I’m about to do something I’ve never done before. Thought about, often, over the course of the last few years, yeah. Done? No freaking way. See, I’ve got these issues. Body image issues. And even though I’m 36 years old now, and I’m no longer starving, puking, or exercising 6 hours a day, I still have this little sick, dark disease. It’s like a venomous pet. I know it could kill me, but I still let it get too close to me sometimes. It’s frightening. And embarrassing. And exhausting.
The reason I bring this up now is I’ve had a relapse. I hate the word relapse. It describes nothing, and means different things to different people, yet it’s supposed to convey the steps you take in the opposite direction. The unhealthy backtracking one does on one’s way to progress. I should have seen it coming. I spent 20 years in the hell of my disease, did I really think I could come out in a couple short years just because I said I wanted to? I did think that, actually.
Rachel, you’re thinking, what does this have to do with your hair? Fine, I’ll tell you. I still allow way too much of my identity to be rooted in how I look. My value, my importance, so much of it still hangs on the thread of how I feel about my looks. You should know it pains me to write that publicly. And, I’m really not sure how to let that go. I wish I knew the recipe for it. Instead, I decided to challenge my view of myself by changing my looks. Drastically. So I’m trying hairstyles. Turquoise, spiky, pixie, chin length, bangs, you get the idea. Then I will shave my head. I don’t have any delusions about the way this will look. I know how a buzzed head looks: great on some, not-so-great on others. But this CANNOT be about how I will look. This is about choosing to have an experience.
Join me if you will, I’d love some company. You don’t have to cut your hair for solidarity, just pop in every now and again and share in my self-discovery. I plan to do at least 6 hairstyles in the next 6 months. I’ll be heavily supervised by champion hairstylist, Rachel Vanderbeek. Don’t worry. Cutting my own hair was not on my bucket list. I’m so excited to get started. Let phase one begin.
And by begin I mean it’s already begun. We did it. Look one is already here. Stay tuned.