My sense of humor helps me laugh through my frustrations of life. This piece is intended to be sarcastic humor to all humans, including myself, who unknowingly wound people’s self esteem. We think we are helping but what we may not realize is we can unintentionally wound people with our critiques. We’ve all done it, some more than others. I try to be mindful about what I say but sometimes my big mouth overrides my heart. Seeking to understand before seeking to be understood helps me keep my resentments at bay. Humor helps me let them go and to laugh at life and myself.
Here is one of my recent favorites.
Q: Have you seen your hair? It is so gray! Ugh, why do you have so much gray hair for a woman you’re age? You need to dye your hair!
A: No I haven’t seen my hair. For the last 18 years I’ve managed to avoid all mirrors, glass surfaces or pools of water that may shine my reflection for me to see myself. Of course I’ve seen my gray hair. Duh? Are you saying that I’m ugly for being myself?I’m not a science or medical genius so I can not give you the exact reason why my hair started turning gray during my teen years but I’m pretty sure it’s a combination of genetics and environment. The age old question of nature vs norture. This concept of what is genetic vs environmental actually intrigues me quite a bit and has led me to consider returning to school to study behavioral physchology. Still debating the whole school thing. Remember I don’t enjoy writing. The reason I’m not dying my hair is two fold first of all let me say it’s a choice. Surprisingly my loved ones are the people who’ve had the hardest time accepting my decision. They have nagged me and repeatedly voiced their unsolicited opinion of my hair color. May I just put this out there one more time for the whole world to understand I LOVE MY GRAY HAIR! This choice is about me learning to love myself just the way I am. To love myself the way God loves me, unconditionally . Do you think he really cares what is the color of my hair. This independent hair movement started when I was fired from my job of 16 years (more about that some other day). I had always wanted to dye my hair really fun colors like blue, pink, purple, green or even better a neon rainbow however the dress standards didn’t allow it. Why? Not because it made anyone less capable or competentat doing their job but because we were in the restaurant field which caters to the mainstream culture. Our company knew extreme hair styles could potentially offend a customer and drive them to our competitors with their wallets. So for 16 years I adored other people’s fashion freedoms and suppressed my desire for fun hair in exchange for my pay check. One of the first things I did after getting fired was to dye my hair purple! It was fun, it was awesome but it was soooooo messy! Probably due to the type of hair dye my colorist used but it bled and bled getting everythingfrom my shower to my pillowcases and tank tops hued purple:p Second reason I’m going au natural is I feel a sudden moral conviction. I’m not judging others but is it really nessacary for me? Honestly, it wastes my money, who knows the effects of putting such chemicals on our bodies truly, and it’s not helping us preserve our planet when I dump chemicals down the drain rinsing out my hair dye.
For me personally, I can use my money to do better things. This month I gave $5 to the nice lady at Taco Bell who brightened my day with her contagious smile and the other $5 to a homeless veterans event called Stand Down Houston so a veteran who gave his all for my freedom can take a nice shower and get a hair cut or shave. I personally feel better about using my money to bless others than feel like I need to conform to a definition of beauty that has been fed to me by media and advertisers just to peddle their products. We all know that the images we are bombarded with in today’s marketing are modifiedaltered, touched up, rarely will we ever see a real woman being glorified. Why? Because if real was celebrated we wouldn’t need their products and services in a pursuit to attain the unattainable.
Now I’m not saying makeup, hair dye are bad or should be avoided. They have their time and place in our lives. For centuries woman have done many things to make themselves attractive to their romantic partners or to celebrate their own beauty. What I admire is beautification that accented their natural beauty. Also, I’m impressed by past generations and their incredible creativity and the way they used elements from nature in a sustainable way. A flower falls of a branch and someone braids it into their hair. Now that’s what I call true beauty🌸 Anintriguing documentary that opened my eyes to how much we are brainwashed with expectations by media from such a young age is Miss Representation on Netflix. Here is the link: http://www.netflix.com/title/70167128?source=android I highly recommend this documentary.
I’m not saying I’ll never dye my hair or wear makeup ever again in my life but for now I’m choosing to accept myself the way I am to learn self love. I’m also challenging mainstream culture and refusing to let anyone else tell me how I need to look. I’m learning to be ok with my gray hair and even starting to embrace and love it♡♡♡
Lastly, some lifetime struggles I’m working to overcome and accept about myself follows. These are all real questions I’ve been asked hundreds of times by acquaintances, my children, husband and even best friend. I am learning to love myself despite what others think or say. My lifetime top 5 favorites follow.
1. Why are you so white? You need to get a tan.
2. Why are you so fat?You should really loose some weight.
3. Why do you smoke? Do you know how bad that is for you?
4. Why do you always wear black? You need more color in your wardrobe.
5. Why is your son’s hair so long? You should cut it.
My next learning step is instead of getting offended I have to pray for the people who offend me, feel compassion for them as too often people judge others because they don’t love themselves. Looking down on me may make them feel better about themselves. Besides, if I judge the judges for being judgers isn’t that in some way being no different than them. Whatever the reason I will look first to understand their perspective, have compassion for them and do my best not to take offense so easily. Ultimately, the greatest commandments of my faith is to the my God with all my heart, soul and mind and to love my neighbor, even the judgemental ones♡