|Brunette (August 2010)|
I was born blonde. Correction: I was born bald, and became a blonde as soon as the little baby hairs started sprouting from my baby head. When I went to college, my blonde turned dark and I started coloring it. I didn't even know what my real hair color WAS.
Then, about 3 years ago, I decided I should grow out all my highlights and donate my hair when it became long enough. By the time I had my gastric bypass last January, I had cut off all the highlights and only needed about 4 more inches of length to meet the minimum donation. Then, I got hit with post-surgical hair loss. So much fell out that my ponytail wasn't even big enough to fill any of my barrettes--down to about 1/3 of it's former density.
Basically, donating the 3 strands of hair I had left was not going to happen.
So I decided that if I couldn't donate it, I might as well get it colored back to it's former glory. That's right, people. We are talking blonde (well, highlights anyway).
So this evening I took the plunge, the results you see in the photo above. And when she turned me around in the chair and I saw myself, I felt like me. I felt, dare I say it, pretty. Finally. Not in the way that "I can't possibly leave the house without makeup!" way. But in the way that every person has the right to feel--regardless of whether or not they meet some arbitrary standard of attractiveness--simply because they are comfortable with who they are. I felt pretty in the way that you feel when someone who loves you looks into your eyes. Only this time, I was looking at myself that way.
For years I have been denying myself that gift. I've been unable to see the good things about myself, and I've been especially ashamed of how I looked--to the point that I just went into denial. I stopped getting my hair colored or cut, I bit my nails to the quick instead of growing them out and polishing them, I avoided doing more than mascara, etc. On the outside I told people that I wanted to do something nice by donating my hair, I was trying to live a lower maintenance lifestyle, I was going organic and wouldn't wear too much makeup. It sounds good, but it's not the truth.
The truth is that I couldn't abide looking at myself in the mirror. All I could see was the fat that covered me. I couldn't see past it--not that I'm a hard worker, or that I'm a good person, or that I have value. I started to let all the many parts of me (both the good and the bad) go by the wayside. Fat became who I was, how I defined myself. The problem with avoiding the reality of who and what you are means that you get stuck there, with no option for growth or change. Blinded by the fat, I guess.
Now losing the weight is reminding me that I am more than my appearance. More than my fat would let me be. And, frankly, one thing about myself that I'm re-discovering is how much joy I get from being girly, wearing makeup, playing dress up. Not because I have to to meet anyone's approval, but because it's fun. What better way to start the new year and celebrate the changes I'm making than with highlights? And to remind myself that it's OK to look into my own eyes in the mirror and see some love.
Now it's your turn--go do something that makes you feel pretty.