best chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever had and I can build you a set or fix your car. I am a writer and slam poet, and actor, musician, artist, director, computer programmer, video gamer and much, much more. The fact that my hair happens to be blue has absolutely no bearing on my worth–it merely means that I happen to really, really like the color blue. And it makes me look good.

I am not a menace towards society. I am employed by a Catholic high school and several other businesses at which I split my time between working and going to college. I’m a senior this year, and I’ve maintained a 3.6 or higher for my entire scholastic career (not to mention the straight a’s I got in high school). I am a scholarship recipient and am very blessed in both my professional and personal life. My mom approves of my hair color, as do the members of the church that I attend (and they even let me sing in the choir–imagine that) and the students that I work with.

Defining anyone based on ill-conceived perception–whether it be someone with a different hair color or someone with a different skin color–is wrong. Next you’ll tell me I should only choose white people to be friends with, or stop calling my disabled friends because they aren’t worth my time.

I have always believed that everyone has value and everyone has a story to tell. I have met fantastically interesting people from all walks of life by living by this simple motto–and I have never regretted a single interaction, whether it be from a soccer mom or a guy with hundreds of tattoos. Thanks to my involvement in theater (and my blue hair), I have met all sorts of people of all different ages and different backgrounds and personalities. I have had amazing conversations with Wal-Mart checkers and high powered attorneys who have stopped me to ask me about my hair.
I refuse to believe that I shouldn’t be friends with some of them because of how the look or whatever silly rules you might have about who you pick and choose your friends to be.

Lumping a group of people together to be written off as not worthy of friendship is terrible, but for something as trivial as an alternative hair color is absolutely ridiculous and reflects poorly on you. You should know that the most interesting guests are those with a unique story or talent to share–I have loads. I just happen to wear one of my most unique qualities on my head. And my friends are okay with that. And I am proud to be “that girl with the blue hair”, because as long as I keep meeting interesting people, I can keep making new friends.

Catie Osborn

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