This summer (around June or July), it will be a year that I’ve had short hair… And that was a big thing for me as I had spent almost my entire life with long hair – aside from a cut that I had my senior year that devastated me for a bit…
I had went into a salon at JCPenny asking for a layered haircut that was just right at shoulder-length and the stylist ended up cutting it shorter and above my shoulders (and this was right before my senior photo shoot too). Not to mention, she turned me away from the mirror and then I couldn’t see what she was doing at all. She had also asked my mother to go wait in the lobby area. I used to have my mom watch the stylists so they wouldn’t cut too much of my hair off.
That cut devastated me just enough to vow to never cut my hair short again… And it stayed long for years. That is – until last summer. I am not sure what really changed my mind, but I remember figuring that I wasn’t getting any younger and that you only live once… So – I took the plunge by starting with a bob and then going to a pixie-cut…
At first, I had wondered what it was that I had done. I had hid behind my hair for so many years .Quite honestly – I never really had liked my face. I used my hair to hide. It was my security blanket. When I cut my hair short, I had to really see myself. I had to learn to like myself and get acquainted with my face. In high school, I didn’t have the straightest teeth in the world and often got made fun of. My senior year, I ended up getting braces – and I was already wearing glasses. My self-esteem was pretty low and sadly – those confidence issues followed me into adulthood.
I never have thought that I was that pretty. When I was younger, I would sit in front of my mirror, and often scold myself – asking why was I so ugly? Afterward I would cry, and wish that somehow, I was just a little bit pretty – so people would stop making fun of me. So many people judged me by the way that I looked, that they often didn’t get to know who I was on the inside. I knew deep down, that I was a good person – even if I didn’t look good enough.
Another thing that doesn’t help is that I am a bit of a perfectionist. I like to look neat and put together. I wouldn’t dream of going out in my PJ’s…. I would have to be pretty sick for that to happen. No matter how sick I am – I even brush my hair out a bit before heading off to the ER.
And it is’t that I am materialistic or have this problem that I need to impress anyone. It comes from years of low self-confidence and constantly worrying if someone will make fun of me. After cutting off my hair, I have had to learn to get to know myself. And I know – it isn’t about what is on the outside. But I have hid for so long – that I feel – that I really didn’t know who I was….. I’ve not only hid from the outside world with my long hair, but I hid from myself.
With short hair, I couldn’t hide anymore. I had to look into my eyes in the mirror. And as I looked into my eyes – I did see one thing. I am not a monster and I am not that ugly person people used to say I was. I do have a kind soul behind those eyes. A kind soul that is kind to others. Even on the days that I don’t feel so pretty – I do know, that I have a beautiful soul on the inside.