Monday, October 7, 2013

Hair apparent

"You have such a pretty face."

It's the consolation prize and dagger to the heart for many an overweight gal.

When I was at my heaviest, though, the compliments were always directed at my hair. "You have such a nice color." "Don't ever dye it." "Your hair is so thick." "I'd love to have hair like that."

I relished the attention but there was a part of me who felt like people said those things because they couldn't say anything else that was nice. I couldn't be a pretty girl because I was hiding underneath layers of fat. I couldn't have a pretty face because I didn't have two chins - I had none. My eyes were shielded by large cheeks and the structure of my face was buried.

My hair then, as my thing, was the one thing I could be on trend with. Cute bobs, long layers, even the short-spiky 'do that was so popular in the late 1990s.

Even as I lost weight, my hair was still mine. It was a security blanket when my body didn't feel like it belonged to me and something I could have if being smaller didn't mean I was prettier.

In an odd turn of events, the smaller I got, the more I began to equate my hair with beauty. Long hair meant I was pretty, and short hair meant I was sassier. Growing my hair out and leaving it long became insurance that I looked good according to some arbitrary standard.

Which is really stupid. Really, really stupid I decided. The way we look - overweight or thin, strong or skinny, long hair or short - doesn't determine whether we are beautiful. It is so much more. It is about treating people, including yourself with respect. It's about being kind and generous. It's about thinking beyond yourself.

I'm not about to say that I feel that way or meet that standard but I do feel better without the long locks that I've been clinging to. Especially because I know it's going to a good place.

I donated the 9 or 10 inches to Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program, a program to which I've donated before. It collects hair for wigs to go to women going through cancer treatment and though the program doesn't support just breast cancer patients, I love that I managed to donate in October. My grandma is a breast cancer survivor and I have a co-worker going through treatment now.

Of course, the decision wasn't completely selfless (I'm sorry to say). I was getting tired of the flipping of the mane and constant ponytails, the 10 minutes to comb it out and the frequent pulls of a certain toddler. A pixie-ish cut seemed like a nice change.

And it is.


  1. It's super cute! I like the way you told this story I can totally relate.

  2. I just LOVE it on you! And your points about hair and weight and security are really on-point, too.

  3. Love the new do! My hair has always been my thing too but since I've lost wait I change my hair all the time.

    1. Thanks! I love your hair, btw. I need to start having more fun with it.

  4. Truly love it!! I would love to go short but for whatever reason I don't. Even have made appts to do just that then just end up with a trim....blah!! =)

  5. Love the new do! I get hung up on my hair too and it's not thick or a pretty color. I am too chicken shit to go pixie. Way to rock it!

  6. Cute! I wish I could have short hair, but with my curls, it doesn't work. Trust me, I've tried.

  7. So cute, Kimberly!! I love that you donated to a program that creates wigs for cancer patients - such an awesome cause!

  8. Very cute! And brave. (Says the woman who hasn't changed her hairstyle since college).

  9. I LOVE this post. You look beautiful. I've never seen "before" pictures and I am in shock! You look incredible and I'm so proud of all you've accomplished. Rock that short hair lady!