When I make a choice for myself, I am generally pretty committed to that choice because for me, it feels right. I don’t worry too much about what other people think because I know that I have to be comfortable in my own skin to be happy.
In 2008, after two years of coloring my graying hair, I stopped cold turkey. It never felt like “me” to color my hair. I personally don’t think there is anything wrong with a person coloring their hair, it just wasn’t the right choice for me. At the time I was and still am trying to reduce all chemicals that enter my body and I believe anything that goes on my skin is as harmful as ingesting it. But most importantly in my decision making was that coloring my hair just didn’t feel right to me. It didn’t feel like I was being true to what I wanted for myself. So, I stopped.
Since deciding to go natural with my hair, I have had many women comment, or perhaps I should say, “apologize”, for not keeping their natural color. This makes me feel very uncomfortable. I have not made the choice to stop coloring my hair so that I can stand in judgement of others, I do it because it feels right for me. In fact, I often think women that color their hair look very attractive. I like the creativity that many teens and women of all ages express through their hair. It just isn’t me.
Although I don’t color my hair, I do enjoy wearing make-up. I look for options that I feel have the least amount of chemicals, put it on my face, and enjoy it! I don’t apolgize to my friends that go without makeup when I wear it because I know I am wearing it because I enjoy wearing it. To me our bodies are like a couch. A couch can be totally beautiful on its own, but often we like to spruce it up a bit with some colorful pillows. My face, rather than my hair, is where I like to play around.
I think the human body provides us with a lot of creativity. We have the option of showing our natural beauty when we want, but our body can also be a canvas for creating and exploring. When my daughter was around two or three years old she started drawing on her body with markers which is a hobby that has continued into her teens (before that she painted her body). One day she had pictures all over her body with marker. I told her I was concerned about the chemicals that might leak into her body from the markers. She looked so sad and disappointed in my response to something she obviously felt so good about. When my husband came home he looked at her body and said something like, “Wow! Those are really cool.” She lit up!
This was a good learning lesson for me. We all have our own desires for what we want to do with our bodies. I know 100% that my daughter will have a tattoo when she is 18 years old. Does that make her a person that is weak or trying to cover up her own natural beauty? No way! In fact, I love listening to her ideas of tattoos that she hopes to get one day mostly because I like seeing her face light up and also because she is a person that is totally sure of herself and makes no apologies for who she is or what she wants. How could I not admire that?
Our bodies are our very own and however creative we want to get with them is a very personal choice depending on who we are and where we are in life. No person should ever apologize for being who they are. If you love being completely free of hair coloring, make-up and other body creations – do it! If you love coloring your hair – do it! If you love wearing make-up as I do – do it! If you love tattoos on your body – do it! I would rather see a woman go to the hair salon and come out with colored hair, polished nails, tons of makeup, and a GREAT BIG SMILE of complete pleasure than someone who is avoiding what makes them feel good because they feel it doesn’t fit in with the group of people or ideals they admire. Be who you are and feel good about who you are. That is really when our natural beauty shines!