It’s a sad fact of life that from a very young age it is drilled into little girls that to be considered “beautiful” you must look a certain way.
You must be tall, you must be thin and you must have long hair.
All the Disney princesses had long hair. Barbie had long hair (unless you were like me and cut it!). To be a girly girl you had to have long hair. And it helped if you were blonde as well.
I was never blonde so immediately never felt girly enough. Not pretty enough, thin enough, smart enough, never ENOUGH. These thoughts have plagued me my entire life. A huge part of my life is spent worrying about what other people think.
As a child I always had long hair (except for the time when I was around 7 when my Mum decided to carry out a little DYI hairdressing – but we won’t go there, will we Mum!!!!). As I grew older, I kept it long with varying lengths and colours including blonde – very hard to maintain as a brunette!.
Society told me that because I am a woman and I’ll admit, very much a girly girl, I had to have long hair and this is what I stuck to. If I got my hair cut, I would be rejected by society as being a woman.
In the past 12 months I have been on a journey of rediscovery and growth. I was always painfully shy and always felt held back. Like my voice didn’t matter, at times I felt like a waste of space, no one wanted to hear what I had to say so why bother saying it.
A big part of my recovery was looking at what was holding me back, why was I so shy, why didn’t I feel valued. It came down to a fear – a fear of not being accepted and a fear of rejection. If I stayed in my shell, I didn’t have to worry about being accepted or rejected.
Now, don’t get me wrong, just because I recognise where my issues are doesn’t mean I’ve stumbled across a magical cure. I still worry and at times I am still shy. But I also have moments where I question myself and ask – why am I worried about being accepted or rejected?
The people who reject me are not my people, they’re not meant for me. If someone intentionally betrays or hurts me that is a reflection of them and their morals, not mine.
I am enough.
If someone cannot accept me for who I am, if they cannot listen to me and value my opinions – why would I want them in my life?
So, with that in mind, I began a physical and mental transformation. I began meditating, I began practising mindfulness, I became healthier, started exercising, changed my wardrobe – out with the old in with the new and I dabbled with new hairstyles. But there was still this inner voice telling me to dabble further with hairstyles. Do something you’ve never done before and you will feel free.
So I did and it is one of the most liberating things I’ve ever done.
Spiritual teacher OSHO once said:
“The greatest fear in the world is of the opinions of others. And the moment you are unafraid of the crowd you are no longer a sheep, you become a lion. A great roar arises in your heart, the roar of freedom”
Love your life, you only live it once. Don’t conform to society. Do your own thing. Make a difference. Roar!