owning my beauty… for my own gaze
Last week, a few days before I left for San Diego, I had the impulse to get my hair done. This trip was representing the embodiment of the rebirth of the new me. The urge to shift my physical, outer world to be in alignment with my new inner world was, and is, strong.
I was bouncing between CHOP IT SHORT AND BLEACH IT to just a couple highlights and a trim and keep it mostly natural (that felt much more safe.)
My hairdresser Erin worked her magic, meanwhile I stifled the panic at how many foils had taken over my head and how long the scissors were working through my hair.
My friend Somer’s response to me getting my hair done floated through my head, “I will do my best to release my attachment to your beautiful, natural hair.”
I was attached too.
I really loved it, yet a part of me almost desperately needed a change.
I got home from my appointment and as my hair dried (I have this thing where I don’t like others styling my hair – messy and natural please!), I didn’t notice a huge difference aside from it being a bit lighter and shorter.
The next day, however, as I landed in San Diego, changed into my beachy clothes and headed for the beach, something inside me started to churn. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was that was creating such discomfort inside of me and assumed it was the natural feels of being in a new place mixed with jet lag. But as I stepped into my coach/healer Rachael Maddox’s house for my session the next morning, it almost immediately fumbled out.
“I think I am having an identity crisis. I am terrified of having blond hair.
“All of the old feelings and stories from the 15+ years of being blond have immediately resurfaced with a vengeance. Being blond means I get put in a box. Women hate me and stay far away, giving me dirty looks, while men stare with hungry eyes as if I am a meal for them to capture and devour.
“For so long, I worked so hard to be the smartest, the most athletic, the nicest, the most involved in everything, the best leader, just to counter the stories that are created about blonds.
“I remember how often friends would tell me that they at first assumed I was a bitch because of the way I looked and were really surprised that I was actually kind and funny.
“The mask of the blond hair and the tan and the makeup and the working out were the ways I knew how to attract men. And it attracted ALL the wrong men. The men that wanted me as a trophy to win. The men that once they won me did everything in their power to break me down. The men that took from me – physically, mentally, emotionally, financially. They took what little of me that had survived my childhood.”
The remaining session with Rachael I can’t quite put into words yet, but as I sit and reflect on this identity crisis over the colour of my hair, so much so much clarity is arising.
The blond hair used to be a mask for my deep seeded feelings of ‘not enoughness’. It attracted the people who fed my worthlessness and syphoned any remaining life from me.
When I let my hair go natural a few years ago, the way people treated me changed. I was approached more and accepted easier. People got closer faster without me having to prove anything.
Being blond and pretty gave me advantages and privileges in other areas, like getting the guy, sometimes even the job, getting the attention, which was what so many girls and women seemed to want (and much more.) But these didn’t ever feel like privileges at all because they weren’t what I really, truly wanted (thought I didn’t know or understand that at the time.)
I just wanted to be SEEN.
Like really seen, you know?
Seen for who I was on the inside.
The messy AND the perfection.
But at the same time, there was a big part of me that didn’t want anyone to see that because there was so much shame and resentment and self-judgement and fear. So I shaped myself to get seen in the only way I knew how.
These days I let myself be seen, the best I can right now. The real me, the me I have spent the last 10 years dedicated to getting to know. I am learning more and more each day to let my insides out, when it is safe to do so (which it isn’t always just yet.) Sometimes that is in therapy, coaching and healing sessions, sometimes with friends, sometimes in my work, sometimes with strangers in the streets, and almost always with my son and with myself.
Now that I have reconnected with who I really am (a journey that continues to unfold with new parts of myself returning home each day), I realized that I actually really like being blond! I like the way I feel, I like the way I look, I like the way I glow, I like the way it lights up my eyes. But really I don’t need a reason why… I just like it!
So here I am at this bridge of reconciling my inner world with my outer world, building it with one board at a time. Simultaneously dismantling any judgement and stories I have around being blond, healing my past experiences with it, strengthening my relationship of intimacy and love with myself, feeding my sense of worth and enoughness, while being fueled by the inner radiant resource and truth of what Caitlyn Pasternak calls Quantum Queendom. Or what Rachael, in her powerful & magical ReBloom work, calls the Sage – the wise leader of light.
Right here and right now, I claim my Quantum Queendom and I awaken my Sage.
I accept this next level of initiation of standing in my full truth and radiance.
This reclamation is an invitation for other women to stand with me and own and shine their own unique expression of beauty. I reclaim my beauty and radiance for myself, for my own gaze, for the full expression of my heart and soul and denounce that it is for the taking by men, but for consensual sharing when the time is right (and when I say so.)
The initiation has begun, sharing this with you is REALLLLLY fucking uncomfortable. As is expected. I own and claim it anyways!
And through all this I sit here and laugh at the hilarity of the medicine that the simple act of lightening my hair a bit gave to me.
Will you stand with me sisters? Will you reclaim your unique flavour of beauty and stand in and shine your radiance? Will you claim this for your own gaze and the consensual sharing with those who earn the right to it?