Friday, April 11, 2014

If I Wanna Dye My Hair Blue, I’ll F*n Dye My Hair Blue!


Approximately 6 months ago, I made a decision that I thought was out of maturity and convenience.  I decided to stop dying my hair.  Just a quick lesson in my personal relationship with my hair, I’ve been coloring it since I was 13.  I hold true the philosophy that “It will grow”, which allows me to make rash and drastic hair decision.  Long to short?  No sweat.  Black to platinum?  Been there, done that (with chemical burns in the process).  What on Earth made me think that it was the grown up thing to do to stop enjoying my hair?  I have to go back further than that, I think. 

I used to wear makeup, just about every day.  I was good at wearing makeup, I knew what I was doing.  Somewhere over the last 15 years, I just stopped.  Maybe it was during my five year long struggle with mental illness (that’s a WHOLE other story for another time), although there were some days in there that I made my face up in a way that was worthy of RuPaul’s Drag Race.  But we won’t talk about that right now.  At some point, did I begin to feel like it was just too much effort?  Did I feel so ugly that I thought, geez, not even makeup can make this look good?  For whatever the reason, I just stopped.  My baskets and bins of makeup went unused, gathering dust in a cabinet in my bathroom.  Pretty pinks, jewel-tone greens, luscious lavenders, glossy blacks, rich bronzes….all sat like forgotten Easter eggs.  When I packed up to move into my new house last summer, it was like a bittersweet reunion.  Lovingly picking up each item, one by one, turning it over in my hands and wondering if I’d be wasting precious box space packing any of it at all.  Something deep inside of me wouldn’t let me toss those colorful and sparkly pieces of my history into the trash bin.  There was a little voice that whispered, “Maybe…..just maybe.”  I did rifle through those bins around the holidays.  I hastily slapped on a bit of foundation and some lip gloss just in time for company to arrive for the Christmas buffet I’d prepared.  Yet I still never gave much thought to those containers, except in aggravation when I couldn’t put the clean towels away in the linen closet because they were in the way. 

Lately, I’ve been reading a lot online about body love and self-acceptance and, I gotta tell ya’, it’s been throwing me into some unexpected internal turmoil.  At first glance, I mistook this recent revelatory movement to simply be about fat women wanting to feel ok about being fat.  But the more I read, on sites like The Militant Baker and Everyday Feminism, the more I realized that it’s much more complex than that.  Two weeks ago, Vidal Sasson flicked on a night light in my brain with their commercials for their new London Luxe hair color line.  I’ve always been partial to red hair, I think it compliments my complexion.  And this new Vidal Sasson London Luxe Runway Red is screaming, Crayola crayon red….and it was love at first sight.  I ran (ok, I drove) over to Walgreens, bought a box, came home and immediately dyed my hair.  And with the abundance of silver cropping up in my mane, man, did that color take in a most awesome, mutli-tonal way.  And I felt just a little bit better about myself.  I hadn’t realized that the “natural highlights” my biology had blessed me with at the age of 38 was making me feel so old and frumpy.  No hate to the ladies that love their gray and can rock the shit out of it, y’all look awesome; it just turns out it wasn’t my cup o’ tea.  With my new flaming locks, I felt more like myself than I had in a long time.  And I didn't care if anyone else on Earth likes it because I LOVE it!  It didn't even bother me that it was attention-grabbing red, hell, some people were going to look at me sideways anyway because of my size so what's the difference?  I was a little sad that they didn't have the blue hair color.   One step at a time, I guess.

Yesterday, it was like someone turned off the soft glow of that nightlight shining on my inner self and replaced it with an outdoor flood lamp, finally clearing the rest of the fog and spiders.  For me, body love isn’t just about feeling ok at my current weight, it was about loving myself enough to put in a little time in front of the mirror.  I mean, screw what the world thinks about how I present myself, I was tired at looking at my pasty face and under eye circles.  I showered, shaved my legs and blew my hair dry; that wasn’t anything new, I did that daily.  But then, instead of pulling on a pair of XXL yoga pants and an oversized sweatshirt, I decided to sport a pair of jeans (non-stretch, might I add), a black cami with crocheted lace trim and a black cardigan.  I blew the dust off of my contact lens container, rinsed the crap off the lenses and put them in my eyes.  I ran the straightener through my fiery red hair, making it smooth and even shinier than ever.  I rummaged through the linen closet, dug out all of my makeup bins and sat of the floor, remembering when I used to know where everything was.  I finally found the perfect shade of foundation, under eye brightener, black eye liner and blackest black mascara.  So the mascara was mostly dried up and the eye crayon had definitely seen better days, I worked with what I had.  I carefully lined my eyes, taking the time to smudge it with my liner brush so it was the perfect amount of softness.  Aside from the time I spent trying to find the tools and medium, I spent about six minutes on my face.  Six minutes.  And you know what I thought when I was finished and looked in the mirror?  “Wow, she’s pretty.”
 
 
 
I had forgotten that I was pretty.  That brought me a fleeting moment of sadness, which was swiftly replaced by overwhelming happiness and, dare I say, self-confidence, the latter of which has been missing for so long, it had been officially declared dead by absentia.  Before leaving the house, I even opted to leave my charcoal gray cable knit Bobs in the entryway in favor of my athletic shoes.  Just before leaving, I pulled the cosmetic case out of my purse (I have no idea why it was even still in there) and painted on a coat of Too Faced Lip Injection gloss and I was ready to go.  And what was all this fanciness for?  I was going grocery shopping.  I didn’t care that the me of six months ago would’ve thought that I was ridiculous for applying makeup and wearing nicer clothes for running to the supermarket.  I felt damn good about myself.  And when I smiled at the people in the market, it wasn’t my normal “see, I’m friendly please don’t hate me because I’m fat” smile that I usually flash out of a feeling of uneasiness.  It was a “hey, look at my pretty face get even prettier because I’m feeling great about myself” smile.  And that smile feels so much better.
 
I like the pretty me, I want to hug her and welcome her back.  I have invited her to stay a while…..hell, to stay forever.

5 comments:

  1. Just so you know you are pretty even without the makeup BUT I have to admit the makeup and the hair make you even prettier. Thinking I need to schedule a makeup session with you so I learn to apply my make up better. Never mind I hardly ever wear it now either but there are occasions I do slap some on.

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  2. Aw, thanks Linda. As I read your comment I thought I felt a sneeze coming but quickly realized it was a happy tear. You're an awesome friend, love ya' girl!

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  3. You are welcome but just stating the facts! And I feel the same way about you-that you are an awesome friends. I cannot even begin to count the number of times you have helped me through a work day! Love ya too!!!

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  4. Okay I just have to add that I really posted the prior comment at 2:35 pm but it is showing as 12:35 pm. What is with that???

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  5. Lol, I never changed the time zone setting from Pacific to Central. Fixed.

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Be nice, now.