A few weeks ago I walked into my salon with a bunch of saved photos of ladies with rockin’ hair and I said “I want to look like this.”
I do not feel like a blonde person. My identity is not blonde. I have brown hair and pale skin, and I look great in red. These things I know. But since approaching my 31st birthday and for probably a handful of months before that, I have felt OLD and TIRED and BORING and OLD and throw in some more OLD in there. Like deep in my bones haggard.
I look at myself in photos of my friends and I don’t think, “hot damn, girl.” I think, “ugh.”
I look in the mirror and I see exhaustion. I see messy hair and tired, tired eyes, and a total lack of luminescence. Where is my sparkle? It got sucked out of me by two tiny humans and a lot of have-tos and stress and the juggling of adult life.
But I am only 31. I am not ready to become old and tired and haggard and sad. I don’t ever want to be, but certainly not NOW.
A few years ago, before I had Fae, I was sitting in my cubicle at work and I had this jolt of sads. I felt like I had missed my opportunity to reinvent myself and take grand fashion risks. I felt that the person inside me was not being reflected outward. That I was way edgier and way cooler, and way more willing to take big risks. Except now, I needed to be professional and I needed to uphold a certain amount of who-knows-what, and that risky time had passed. I had MISSED it.
It took the confidence of being in my 30s to realize: No. I have not missed it. I can do whatever the hell I want to my style or my hair or whatever. And it doesn’t mean anything. It only makes a statement if I want it to. If it doesn’t work, oh well, try try again. Going blonde doesn’t have to mean anything other than I wanted to try something new to see what would happen.
It’s not like it ever is that deep, but sometimes these decisions FEEL that way. What will other people think? What if it looks bad? What if I hate it? Those questions seems so loaded. And I do swirl them around in my brain. I do ask friends for opinions and sit on it all for a minute. I was going to go grey/lavendar, but after researching it the upkeep was just not something I was willing to do. I am nothing if not low maintenance. And I don’t like having roots. So chunky blonde it is!
I also did something super vain. And, like, whatever. Sometimes we need to do things just because they make us feel pretty, add a skip in our step, or erase an insecurity.
I went and got an airbrush spray tan! (After the above photo… for clarity) And it was kind of awesome. It was a little bit of an adventure because there are things that need to be done (like not showering or working out or getting wet for 12 hours after application), and I did stand in a room in just a disposable thong with a lady where a gas mask as she painted me with a sprayer thing. Overall it was awesome! I saw many people after I got it done and no one even commented on the fact that I looked tan, but it did take the winter grey out of my complexion. They had a range of tan options from 1-4 (like a spicy scale at a thai place) and I went with a 2.
I’m reporting on this because I was a little embarrassed by it initially. Like, seriously? What am I on the Jersey Shore or something? But it wasn’t like that. I avoid sun burns like crazy, and am adamant about sun screen and I still can burn. I don’t want premature wrinkles, sun spots, or cancer. But having some color is just NICE. And! And! What I do with my body, or what anyone does to their body shouldn’t be shameful. Even if it’s as silly as a spray tan. Even if it’s botox or lip injections or whatever. Ok, maybe the people who turn themselves into cats deserve some side eyes. But, those choices don’t have any bearing on my life! So, you do you, kitty.
At the end of my two week blonde/tan transformation, I definitely felt less crappy. Definitely more like I have my shit together and less like the frumpy ugly duckling in old gap maternity t-shirts. I’m still in my gap maternity tshirts, I just feel better about what’s underneath.
Getting Lauren back. One transformation at a time.