I suddenly realized that I have a very different look now and upon thinking about it, it bothered me that you still picture me with long brown hair. Because that is not my hairstyle anymore.
I cannot say that I’m happy with my new look in its current state, however, a couple of months ago it was just lovely and of course it’s a work in process.
During my visit with my mother a couple weeks ago, she commented that she liked my hair long and auburn-colored, and when looking around her home and seeing multiple pictures of my younger self, particularly from my early 20s, I understood why. My hair was quite lovely and I looked hot.
I wondered why there were no pictures of myself from the last 10-15 years around her house and I realized that I have shunned photo-taking of myself (unless it’s very-controlled selfies) and have felt unattractive for the past 10-15 years, with only brief exceptions. It’s as if the camera loved me and brought out the little bit of happiness that was hidden inside, but that it had since my late-20s has not been able to do this.
There are no family photos other than my brother and I in our late teens/early 20s. There are pictures of my children (my mom’s grandchildren) about, but not of my immediate family (my husband, my kids and me). I wondered as a mother and grandmother how she felt about this, but I didn’t bring it up because I didn’t want to have a discussion about how my life choices have made me feel unhappy and unattractive.
When she said she liked my hair long and auburn I told her that ship had sailed. Long hair no longer feels like “me” and my graying hair makes it hard to keep that color without a ton of maintenance. And, let’s face it, I’m lazy AF, so I gotta do what works for me.
I decided to make a sort of compilation of emojis of my general hairstyles from high school to today with commentary. I hadn’t realized how big of a deal my hair was to myself or others (boy, have people always had opinions on what I should do with it!)
Here is my hair in early high school. It was long and wavy, poofy if I brushed it out. Lazy but unkept but pretty at the same time. Plaid shirt and choker necklace is a very accurate description of what I’d wear. Even the shoes look about right. Except they were purple suede. Yes, purple suede. Tacky? I didn’t think so! I was way more proud of those shoes that my beautiful long hair.
I cut my hair somewhere in later high school, much to the dismay of my classmates. But you’re hair was so pretty! Gee, thanks. Unfortunately, since I was still just as lazy it turned into a big poofball.
I chose to make my bitmojis look miserable because I wrestled with extreme depression and felt that way inside, though outwardly I actually smiled a lot. Oh, and I wore mostly contacts. Loved my flowery outfits with dark lipstick.
Sometime in college, I cut my hair significantly shorter. Sporty. Cute. Cooler in the hot Florida sun. Liked my stripped sweaters. Oh, and I started wearing glasses occasionally.
Later college I grew my hair long again. Decided to dye it burgundy which everyone loved. Strangers would comment randomly, Your hair is SO pretty! Please note this was still before it was fashionable to dye your hair a non-natural color. It felt edgy to dye my hair. LOL
In my mid -20s I got married and had babies and stopped feeling or trying to be attractive. The reasons for this are beyond what I’m comfortable sharing publicly but my late 20s I started feeling very unattractive and never really recovered from that. I started gaining a lot of weight and my hair started growing gray (stress? probably).
In my 30s my hair slowly lost more and more of its color so I started dying it more. Trying to keep that auburn color or at times burgundy. I was too poor to go to a salon so I’d use box dyes and over time they’d fade and it wouldn’t look so great. Most of my 30s my hair has ended up looking like this (faded and bronzy):
Since my mid-30s it has become a less and less attractive look as my natural hair color has continued to fade:
So a few months ago I had my hair cut dramatically shorter and had the color corrected so that the bronze was taken out and my hair was a cooler tone:
My coworkers had opinions. Most of it was a positive reaction because it looked like I was making the effort rather than sticking it in a bun. Though some of my coworkers seem to grieve the loss of my long hair asking, Do…you like it? Yep! I did. I liked it so much I started styling it every morning because it was so fun and I started interacting with people differently because I felt more confident.
Then a couple months later when my gray started becoming obvious again I had my hair cut even shorter and colored a little differently:
I liked it even more than the last color and cut, though the reaction wasn’t as positive. But I liked it, which is what matters. I liked that I didn’t have a ton of hair on my neck and I felt like I could do even more with my hair since it wasn’t as poofy.
So then my grey started growing in again (my hair grows REALLY fast) and so I go into the salon again and this its latest form:
As you can tell from the emoji, I don’t like it. I’m blonde now, and it does not suit me AT ALL. I, of course, could have gone back to my stylist and asked her to change it, but I didn’t want to hurt her feelings. Which…seems a bit silly considering I paid a lot of money and should be happy with the results. HOWEVER, I get really weirded out by people touching me and she’s the only person I’ve found outside of immediate family that I don’t mind touching my head. So I wanna keep her. Fortunately, when it’s time for my next appointment I can just tell her I want to try darker again, which won’t be a big deal because for the past 6 months I’ve been experimenting with my look.
What I’m hoping to settle for, and can’t pull off yet unless I lose a massive amount of weight (I’ve gotten quite chubby) is something like this:
Shorter hair is more “me” now and I want to have some personality and color. I realize it’d make me look a little like a boy but I’m caring less and less over time about looking feminine. To be honest, I want to feel attractive on my own terms and not other people’s.