I Am Not My Hair

image-1A recent comment from a friend made about my physical appearance really grabbed my attention.

She said that I didn’t look as attractive with when I wear my hair up. I thought about how this comment would have influenced me if I heard it during my teen years. Then I posted the following picture on Instagram and wrote the following comment.

Recently I had a friend tell me that I don’t look as attractive when I put my hair up. I’m sure the intent wasn’t to insult but I thought about how if I’d heard this comment in my teen years, I would’ve taken it seriously. Because back then I associated beauty with long hair. And even more, I flat ironed at much as possible. I’d never put it up. I never dared cut it as short as I have it now. But today the comment doesn’t influence me nearly as much. And I’d go on listing reasons why I like putting it up, but I don’t need to.

Pic 1: teen years
Pic 2: real time – just woke up ”

14138061_10154008838751633_9013476570090191936_oAfter a few weeks, I had a conversation with her about it. And she defended her previous statement by saying that she only said it because I’m starting to date again.

Instead of offering a simple apology, she justified her insult with another insult. And the sad part is that I don’t even think this particular friend realizes that she said it. I have a strong feeling she only made that comment because I kind of put her on the spot. Or maybe she knew exactly what she was saying. Maybe she really feels that my choice of hairstyle makes me undateble. Who knows. And, more importantly, who cares.

If I had lower self-esteem, I’d take her comments seriously. And if I’d heard this comment at a different stage during my life, when I did have lower self-esteem, I would have taken it seriously.

Trust me, I’ve had my share of people telling me how I should style my hair, how I should wear makeup, how I should exercise because I’m fat, making fun of me for exercising because I’m fat, asking me how much I weigh, judging me for my choice of clothing, judging me for the color of my skin, and so much more.

And it wasn’t just the voices of others. It was the voice inside of my head stating that I’m not good enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, and just not enough. However, as I write this today, I realize that I am enough. I also realize that my greatest attributes do not start with my hair.

My Hair Isn’t The Greatest Thing About Me. And It’s Not The Greatest Thing About You, Either.

What is so unfortunate is that girls and women all over this world are starving themselves because they think they look fat. They are changing how they look because someone somewhere told them that they’re not pretty enough because their clothes aren’t of high value or their hairstyle doesn’t make them look attractive. Their physical appearance is in doubt every time they look at their reflection in the mirror.

What needs to be realized is this opinion is just that, an opinion. It’s someone butting in where they don’t belong. It’s really a refection on them and their relationship with who they are and it has nothing to do with you. Not a damn thing.

No scale can define your self-worth. Neither does your choice of hairstyle.

“Does the way I wear my hair make me a better person? Does the way I wear my hair make me a better friend? Does the way I wear my hair determine my integrity?” – India Arie

It doesn’t matter if you think I look cute; it matters if I think I look cute. And it matters if I care if I look cute. My opinion is the only opinion that matters. And I think I look freaking adorable.

I Will Wear My Hair However The Fuck I Want Regardless Of What You Say Or Think. I can shave my head and still rock it.

For someone to imply that I won’t impress my future dates if I show up wearing my hair up is not only offensive, it makes me question the friendship. Women are supposed to be building each other up, not tearing each other down.

So why am I telling you all of this?

Because there’s a woman out there who’s been criticized for her physical appearance. Because a family member has repeatedly called you fat. Because a boyfriend/husband has put his woman down. Because a school girl is being picked on for looking/being different. Because somebody at some point in time has said something to you about your weight, hair, choice of outfit, make up, and face. Because somebody at some point in time has made you feel that you are small or not worthy. And I’m here to tell you that you are worthy.

I’m not saying that physical appearance doesn’t play a role in this society. It does. But what they think doesn’t matter. It’s time to realize that your value starts from within and how you feel about yourself shows on the outside. It’s a lifelong battle but one worth fighting.

You are of value and that validation starts from within.

If I had lower self-esteem, I would’ve taken that hair comment seriously. I’d think, “OMG, guys aren’t going to think I’m pretty if I wear my hair this way.” But instead this is my thought: “If the guy I’m dating has a problem with how I wear my hair, then I won’t date him. Problem solved.”

I know my worth. And it is NOT based on how I wear my hair or the clothes I wear. The dress doesn’t make the girl. The girl makes the dress.

image-11Go ahead and question my hairstyle. But I am not my hair.

And neither are you.

“I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am not your expectations. I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am a soul that lives within.” -– India Arie

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