6 Inches of Confidence

rapunzel_from_tangled_long_hair

So I just recently cut off 6 inches of my hair.

It was getting thick and long. Giving me headaches left and right. Hard to wash. Hard to dry. Hard to deal with.

When we’re asked the question, “What’s the one thing we like about ourselves?” or “What’s our most attractive aspect?” and we answer, usually it signals that we are confident in that part of ourselves. We believe that this “aspect” is our “best” feature, which helps us feel good about ourselves, no matter how low our self-esteems are. This doesn’t have to be a physical feature – attractiveness comes on all different levels and when we identify what makes us attractive, we jump on it because we all want to be attractive.

Attractive does not mean pretty. Attractive hints that one is a likeable person, someone who attracts others. This could be pretty, but this could also be nice, funny, and smart. Or if you have a different definition, you could say that attractive means that you are mean and cocky, depending on who you are trying to attract. The point is that it is all variable and really it’s all relative to how you view yourself. We take pride in the things that make us feel great and confident.

How do we find what’s most attractive about ourselves? As natural human beings, we tend to respond to how others in society react to us, which ultimately makes up our self-image. Is this good? Well, whether it is good or bad, this fact is true. We all do care a little bit, at least, about what others think of us, and that’s something we can’t always help.

I’ve been on this blog for a while and have adamantly told people that I am an individual and I do not let others tell me how to lead my life. But I do care about what others think about me – not as much as some, but I still do. I care how I look, which is why I wear decent clothes and shower every day. I care how I behave in class, which is why I don’t start unnecessary arguments that halt the lecture. I care about what my friends think of me, which is why I am careful of what I say around people.

I have never had my hair this short in 15 years. As a little girl, I always saw myself as that dorky little kid who had bangs and crooked teeth. So I grew my hair out and got braces. I haven’t cut my hair, partially because I never thought to. However, even if the question did pop up in my mind, everyone told me that my hair was beautiful and that I shouldn’t cut it. So I listened.

It’s strange to be writing a blog post about my hair, because this is how I imagined every blogger to write before I even started 100 Ways to Write. This was the “pathetic” blog post that everyone stereotyped bloggers as because they had nothing important to write about other than hair or nails or shoes or whatever. I’m not a materialistic person, but I do care a lot about self-perception because it strongly affects how we perceive ourselves and how others perceive us in the real world. Listening to other people and agreeing with everything they said has been a huge problem for me. I could never go on my own direction because I was scared I would be judged. I also never liked being alone.

My hair, in a way, was my main source of confidence. I could fidget with it. I could style it. I could get compliments on it even if I was looking shitty that day.

So why did I “cut off my confidence?”

As I already said, I’ve been doing what others tell me to do. In other words, I was a pushover and I’ll fully admit to that. But I realized that I wasn’t making my own decisions, but rather was taking the decisions of other people because I didn’t know what to do myself. When you get carried away with this, people will walk all over you if you can’t ever say “no” or disagree with what others think of you.

I would even flirt with guys, thinking that my hair was one of my only good features. As a person, nobody should feel that one aspect of them is the only thing that is attractive about him or her. It’s depressing and it’s self-demoting.

So I cut off. I don’t want to feel as if this one feature defined how I looked on someone’s attractiveness scale. Why should that determine everything, especially how I perceive myself? It’s true – people don’t compliment my hair that much anymore. I usually get a shocked reaction when they find out I cut all my hair off. And you know what the best part is?

I feel more confident than I ever did before.

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