I believe in big hair. It took me 16 years to take my hair out of my pony-tail, and when I finally did I began to realize my true potential. This wasn’t about looks. It was about feeling confident, and being comfortable walking into a room and not hiding my stomach behind books, or not looking someone in the eye because I was afraid of whatever challenge might come. Once I let my hair loose, literally and figuratively, I came farther and farther out of my corner and more to the center of the ring. Not only was my hair big, wavy, and with a few curls but it was also a source of conversation and an attention grabber from all eyes in a room.
Ever since my Junior year in high school I haven’t once looked in the mirror and saw something shy or worthless. I slowly became the sort of person I once admired, but better in the sense that I allowed my compassion for everything political and human to stay a part of the “new” me. I’m proud that, rather then allow people to get the better of me I can stare someone in the eyes and challenge them to get to know me. This change wasn’t about a boy, or a mean girl in class. It was about my decision to become a better and stronger person by changing what I most despised about myself, which was my lack of confidence and loss of words when a stranger spoke to me.
There is quite a lot of truth in the old saying, “love yourself first and then everything else falls into line.” It took me a whole sixteen years to realize the worth and beauty that lies on the inside and outside of myself as a person, and I’m so happy I realized it before it was too late. This was a personal therapy that didn’t involve a diet, any sort of pills, or a year spent on a therapist’s couch. When asked to describe myself I simple say, “big hair,” because it sums me up in more way then one. Not only does it describe the stuff on my head but also the confident and intelligent person who was hiding within me all along.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.