I used to have really nice hair. I usually kept it long and it was pretty thick and soft and shiny if I styled it. Wild if untouched. Not super curly, but wavy and out of control and couldn’t get it to stay straight even with a flat iron. I got a lot of compliments on it my whole life. And I was pretty obsessed with making sure it looked perfect whether it was down or up, no matter where I was going or what I was about to do. This also drove my father crazy because it was one of the reasons I would take forever to leave the house. Another reason is I kind of liked making him mad for at least four years. Sorry, Pop.
I loved having pretty hair. And along with trying to keep my skin smooth, my teeth white, and my weight down, my self-worth and confidence thrived on people – especially men – telling me I looked nice.
Well, now my hair ain’t shit!
Insert manic, laughing and crying emoji.
I’ve had some pretty stressful months and it has literally fallen out everywhere. In the shower, in the car, at work, in my friend’s bathroom where her and her two year old helped me vacuum them all up. I heard “Stacey hair” every morning after they took me in, which made me giggle because she’s adorable, but sad because she was right.
At first, I thought maybe I had a low stress tolerance, but then I realized..if your body is rejecting you and making your pretty, wavy hair break and straighten and fall out of your 29 year old head, then you are probably a little too good at carrying a lot of stress and at some point your hormones have just had enough. I guess this is one of their ways of telling us to chill the fuck out. Except, how do you proceed to chill out when your hair is falling out and you’re getting divorced and you already feel like a pile of shit and you’re supposed to be getting that hot revenge body and stuff? Oy! I love this game. Anxiety makes hair fall out, hair falls out and leads to more anxiety. It’s quite cyclical. Which is fitting, especially being a person with a vagina. Thanks hormones.
Also, I’m gonna see how many times I can say vagina in these blogs to make my dad upset.
Anyway. It’s been a mind fuck. Learning to not be my hair. No one even notices except my mother and my best friend and her toddler, but I notice and it sucks.
And, did you guys know that your hair could actually hurt? I have had a tender scalp all day every day since January. Super easy to not think about, right???
But, I’m learning to embrace it and actually enjoy saying fuck it and try not to worry about it.
This is all pretty minuscule shit in the grand scheme of things.
I’m not dying, at least the doctor said I wasn’t – actually three doctors, I went to three and cried and yelled at them to fucking fix me – but it cut me and scared me and made me have to get out of the mindset that so many of us humans, especially women, have – that our physical attributes make or break us.
And I really wish we didn’t tend to feel that way about ourselves, because that shit really doesn’t matter.
I mean, I’m never ever going to be one of those people who will demand that you stop telling me I’m pretty because that’s dumb! Tell me I’m pretty all day long, y’all. But, it’s not okay to rely solely on this for our self-worth and purpose and to pressure ourselves so much and to try so hard just to make other people enjoy looking at us. It’s exhausting!
You’re not your fucking hair!
Who said that, India Arie?
Bet she didn’t say fuck in that song.
I should stop and be more lady like…
You’re not your fucking hair, lady love.
Not at all.
You are how far back you tip your head to let go of your genuine laugh. The one that gives you a double chin no matter how thin you are.
You are the sweat that dampens the low back of your dress when you change your tire on the side of the road; and the sweat that poured from your brow when you gave birth to your son.
You are the strength it takes to slide a three hundred pound man up in a hospital bed, or to simultaneously carry your groceries and your sleeping five year old in from the car, or to flip that fucking car over if your baby was under it.
You are the guts to let go and let him in, or the guts to give in and let him go.
You are the tears that well up in your eyes when your friends get married or when you get so angry it hurts and you cry when you try to explain why something is making you so upset.
You are the balls it takes to swim a little farther out to catch the better wave, or to apply for the job, or to sign the papers.
You are not just your curls, or your tits, or the little black hairs that have started to line your inner thighs or jawline.
You are the thoughts that explode in your brain, the words that slip off your tongue, the vibrato that deepens your blues and melts inside people’s ears and slides down their throats.
You are all the things you believe in and also, all the things you don’t condone.
Be that, own that. Stand by your non-negotiables.
And stop worrying about your stupid hair!
It looks great.
He doesn’t even really notice, anyways.
He’s just excited someone as amazing as you is even talking to him.
And he should be amazed.
And you should relax.
And trust that you are worth so much more than this shell that you didn’t even get to choose.
Because you are.