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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  1. Both you and your hair are beautiful hun!
    I got bullied and put down alot in school so I know how it feels to not have the confidence to try something new that might draw attention to yourself. Going to the hairdressers is like a visit to the dentist for me, I get so nervous, but you did it, you knew what you wanted and you went for it! It's always best to let the true you shine through and it really does looks awesome! Xx

    1. Ahh thank you Emma, its awful the effect bullying can have and how long it can last xx

  2. Your new hair is incredible, I am absolutely loving it. I watched your video last night and I can relate so much. These things, however little.... they give you confidence. Part of the reason I started getting tattooed after the birth of my daughter. You are beautiful, in so many ways. Much love to you x

    1. Ah thank you so much Rebecca, I've been thinking about tattoos lately myself! xx

  3. I really want to high five you right now. You flippin ARE good enough. Your new hair is gorgeous, I'm so pleased it's given you a boost.

    Kate xx

  4. Oh I so get this, self esteem and I aren't really friends either. But your hair looks absolutely amazing! So much so, I want it done myself. I'd be interested to know how long it lasts as I used to have pink ends and they washed out so quickly. But your rainbow hair is truly amazing, I want it!

    1. Ah thank you so much!! It's been 2 weeks now and its still going strong, they say it should last about 5 weeks but it depends on the individual! xx

  5. Firstly can I just say... your hair looks AMAZING! Self esteem is one of those things that I have an up and down relationship with; but I always remember and so must you that you are always enough!

  6. Oh my goodness it is awesome and so are you lovely and I can say that after our chats at Blogon in May! I am similar having put on a more dress sizes than I care to mention after having the boys, I keep telling myself I will get on top of it. But I don't. But I will be doing one thing. Getting my hair done and grey covered up xx

  7. Oh my GOD, you look AMAZING. What beautiful, BEAUTIFUL hair!

  8. This comment might be slightly different but...I have an aesthetic "flaw" which is only fixable with an operation and in my case, it's not going to be permanent anyway so a bit of a sad case. Which is why I always think that people who are not happy about their teeth have it easy. Just try and save a bit and then get an implant or a bridge. IF you truly feel that it will boost your self-confidence. Anyway, my point is, if it is fixable, get it fixed. I will also be getting an operation in the next couple of years because I know it will make me feel more confident. Even if just for a little while. By the way, the hair looks really good and I can see the confidence in your face already.

    1. Ah thank you. I see where you're coming from and I think if someone's only concern is their teeth then yes absolutely, but as I said - mine is much more than that. Everything from my weight, my nose, the way my eyes bulge from my medical condition, my skin - I have more hang ups about my appearance than I could list, which like I the result of years of intense bullying based on my appearance and a long relationship during which I was repeatedly physically abused and ridiculed for my appearance not only by the man himself but his family too. I COULD very easily have my teeth fixed (well, it would require an operation as its a jaw re-allignment that's needed and it would cost thousands because the NHS don't consider it to be a reason for cosmetic surgery...) but it would never repair the damage that's been done mentally - once they were fixed, I'd just obsess over all of the other things instead. That's why I've spent the last year trying to work on fixing the inner damage with counselling, rather just the outward stuff. xx

  9. Your hair looks amazing, I wish I could have colours put through mine but its very dark brown. Whenever I meet someone new the most important thing to me is their inner beauty....from just having a quick glance at your blog, your inner beauty 'sparkles'. I understand how you feel, somedays I have to pretend to have blinkers on, I try to keep my head held high, look forward and concentrate on my beautiful daughter. You are doing amazing and are loved by the people who matter the most. Keep going beautiful lady xx

  10. I can totally relate to this. I've been dying my hair either bright orange or pink for years and I find it's the only thing that make me feel even a little bit confident.
    I'd love to get streaks like yours, it looks amazing! The long wavy style really suits you too, truly beautiful :) xx

  11. The colour is amazing. I've been doing the silver hair thing and I desperately want to try some pink but I haven't worked up the courage to try it yet.

  12. I think you and your hair are beautiful. I'm glad you got it done and got a lovely boost from it. I keep saying I'll get my hair done and then don't because I don't think I'm worth paying money on. Maybe one day I'll be brave too. Lovely photography from Jon. He really knows how to capture your essence, bet he enjoyed being allowed to take these photos too. Why not get one framed for him?

  13. First of all, you are beautiful! Second, so is your hair! That is literally #hairgoals right there! I completely agree you with you that even playing up your hair increases your confidence. I never had rainbow hair like you did, but a few years back, I had a mix of pink and purple tips and I LOVED it! I was getting compliments left and right about it and felt really happy and confident with the hair. Eventually I had to cut it as it was dead ends and I had a lot of interviews to go to but I'm looking to get my hair coloured again. It's so weird but hair adds to confidence for sure!


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