I'm A Grown-Up Who Loves Wearing Bows In Her Hair

I've been wearing bows forever and have no plans to stop. But if you're not really into them, well, do I have an alternative for you!
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Maria Jose
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I've been wearing bows forever and have no plans to stop. But if you're not really into them, well, do I have an alternative for you!

I'm not hiding my face in embarrassment; the bow is just on the back of my head.

I'm not hiding my face in embarrassment; the bow is just on the back of my head.

I don't know if it was a '90s thing, a Mexican thing (have I mentioned I'm from Mexico?), or simply the fact that my mom was particularly crafty, but my sisters and I wore hair bows pretty much from the time of conception until double digits.

We had bows in every color, every shape, and every size--and for every occasion!

Pigtail bows!

Pigtail bows!

Swimming pool bow!

Swimming pool bow!

Riding on a pony bow! (AKA size-of-my-head bow!)

Riding on a pony bow! (AKA size-of-my-head bow!)

Our bathroom walls were lined with long ribbons onto which our endless supply of bows were hung. Every morning my mom would stand us in front of the mirror, spray our hair with a liter or seven of water, squeeze an enormous blob of L.A. Looks gel onto the crowns of our heads, and pull back with the finest-toothed comb she could find, much like the, if not the, one we used during that week we all had lice (we can talk about that another time).

She tied our ponytails using plastic-ball hair elastics, stretching our hair back so tightly our eyes reached the sides of our faces like animals who need them there to avoid being eaten. Then, she would grab a bow from the wall and garnish our throbbing, gooey, wet heads.

Memories...

Perhaps this nostalgia factor is why I became so excited in 2010 when I saw bows were becoming a thing again. No matter how you wear one, the feminine flair a bow adds to any look is undeniably adorable. And you can find them everywhere, from American Apparel to your drawer full of old scrunchies and Babysitter’s Club books.

Now, I know what you’re thinking (because I am an intuitive, sensitive woman, with a lot of love to give, boys): You’re not into wearing a bow clip because you feel they might be NSFW or make you look like a really big five-year-old. I hear you.

I think I look pretty goddamn professional, thankyouverymuch.

I think I look pretty goddamn professional, thankyouverymuch.

To get the same feminine feel without that whole there's-a-giant-bow-on-my-head thing, try a ribbon elastic for a more subtle approach. This accessory makes any outfit that much more thirty, flirty and thriving, and YES I only used that phrase to reference Thirteen Going on Thirty, and NO there is no connection there whatsoever.

I first spotted these bow alternatives at the gym, worn by the toned, tanned, Lululemon-clad fitness aficionados on the elliptical machines. Then I saw them in Sephora, and Target (by Goody), and even Kourtney Kardashian’s Instagram (by the LA-based, teen-run company Emi-Jay). I don't know if that makes this idea more or less appealing to you, but whatever--they're cute.

Although I still have a soft spot for full-blown bows, ribbon elastics have one distinct advantage: you can wear them in your hair AND on your wrists, and they look like pretty little bracelets. You’ll look fun, fashionable and feisty in no time! (No movie reference this time--just some alliteration. Sorry, Jane.)

Are they bracelets? Are they hair ties? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW.

Are they bracelets? Are they hair ties? THE WORLD MAY NEVER KNOW.

Do you ever wear a big ol' bow in your hair? SHOW ME!