It was 1996 and Geena Davis played a woman named Samantha, who was really a spy named Charly, in The Long Kiss Goodnight. It was one of my favorite movie scenes of all time when Geena Davis makes herself over in a hotel bathroom, cutting of her long permed mom hair into a short crop and bleaching it blonde. She ditches the mom wardrobe for a patched up leather jacket and sports thick black kohl eyeliner. It was awesome! I always wanted one of those moments my whole life but alas my experimentation was typically less epic.
I had short hair a lot throughout elementary and early high school. I always wanted to experiment with my hair, and even my clothes, but more often than not it could be met with serious backlash at school. My freshman year of high school I cut my hair really short, before pixie's were cute. The first day I sported it at school I was called a dyke which continued for a considerable amount of time. When I told my father, he told me "If you don't want to be called a dyke, don't look like a dyke". I've found that most people don't like change and my father opposed my mother cutting her hair as well, so it wasn't just me. People in general are uncomfortable with people who look and act differently than they do. Not because they don't like them but because its new and foreign. They don't know how to act and sometimes the first reaction you'll get is a bad one. Not because they are bad people, just because they are human.
So I quickly learned that being myself would come with ridicule which was something I couldn't handle. I did my best to be someone that wouldn't attract negative attention but I couldn't change what God gave me, and I didn't want to. Clothes were a different story and I never really got it right. One year I got this beautiful turquoise full length cotton skirt from C.J. Banks to wear for special occasions. I loved that thing and felt really pretty in it. That was until one of my friends in school told me, and everyone else, that I looked like Laura Ingalls Wilder. I don't, and can't blame her for any of my insecurities. I'd rather go back to tell my younger self that: Its the people who build you up that will remain in your life, keep them close, and share the love.
I struggled for many years, always wondering what people thought of me and how I looked and then... I stopped. It was a weird sensation and I didn't even notice until someone pointed it out to me. The biggest thing in my life that I can credit for that change is Al-Anon (a support group for the family and friends of alcoholics). I have learned how to focus on myself, my actions in this world, and not to worry about what everyone else is doing or thinking. I can only control what I do and the greatest gifts I have in this world are forgiveness and love. Which also means forgiving and loving myself for who I am. Once my focus shifted to me I no longer had time to worry about what people thought of me. I found a freedom like I've never known and I'm so happy that I did.
Its odd to think how powerful something as simple as a haircut can be but I get great satisfaction from doing it myself. I always felt like people wanted to put me in this neat little box. As humans we compartmentalize and categorize which can be problematic when it comes to people. Like Heather Simmes put it: "It is hard to be yourself if others won't let you be yourself and it's important to do what you want. You only live one life, if you want to cut your hair short, do it, it grows back," (BoredWithBeauty, "Q&A With Heather Symmes," April 09, 2015). I feel that I'm finally in a place in my life that I can be myself and am surrounded by the kind of people that support that.
I really wish I could get a better picture but I'm sure all of you ladies out there with dark hair know how hard it is to capture texture in a photo! It is amazing in person, ha ha. Inspiration wise I used Heather Symmes (@heathersymmes) and Holli B (@madamehols) and I actually use Holli's tutorial to style my hair: Holli's Tutorial, which will give you a better idea of how it looks in real life. I used their hair styles as guides, as my face shape and hair line are different so I went with what I felt comfortable with. It'll grow back if I decide I don't like it.
I finally got comfortable enough to wear falsies out in public but lipstick is still for the privacy of my own home! Funny what's easy for one person is difficult for another, and vice versa.