Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Over The Rainbow: How A Hair Style Helped My Self Esteem

If I had to use one word to describe myself, it would be unconfident.

Actually I'm not 100% sure that's even a real word...but if it is, then no doubt there will be a photograph of me underneath it in the dictionary I'm sure!

I've struggled for years with low self esteem, infact it's something that I've even had counselling for recently - my counsellor always blamed it on a number of factors - being bullied at school and my abusive relationship being the main things, but I know that I felt this way long before any of those things happened.

I'm not sure why or what caused it - to be honest I think that some people are just born that way, with feelings of self doubt and not being good enough just built in.

Whatever the cause, it's stayed with me for my whole life and as much as I'd love to believe that one day I'll overcome it - I doubt that I actually will. I'll certainly never be one of those super bubbly, life-of-the-party mega confident types that I always look at and admire from whatever corner I'm hiding in at social events.

In the last few years, since having children, I've felt my confidence take even more of a knock.

When my first son was born my anxiety reached an all-time high and I struggled with even stepping outside the front door for months. 

One thing that has been a huge contributing factor in all of this is my struggles with weight.

I've just written a good three paragraphs about that and why I struggle with it, but I'm actually not going to go into all again - I've spoken about it before and will be talking about it again in an upcoming post, so if you want to catch yourself up about that you can read about it her - because I'm not going to waste any more of my time apologising for my size.

But anyway - the point is - I have always wanted to do something different with my hair. I have always wanted to have unusual colours put through it and at least twice a week I would search Pinterest for "Mermaid hair" and look longingly at all of the gorgeous styles I found.

And I so desperately wanted to have those colours put through my own hair - once or twice I experimented with some dip dye  - but I never felt confident enough to go all out with it.

Because I was so afraid of drawing attention to myself.

I hate anybody looking at me. If we're out and Jon is taking photos, I get so agitated and demand that he doesn't point the camera at me incase anybody looks and wonders why somebody so ugly would want photographs of themselves.

It sounds dramatic but I spend so much of my time berating myself over my flaws - I beat myself up daily about my weight, about my discoloured front tooth, about my big nose, and all of the other things that I tell myself contribute to my over-all ugliness.

Everytime I share a video or post a picture, I panic about what people might think. And even if people leave nice comments, I always find myself reading between the lines...."They said they liked my outfit, I bet that means they think I'M hideous and they're looking for something nice to say..."

And so for these reasons, I've always thought that having colours like this done wouldn't be for me.

Lately I've even been wondering if I should have all of my hair cut short, remembering all the comments that my ex-fiances mother used to make to me about how I was too old to have long hair (I was 26 at the time...) and that I really ought to cut it soon...

Come to think of it, she was most definitely another factor that contributed to my low self-image - I lost count of the number of times she'd comment on my ugliness or my weight (even though I was only a size 14 at the time)...

And these comments, these things people say, even the things people don't say - when you're constantly hearing everyone around you congratulate each other on their attractiveness and you're never included - they stick. And they chip away at whatever bits of self confidence you have left.

Until there's none.

But this week I decided I'd had enough of dreaming about how I'd love my hair to look and that it was time to step out of my comfort zone.

I went along to a new hair salon (H & Co Hairdressing in Torquay) and an amazing hair dresser listened to exactly what I wanted and did it for me.

And do you know what? I feel like a different person since I walked out of that salon today 

Don't get me wrong - I know my confidence isn't going to shoot through the roof overnight, and even this morning I had a wobble and almost cancelled my appointment.

But I'm so glad that I didn't.

I know that at the end of the day, it's just a hair style - but it feels like more than that. It feels like a step in the right direction self-esteem wise. 

And even baby steps are a big achievement.

I don't know if I'll ever get to a point where I feel happy with how I look, I'll never feel confident about my weight and my teeth will always give me major anxiety, but today is the closest I've ever felt to it.

Today I felt confident enough to stand at Torquay Seafront and let Jon take photos of me while passersby looked on...and I didn't think to myself "I bet they're wondering why someone so ugly wants photos of themselves"...I thought "I bet they're thinking Wow, her hair is bloody awesome!"

And even if they weren't...Even if they thought my hair was crap....Who cares?

Because I think its awesome.

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