This is the first in a few posts about self esteem, body image and vanity in light of my recent status of becoming a madre.
Lets talk about hair. Last weekend when I was in the mid west for a family reunion honoring my maternal grandparents 60th wedding anniversary. Cousins, aunts and uncles from across the country and Mexico joined together to celebrate our family. During one night of bonding I was poking fun at my mother’s hair when a cousin quickly came to her defense and joked that my hair was back in a ponytail mimicking my mother’s and I quickly released the hair tie as to signal that I wasn’t quite at her status yet. You see, my mother has a signature ponytail that she has worn my entire life. The past five years or so her hair has gracefully transitioned to silver strands taking over her black mane. I have always respected and planned to follow suit with never coloring my hair and honoring my own personal evolution by letting my hair naturally change over time. I have had gray hairs here and there for the past two years or so and have never colored my hair. No middle school rebellion or high school dye jobs for this girl. I have managed to maintain a mane of healthy non fuss hair.
The majority of my life my hair has been long. My mother had a rule that I could not cut my hair until my quinceañera, 15th birthday. So after turning 15 I had a few small stints with short hair but my cuts were always pretty basic and boring. I am an undeducated person when it comes to hair and beauty and have a medium wave to my hair that made requesting styles and cuts for my hair really difficult. Pair that with my own ability to use a curling iron or blow dryer at zero, I ended up sticking with long hair as it was always easier to tame and manage.
Flash forward to age 30, last year, I got a ‘lob’. A ‘long bob’. Hair that hits my shoulder about and is cut somewhat asymmetrically and voila I have hair that I do not need to brush let alone wash much at all. I got this cut wanting something a little ‘edgier’. About a month later I learned I was pregnant and quickly realized that this ‘edgier’ hair cut paired with my newly acquired leather jacket was like a textbook reaction of someone rejecting their ‘mother to be’ status.
I write all this because I have, along with pop culture, always equated short hair with motherhood shlumpiness. I had visions, far off visions, of myself with mermaid hair and a baby on my hip, see above. Not short messy bedhead and a baby on my breast. But here I am. Aside from the obvious baby weight my hair was one of the first things that had me really beginning to review myself, my body and my personal brand differently. Embracing my short hair felt like I was ditching my former self, the original me. I am beginning to come around to having the short hair and being a madre. The hair is super easy to deal with. Washing once or twice a week, yes I did this pre baby too, and fixing it with dry shampoo when needed. It is VERY easy hair to have. I just wish I could figure out some tools or styling. Every attempt with a curling iron results in a limp piece of hot hair.
There is no conclusion to this post. My cousin’s comment simply reminded me of my short hair insecurities and had me looking for a quick fix for my ‘mom hair’. I had equated mermaid hair with giving off this relaxed, easy breezy & carefree madre vibe. But after all of that, and many of my fave fashion icon celebs, hey Beyonce, following suit, I am happy with my cut. I just wish I could figure out how to style it most days and maybe even hire a personal hair professional to do it for me now & again.