Look at the last 6 months of my instagram feed, and you will find an alarming lack of bomb ass selfies. Or, really, any selfies.
Most of my life I’ve had long straight hair, in varying shades between dark brown and light brown. By no means a rainbow, but always in danger of being a ‘Becky with the good hair.’ And unbeknownst to me, it was kinda my thing. It was my safety blanket.
My body or my face or whatever else might of been the imperfection of the week, could be easily forgotten with a swish or a flick.
Two years ago I lost all the love in my heart for no reason and dyed my perfect Cara-inspired grey brown lengths to match my soul. Black. It made me look as sad as I felt. It made it a lot harder to wear the happy girl mask. This was likely the start of a strange hair dysmorphia. Which seems funny and trivial, and it is, but it also really wasn’t.
Over the next year, it was a rainbow. Starting with bleaching almost immediately over the black. Making orange. Then making softer tones of orange. Then declaring my love for purple shampoo. Then confessing my sins to shocked hairdressers. Then crying and running from said hairdressers.
At one point I would be dying or toning or cutting my hair at least once a week. Sometimes very subtly and sometimes very drastically. I’ve worn extensions, and plaits and hats, with blue and green and silver hues. We’re talking lobs and bobs and blunt cuts and bangs. And don’t even seriously talk to me about layers, ever again.
I wanted to recapture the safe and stable identity I had so closely correlated with my hair. But I was chasing a consistent character with constant change. I would be asking my friends every week, is this the best hairstyle for me? What do you prefer though, long and dark or short and blond? Obsessed.
It could've easily been perceived as vanity, but it was never about what looked the best, it was about answering a much bigger question. My perpetual identity crisis manifest in such an external way. Who am I?
I now have a blonde chin-length bob. But just because I have a bob, doesn’t mean I am a bob. It just means I’m asking myself who I am, and answering with a guess, a blonde bob?
The short layers of my last emotionally traumatic haircut have finally grown out and I’m celebrating that small victory with a bomb ass selfie.
Happy mid-life crisis to me.