The honeymoon seems to be over. I’m questioning why I have cut my hair. I don’t feel happy with how I look. I don’t FEEL beautiful.
I’ve never thought of myself as beautiful. If anything my body image has always been average to poor at best, just as I’m sure everyone else’s is. But I’ve always had the self-confidence to overcome this.
I also had my hair. My beautiful, beautiful hair. My hair that was always being complimented, even during the “bad” haircut times. I think that I may have underestimated my obsession with hair. I can look back at photos and know exactly what stage of my life that photo is taken in based on length, colour, style, curly, straight, wavy. I had competitions running with my friends for YEARS to see who could have the longest hair. I LOVED trying out different styles in the mirror (although ironically, I rarely wore any of these styles outside of the confines of my room). I definitely didn’t anticipate how much I depended on it to hide behind, to boost my self-confidence.
I feel exposed without it. I feel vulnerable. Vulnerable to judgements. Vulnerable to insults. I think it’s because I have spent a lot of time on public transport over the last few days, surrounded by strangers. Surrounded by people who really are basing their thoughts of me on the way I look, and not the reasons behind why I look how I look, or who I actually am. I’m trying to assume the best of people because they are probably to busy thinking about their own lives to be judging me on my appearance. But this takes effort. It’s exhausting.
I think it’s also because of this – this need to justify and explain why I have such short hair. And I’ve met people for the first time who didn’t know me before I cut my hair. I feel within myself that I need to justify why I look like this. That I need to explain that this isn’t the real me. Long hair doesn’t add to who I am, just as much as short hair doesn’t take away from it. I’m trying to change my thought process. I’m trying to break down my own assumptions, beliefs, perceptions and views of beauty. But again, this takes effort. It’s exhausting.
I’m constantly surrounded by media that is telling me that it’s my attitude that makes me desirable, not the way that I look. But also I can make myself more desirable by looking a certain way. These mixed messages are both confusing and hurtful. I need to ignore this media. I need to remember that I am desired by God. That he desires a relationship with me, and loves me more than I can imagine, so much that He died for me. THAT is my worth.
I look in the mirror and I see my 16 year old brother. And that’s not a problem, because I love him so much. But, I am NOT him. I am me. I need to learn to look in the mirror and see me, and love what I see, regardless of what is looking back at me. Then I will have discovered true self-confidence.
Today, I’m struggling. Tomorrow I might not be. But today, I really am.
I am NOT my hair. I am so much more than the way that I look. We all are. Some days it’s just harder to remember that. Today I’m asking for prayer and positive vibes- that I remember why I have done this; that I remember that everyone is beautiful and people are kinder than we give them credit for; that I remember that I have a Father who loves me and gives me worth; and that I will stop searching for beauty in the mirror, but rather that I will assume beauty in the mirror, so that I can have real self-confidence in WHO I AM, not self-confidence that depends on my hair.
These are my hopes and prayers for everyone in the earth. And today, I need help hoping and praying these things for myself.