I have never in my life been very traditional, but a few years ago you wouldn’t be able to tell by looking at me. I have always loved all things bold and danced to the beat of my own drum, but I was afraid to express it. I was, for all outward appearances, average. I believe what the popular term nowadays is basic. I was that basic chic who kind of looked like all the other women my age, or what society said women of my age, ethnic background, stature, sexual orientation, etc. should look. I spent countless hours and several hundred dollars a year getting my hair professionally straightened, I never wore anything overly masculine or feminine, I always chose either contacts or a light brown pair of wire-framed glasses that said “I’m near-sighted, but professional”. I was never to bold in my speech or my demeanor. I was not too plan, but not too flashy. Generally, I was nothing out of the ordinary. I hated it.
I envied the beautiful women with big voluminous curls, and huge halos of cottony hair framing there faces. I envied these women even though I had the same voluminous, cottony hair, but mine was chemically stripped of all its glory in order to fall in line with what I thought I was supposed to represent. I envied the women with beautiful cat-eye glasses or horned-rimmed frames in bold colors. I envied their courage to step out of the ordinary and to be bold. I wanted to be the kind of person who could pull that off.
As the years went on and I got older, I began to want to truly live my best life to the fullest. That meant I had to be authentic and true to myself. It started 11 years ago with my decision to stop straightening my hair. As my hair was chemically straightened, I decided to cut the chemically processed hair off. It was a big step as I my hair was rather long, but I was ready. I really did not miss my hair. I thought I would panic because I could never remember a time in my life when my hair was ever short. I loved it! I kept running my hands over my half inch curls and feeling their pebbly texture. What I loved most about my new do was the ability to walk out in any kind of weather without a worrying about my hair being wrecked.
I got so many comments about my lopped-off locks. People started rumors that I has some type of psychotic breakdown. Some asked if I had been ill. I also got comments from people who loved it, but my biggest critic was my mom. She had jokes every time she saw me. She bought me large earring and told me to always wear lipstick so I wouldn’t “look like a man”. My favorite comment was ” You are the kind of person who can pull that look off.” What?? Me?? I was one of those women?? Mission accomplished!!!
I was on from that point. I got every pair of unconventional glasses I could find. I have round Iris Apfel ones, cat-eye Shirley Chisholm ones, and big square Victoria Beckham ones too! I also started to dress the way I always wanted to dress with no regard to what was expected. Only what I loved and made me happy.
Just last week a coworker told me that there was a certain style that she wished she could pull off. My advise to her was to just put it on. Once you put it on, you are pulling it off.
I would like to challenge all of us to step out of our comfort zones and put it on!