Ok so this is a weird but true thing I struggle with.
I’m totally insecure about blonde hair. I grew up believing blonde hair was superior and more attractive over brunette. Mind you, I am a natural dark reddish brown myself. I’m hating on my own damn self here.
So I grew up believing my hair color was not beautiful. It’s true.
I sat down and tried to figure out where the hell that came from. Why did I think such a thing? Where did it come from and why was I still holding on to it.
I just recently in the last year started wearing my hair my natural color and it has made me increasingly insecure at first. I’d look at myself in the mirror and honestly didn’t believe that I was the most beautiful version of myself….because my hair was brown.
But why is that ONE THING the reason why I don’t feel beautiful? This hair color that I, for whatever reason, believe is not beautiful on me. Mind you, I just believe this about myself, not others. It’s just brown hair ON ME.
I used to think the same about my breasts. I grew up flat chested and believed that having breasts was ideal and so when I was old enough, I bought a pair. Yes, sigh, gasp, surprise! My tits are fake. Let’s move past that.
So I did the same thing with my hair. I believed blonde was superior so I spent 20 years dying it blonde.
I believe this stems from my high school days 2000 – 2004 (although I’m sure there are some visions of disney stories that tainted my idea of beauty in there too). The blonde girls were popular. I was sooooo not! In fact, I got made fun of a lot. I was awkward, not very girly – hair in a ponytail, no makeup, flat chested, baggy jeans and a hoodie type girl. I was not at the top of any hot lists, that was for damn sure.
So blonde = popular and blonde = beautiful. It was established.
A lot of famous females from my teen years were blonde too – Gwen Stefani, Madonna, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Paris Hilton….just to rattle off a few. And maybe I just noticed them more because they were different from me, who knows. They were all so beautiful and I was jealous of them or idolized them in so many ways.
So blonde = famous = sex symbol = loved by the masses.
Then that thought got beaten into my brain by my abusive ex-husband. He put me down for lots and lots of things. My appearance was on that list as well – my boobs, my hair, my body – the works.
Blonde = ideal wife = happy husband.
Then I moved to orange county where pretty much everyone was blonde. Barbie dolls walking around everywhere, it was hard not to compare myself to them and the social ladder I had been climbing. The expectations of what I should look like were high. Bleach blonde hair was all the rage so I had to have it. I started going ALL BLONDE sometime in 2010 I believe though I had been streaking blonde in my hair since I was 18.
Blonde = wealthy = accepted.
I kept my hair blonde until 2019 where I finally started letting the roots grow. It was more so out of utility because I was broke and couldn’t afford to dye my hair blonde anymore.
You know, if I added it up, I spent thousands on my hair every year. Thousands of dollars just to be blonde! Trying to meet some expectation that really had nothing to do with the color of my hair, did it?
So we’re talking 20 years of believing, whole heartedly that blonde was superior. That I looked better blonde and that I would look worse as a brunette.
I got sober and decided – it’s time to tackle that insecurity. I let the blonde finally grow out of my hair. I started last year with a growing out blonde mohawk and ended the year with a healthy respect for my brown hair.
What I discovered is, my insecurity wasn’t really about the hair at all. It was all this idea that was planted in my mind as a teen that had sprouted into a full on bed of weeds in my thought garden. So I took some time clearing it out, living with my natural brown hair and realizing that it all was just an illusion. I just need to re-wire the way I thought about hair and what my hair said or didn’t say about me.
What it came down to was feeling good in my own skin, whether I have brown hair, blonde hair or neon green. Feeling uniquely myself no matter what clothes I have on, what car I drive, the job I have or whatever we’ve been groomed to think makes us who we are.
At the end of the day, I needed to learn how to love me.
This may seem like such a small thing, but small things leader to bigger things. Nothing is insignificant when it comes to feeling good about yourself and figuring out why or how you lost that confidence along the way.
Sometimes we have to challenge things that make us comfortable. Challenge our own ideas and put ourselves in uncomfortable situations to nurture growth.
I’ve grown fond of my darker hair and I no longer worry about the color of my hair. I’ve moved on to bigger better things and have embraced what my genetics has given me.
Might I dye my hair again some day? Sure! But it won’t be because of my insecurity about my own natural color.