Back To My Roots
In case you’ve been living under a rock…
Women are tired. Tired of dressing, acting, and working to please other people over themselves.
I’m one of those tired women, sick of the lies. No matter how many times magazines insist women totally OWN their style and “look”, it’s just not true. When I have to look professional, put-together, youthful but not too young, mature but not too old…. it’s not that easy to look like your authentic self. Going gray, saying no to makeup, going braless, only buying second-hand clothes… these choices are not light ones to make when there is most certainly A MOLD that you’re expected to fit into in order to stay on the payroll.
Dressing/styling to please myself is a very new concept I’m only now learning.
Why now? I think it has to do with getting married. Now that I have a man “locked down”, I can look however I want to and he has to just… accept it! Yeah, I know that sounds totally messed up to read. But I know I’m not alone. I never considered looking how I WANTED to look when I was single. I was all about dressing in the most comfy, cheap, and “not slutty but still down to clown” way possible, to stay somewhat attractive and pleasing enough to satisfy The Male Gaze.
So here I am, a married woman, just trying to live out my truth. This journey to self-acceptance and self-discovery has been … well, a journey.
Are you on a journey as well? Mine can most easily be reflected through my many hairstyles. Hair is a woman’s crowning glory, after all! Let’s take a quick trip back in time to see who Courtney’s tried to please throughout the years by overanalyzing her hairstyles, shall we?
Pleasing: the ‘rents.
I wasn’t allowed to dye my hair as a child, and still hadn’t at 19. Here’s that OG dishwater blonde that I desperately wanted to change to…anything else. But I just didn’t have the courage yet!
Pleasing: rando men.
As soon as my childhood sweetheart and I split up, I went for ALL THE BLONDE highlights. Because guys like blonds, right? RIGHT?!?! Here I am with Alison in my stripe-iest, blond-est, try-hard-est ‘do. Still with long hair, because long = feminine, DUH! /s
Pleasing: the cool kids
I went deep, dark brunette the summer of 2013. My friend encouraged me to take the plunge and I very willingly did. At the time, I loved the change. It made me feel broodier, less preppy, and most notably, COOL. I was a SENIOR in college, after all. I was thin, single, and ready to party. Brunette Courtney was a badass. Or, at least, she WANTED to be seen as one.
Pleasing: no one.
Growing out that brown took a year and a BIG CHOP. So I went short… and so did Nick’s beard. (Definitely NOT because I attempted to shave it for him and utterly failed…. No way.)
The short hair made me feel… older. Dowdy is a good word, I suppose. And definitely not super feminine. Yep, that ish couldn’t grow out fast enough!
Pleasing: The Ideal Me
Here’s where I start to gain a modicum of self-awareness. As soon as I dyed my hair bright red, I felt FIERCE and ready to take on the world!
The truth is, I needed the armor that red hair provided me. Why? Because man, was I otherwise miserable. In a job I hated, 40 pounds overweight, in debt, anxious, depressed, and oh yeah let’s go ahead and move and plan a wedding, too!
But hey. At least I had nice hair.
It took my magical hairstylist about 4 dye jobs and a whole year to get back to this beautiful blonde for my wedding. Because I HAD TO BE BLONDE ON MY WEDDING. Right? Right?!?!?
I loved the length, the color was executed perfectly, but both were REALLY time-consuming to manage. My hair owned me. I didn’t own my hair.
Here I am, today. Zero hair dye. Zero makeup. And generally, zero fucks.
So far, I’m enjoying this journey back to my roots.
It’s not over yet, of course. I do want to grow out my hair to shoulder length, because right now it’s a lil awkward. I’m also realizing that my hair has a CURL to it! So i’m playing around with that as well.
I don’t know what the future will hold, but I do know that I have way more agency and control over it than I’ve ever felt before in my life. And dang, that feels good.
Happy Tuesday, y’all. Who are you dressing to please today?