Pink’s Hair and the Nature of Modern Spirituality
I’ve been thinking a lot about Pink’s hair.
My partner is a big fan of Pink, and has been for some time. I’m not too much of a fan, but I definitely appreciate the talent and sheer will of Pink and her career.
As a quick recap, Pink has been performing professionally since at least 1995, and has to date sold roughly 100 million albums worldwide, won multiple Grammy awards and had several hit records. She has toured worldwide, doing incredible acrobatics as part of the stage show. She was given an MTV Music Video Award in 2009 for Artist of the Decade_ In addition to this, she and her partner have been married since 2006, having two children along the way. Her partner and kids have toured alongside her worldwide.
In short, she’s a driven, incredibly talented artist and simply impressive, just as a human being.
In All I Know So Far, she documents preparation and days around some large stadium shows in Europe. Her days are hectic, to say the least: during several stage planning sessions, she works with the crew to coordinate her acrobatic routines and vocals, all against expansive iconic stadia such as Wembley in London. In the background as well are her kids, playing and goofing around like kids do. Later in a day, she’ll be at a hotel suite, trying to get kids to do kids things at a much later hour than she (most parents) would prefer. The next days are the same. Pink notes through the documentary that there’s “transition” from being a parent to being an artist to being a business professional. She’s all one package, all at once. As a working parent, this definitely resonated with me since I’ve tried to separate my professional and parenting personas, to highly variable success. The urge to separate these aspects of my life almost seem essential but at the same time damn difficult, so I have some deep respect for someone amazingly talented at what they do going all in on not doing this kind of separation.
Then there’s her hair.
Pink’s hairstyle is kind of her signature. It’s distinctive, almost the visual representation of her voice and songs. It turns out that she does her own hair on her tours now. She previously had make-up and hair artists do this as part of prep for a performance, but she decided the extra help didn’t actually help and she knows her own hair better than everyone. Also — crucially — she does her hair alone at the same part of the preparation for each of her performances. In the documentary, she mentions that this is intentional, and basically the only time on tour between parenting, pre-show preparation, performing and traveling, that she has alone to herself. This time is almost meditative.
I’m forming an opinion that if something is almost meditative then it is, in fact, meditative. I think this is this case for Pink’s hair.
Meditation and related spiritual practices are hot these days. There’s apps. There’s big endorsements from important people. People are searching desperately for quiet and peace from a collapsing world, or just from a long day. I’ve working on building a meditative practice. And while meditation and spirituality seem like such big, daunting undertakings — particularly when you overthink things on the regular — in some ways, meditation is as simple as getting your hair did.
Pink has probably one of the craziest and busiest lives of anyone you could find these days. Yet, she does find time for a meditative practice with meaning. It is well defined. It is routine, as in it happens at periodic times during her day. And it brings her solace and peace.
I have no direct line to Pink or her family, and nor do I have any deep insight into her thoughts. But someone who’s that talented, that dedicated to her lifestyle and has found a way to have a true meditation practice says to me that something right is happening here. Whether Pink stumbled into this practice or sat down and made it intentional doesn’t quite matter when it seems to make as much sense as it does.
I think meditative practices are deceptive: “Sit and be quiet, meditate and focus for a bit, then you’ll find inner peace”. This feels so easy, so simple, but I can tell you from experience there’s much more to this than it seems. Life gets hectic, aperiodic and sometimes there’s even emotions involved. We struggle with new concepts and new ideas, since we are always learning (or having learning forced upon us). True spiritual practices take time and dedication to build, even after someone makes the decision to actually have such a thing in the first place. We need to find ways to integrate meditative practices into our lives, and not try to clumsily move around our lives to accommodate such practices. Pink shows how this could be done.
Finding time for spiritual growth can be a challenge, particularly for those of us with busy lives. Of course, sometimes the answer to this problem is staring back at us in the mirror.