I ain't gonna dye no more!
Who would've thought my decision to return to my..er..roots was political? A feminist statement against the perceptions of female beauty and the youth culture of America?
Not me. I was just tired of the mess and expense.
Or so I thought.
Having never been a particularly pretty woman (or child or teen for that matter), I've had a long strange journey with my looks. As a teen, I struggled with thick glasses and braces and thick frizzy wrong colored hair. In my twenties, I indulged in contacts and make up and clothes and anything else I could think of to make myself pretty. So when I started going gray at about age 25, there was no way in hell I was not going to dye my hair.
But something began to happen in my thirties. I was raising a child, I had returned to college, I was cleaning up the inside of me. It was a decade of challenging many of my notions of myself. Just why did I think I was ugly? Why did I think I was stupid? Why did I think I couldn't acquire the security I craved?
And once I challenged and proved wrong many of those notions, I spent my early forties actively pursuing the life I wanted. I ditched the dysfunctional marriage. I took the job I wanted. I got my own apartment and filled it with my own things. I bought my own house. I began to do things I had always wanted to do, but just never did out of some sense of not being worthy of my own dreams. I realized that not needing to be a social butterfly, not needing many friends, not needing to be popular was okay. That my small circle of friends was okay. That I liked to spend time alone with a book was okay, because it made me happy.
And somewhere along that path, I lost the outside focus. I found that making sure I was neat and presentable was all I really cared about. Rarely do I ever think about what I look like. I think about how I feel, I think about how I can make others feel, I think about what I can do about my little corner of the world, but no longer do I find myself looking in a mirror, moaning that I'm not pretty.
It isn't worth the time or emotional energy.
I suppose my decision to stop coloring my hair is, if not political, a natural out-growth of the idea that the inner me is more important than the outer me. If I were coloring my hair because I liked the variety or liked to change my look around as part of making the inner me happy, that would be one thing. But I wasn't. I was doing it out of habit, because I'd been doing it for so long.
I had no idea I was stepping into a sexual/political swamp of youth vs. age. I didn't think I was making a feminist statement. But if it has to be a statement, let it be this: Know yourself, know what makes you happy and do it.
Loki sez: Doing The Twist makes me happy!