Thursday, April 26, 2012

Becoming who I wanted to be

Have I written about this before? Sometimes I swear I have, but I don’t see anything to that effect when I go hunting around the ol’ blog…

I can recall so many of my dreams since my mid-teenage years and all of them are related to appearance. Appearance to me is rather personal and so I try to be careful when I comment on others’, though I can’t say the same courtesy has always been applied to me. I like to think that the way I appear reflects a lot about my personality, or things I wish to be or be perceived as.

Hey where'd my eyebrow go...

  • Hair – I’ve been dying my hair various shades (starting with blonde to get back to the platinum blonde of my childhood), mostly “unnatural” hair colors (pink, purple, blue, fire engine red) for probably the last 10 years. I’ve gone through some very short periods of time since then with mostly all-natural hair, but I really prefer to have some kind of unusual and bright hair color/style going on. It takes a level of confidence to sport hair this vibrant, honestly, and I haven’t always had that. Maybe I still don’t, but I “fake it till I make it” as best I can. I have rarely gotten a negative word about my hair, even my grandmother likes it when it’s bright.
  • Piercings – I got my eyebrow pierced shortly after my 18th birthday, had to remove it within 6 months due to rejection (shallow piercing), and then re-pierced some time later, and then removed again for my job at the time (Sony retail store, an increasingly rare commodity). I missed it a lot and then recently saw some pictures of me with it and was a little surprised: I didn’t even remember what it looked like. I’ve always planned on having piercings, including facial piercings, and I’m slowly collecting them (a couple of cartilage piercings are next, I think). I can’t really explain why I like having them, I just do. I particularly love having silver jewelry and it makes me happy to have my ears and face sparkling with silver.
  • Tattoos – With my newest tattoo, I have really started to feel like I am putting some pieces together about who I am. It’s not just about having this art, this part of myself, so visually displayed on my skin forever, it’s about letting myself be sure of something and embracing it. It’s a risk I am happy taking, since there’s always the chance I won’t like my tattoos years from now. What’s important is that I remember how it makes me feel now (young and beautiful). And I won’t stand for any “But you were so beautiful” nonsense: I AM BEAUTIFUL and that isn’t changed by getting a tattoo. I think a similar feeling of commitment comes with dying my hair funky colors, though that’s much less permanent. In a way, these tattoos help me commit to taking care of myself, physically and mentally, without doing something absurd like having a child before I’m ready to get similar result (I cannot believe people have kids to make themselves shape up, it’s really terrible).
  • Clothes – After “getting over myself” and realizing that my financial burdens don’t have to hold back in how I let my fashion sense define me, I took in some shirts and pants and voila: I feel pretty good about how I portray myself in clothes. I like slightly androgynous clothing, mostly because it’s comfortable and I’ve got a small bust anyway. Having more money won’t really change who I am because I know I can make what I have now work for me with a few stitches, and maybe some Rit dye. Being broke is actually a decent way to expand your creativity, by making clothes that are too large, too small, or not quite your style work for you anyway simply because you spare the cash for anything new, or even thrifted. Free cast-offs, however, are totally welcome and I think I might want to raid my mom’s closet soon…

I have some particular fond memories of a summer many years ago, walking the beach with Paleo On A Budget and trying to look confident. I was recovering from a particularly bad spell of depression (post-OD) and wasn’t confident in the least, but with my white and pink polka-dot bikini and newly-dyed black hair, I felt like I could be the person I wanted to be. Maybe these personal embellishments help me become who I want to be and someday I won’t “need” them. Maybe they’re just a part of who I am and I’m slowly collecting the pieces and colors. Either way, I’m pretty content with the process right now.

That said, I told Mr. Boyfriend not to let me get any more tattoos this year, so now I have to stick with it. That doesn’t mean I can’t get a couple of piercings though :) Of course, I should probably wait to see if my navel piercing will ever heal first (got it done last July)…


  1. Understanding the case for "Being Yourself" is largely not looked at by our society, but what can you do?