I am my hair / Breaking Fabulous

It’s so hard to love yourself in a world that teaches us to be ashamed of our bodies. The sad part is, nobody is perfect – so there are always new criticisms. No matter how hard you try to fit into the “norm.” It is just some esoteric concept that has people always scrambling to lose a few more pounds, wear ungodly amounts of makeup (even to cover up normal/natural scars), buying different clothing in hopes that this new outfit will finally be the one that makes you look more acceptable, and allowing you to be fat in public without ridicule.

I have enjoyed dyeing my hair different colors over the years, but then somebody told me that people only do that to stand out, to be looked at. I never wanted to stand out – I already get looked at – those constant, disapproving glances. The stare that makes you feel guilty for even showing your fat body in public at all. Like you’re some grotesque freak.  After that, I dyed my hair black. I thought, if the hair is just going to draw even more attention, more judgment, maybe I just want to try to blend in.

After years of going black and blending in, I got bored. I wanted a change. I dyed my hair again, and went through several colors which I enjoyed… but the enjoyment I felt was trumped every time I would get together with friends or family and somebody would mention how it looks better as my “natural” color.

It’s weird, because when I go out with blue hair, into the world… the only people who make comments are usually the ones I can relate with. They say “Hey, I like your hair!” even if I am having a bad hair day. They like it, because it’s blue! They like it, because it’s different. They like it because they see a part of themselves, the part that wishes they could just exist in the world, looking whatever way they prefer, without others passing judgment.

So now, I have a box of black hair dye that I bought with the intent of doing my hair before Christmas. I figured, family would probably be relieved to see that I had come back from the “wild side” in one piece. But even though my pretty blue hair is fading to a weird grey/green, I am hesitant. I look in the mirror, at my curly blue hair and think, “That’s really pretty.” And I never really say that about myself. Not my face, not my body. I’m not pretty. But my hair, look! It’s shiny, and blue, and pretty!

The thing about being fat – you get used to being judged, but you never get over it. Even if you’re able to eventually move past it, even if you finally accept yourself as a beautiful person, you never forget the way people treated you, and judged you, just for being yourself.

I do not want to be ashamed to be in public. And, while I may get some stares and glances, I think my blue hair is something better for people to draw their attention to than my weight. At least they’re looking up – they’re looking at me, my face, my personality… not the fat around my middle.

Maybe black will just have to wait. Black is always there… in my moods, in my heart, in my failures. Black is not where I want to be right now. Once black can represent just a color, and not my self-loathing, THEN I will go black. Once I can be proud of who I am, without needing a distraction.

I’ll go back when I can look in the mirror and say, “That’s really pretty” and not be talking about just the color of my hair.

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