I wake up late and now I have to rush in order to be on time. I splash some water on my face, brush my teeth, grab some coffee, mascara and lipstick, throw my hair in a ponytail and I’m out. I am pleased at how quickly I put myself together and yet I still feel like that mom who let herself go after having 4 kids. By “let herself go,” I don’t mean she is not beautiful. She is. In fact, she is absolutely gorgeous. It’s just that she has been putting everyone else’s needs before her own for so long that she forgot she hasn’t had a hair cut in three years. She can’t even remember the last time she received one of those “I’m going to slide right out of this chair” scalp massages. Her hair seems to always be in a messy bun or high ponytail or half covered by a headband. And her curls! Where did they go? I know this woman who let herself go all too well. From time to time, I was that woman.
There was a little girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead.
And when she was good
She was very very good.
And when she was bad
she was horrid.
When I was little my mom used to sing this to me as she laughed at my little curl that always seemed to land right in the middle of my forehead. As I got older, she would play with the banana curls that used to frame my face. She had dead straight hair. (except for the times when she permed it). I loved my hair! I loved the color. I loved the thickness. I loved the curls. Sure, sometimes I wish the curls were tighter or that I could find the right product to make it bigger. But for the most part, I loved my hair.
In eighth grade, I cut my bangs, started experimenting with color and eventually went to short hair. If adolescence isn’t painful enough, I realized that most of my self esteem lived in those thick, long, wavy locks. I no longer felt beautiful. I blame society. I certainly had the encouragement from my family and friends assuring me of my inner and outer beauty. But society can do a number on teens.I let my curls grow back through high school and I loved them again.
Then came college. I was doing everything I could at this point to escape the battles I would have with my hair every morning. Walking through the windy campus everyday wreaked havoc on my curls. One day I walked into a salon and said, “Shave it all off!” Aaaaahhhh...freedom! Those skinny, long haired models who were dictating to women all over the world what beauty is? Screw them! I am beautiful! Short hair, long hair, wavy hair, straight hair, brown, black, in a messy bun or flying wild. I am beautiful!
I spent the next 20 years or so in a battle between owning my truth (I love my short hair) and fitting in to society’s message about what people find attractive. I dated a man who, after telling him I was going to grow my hair long again, said to me, “I have a preference for long hair.” WTF! Self esteem sucker! That relationship didn't last. I grew it out though. And I loved it. I stopped coloring it and allowed my grey halo to shine. But at the end of the day, I found myself wondering if my hair had gotten flat since I left my house. I kept checking myself in the mirror and fluffing it. I kept wanting more curls, less frizz. I was spending far too much time playing with my hair and less time focusing on all the things I wanted to accomplish in a day. I was receiving compliments on how thick and beautiful it was. (Confidence booster). But this love/hate relationship with my hair was sucking the fun right out of my daily life
Enough was enough! I cut it all off again. Actually, Angelo Rizza, a master artist and my stylist of 25 years, cut it. My smile got brighter. My confidence boosted. I returned to my bright red lipstick and large earrings. I didn’t do this because people said “Short hair looks great on you” “ I wish I could wear my hair short.” “ Your face is so beautiful.” I did it because I have far more important things to do than play with my hair all day. I did it because I feel more confident with short hair. I did it for ME.
Stop listening to the madness of whatever social media is telling you to be or do. Do you! Own your truth and beauty your way. And shine your light however you want to shine it! Maybe it has nothing to do with your hair.
Whatever is your self esteem sucker or confidence booster,
I see you.
I honor you.
I am here for and with you.