Crowning Glory -- An Experiment in Self-Discovery Through Disguise may initially sound like a psychological self-help read; but in actually it is an unusual memoir based on the author's experiment in wearing a number of wigs in New York City, assuming personas which change as often as hair color in the process of discovering who she is and how appearance changes psyches.
Her idea for this transformation didn't begin overnight with an Internet buying binge: all her life, Stacy Harshman felt defined by her hair … what it wasn't, and what it could or should have been. What began as a simple acknowledgement of the limitations on her life imposed by her self-image and longing for flowing locks and her investigation of why bitterness had grown to permeate her psyche evolved into a determination to buy not just one wig, but to wear a series of changing wig colors (same style) and analyze changing reactions to her hair.
Her initial experiences after she dons her first wig are dramatic and leads her into an unexpected exploration of the influence of hair in self-image and psychology.
Photos throughout do a terrific job of illustrating these colorful transformations as Harshman tells her story, adding visual impact to an unusual research process that weaves in and out of dating and personal relationships, the reactions of strangers, and how her hair affects all facets of her approach to life; whether it be on the dance floor, in internet cafes, or on the street.
Expect a lively romp through the dating world with plenty of opportunities for exploring the results of Harshman's changes. In the course of conducting these experiments, Harshman finds her own healing path through life, altering her world and finding a different kind of romance in the process.
Any reader who would consider the process and result of self-transformation will find Crowning Glory a lively, pointed story of what it means to change one's image and, consequently, one's life.