I've been on a self-transformation journey lately. Life's been crazy for me, and so I've decided to do what every girl does and go for a dramatic change with her hair. I am currently going through the process of turning platinum blonde. Starting from essentially black, I went from that to honey blonde (The Shakira Phase) and from there, I am now ash (The Gaga phase). With one more process in another four weeks, I should finally reach what I have dubbed The Marilyn Phase.
I call it The Marilyn Phase, because I have reached a point in my life where for the first time, I feel comfortable enough in my own skin to express the level of femininity that I was so afraid of. For as long as I can remember, I've had self-esteem issues. I used to like pink, dresses, and really girly shit, but once I reached about sixth grade I traded that for hoodies, black t-shirts and essentially covered up my body to hide my insecurities. Shit, there was a moment in time where I refused to wear shorts because I was so self-conscious about my thighs. The whole thigh gap trend didn't help either.
It wasn't until after I graduated college that I started to feel more confident about my appearance, and really adopt a "give no fuck" attitude. Stumbling on Jeffree Star's YouTube and learning about his life, and attitude towards it did I become incredibly inspired to strive for my best life, and live as authentically as I could.
As far as why Marilyn, I have always had an affinity for her. Of course, she was incredibly beautiful, but as I researched her more, and dug through interviews, she was also incredibly intelligent and humble. Her story is of course a tragic one, and I hope that wherever her soul rests she realizes the legacy she left behind, and how truly loved she was. When I had the pleasure of visiting her grave during my last visit to LA, something within me sparked that ignited this flame within me to embrace beauty, whether it's my own, or everyone and everything else that surrounds me. And for that Marilyn, I thank you.
So yesterday, I was at the salon in my local Ulta. As usual, I was laughing and having a good time while my hairdresser worked on me (check out her Instagram here). Two women walked in, and at first they seemed very nice. Of course their friendliness turned into ignorance when they started saying things about people who are MENA and Muslim that just left me dumbfounded. As a woman who is MENA, I took offense to what they said, and corrected them a few times but that proved fruitless. There were other things that they said I'm sure, because when my hairdresser would return to the shampoo station where I was hanging out, I could just see it on her face. Let's not also forget the fact they said something incredibly offensive toward another hairdresser there who was Asian.
As I was getting my hair done, the two women in there kept giving commentary about what I was doing, all passive aggressive of course. "Oh, you're doing that to your hair? You should go yellow instead. I'm not brave enough to go as blonde as you are, etc." When I was in the shampoo station again, sitting under the dryer, the one girl just kept STARING at me. I was looking down at my phone, and I could just feel her eyes searing through me. Again, the topic of my "bravery" to go blonde came up once more, and how pretty it seemed to be looking so far. I just continued nodding, and kind of brushing them off. Probably within the last half-hour of my appointment, the woman who was sitting across from me in the shampoo station had the audacity to start following dialogue:
Ignorant Becky: "Is your hair naturally thin?"
..."I've got a thyroid problem."
Ignorant Becky: "Oh, really? That's weird 'cuz I have a thyroid problem too and my hair's thick as fuck."
I was ready to clap back and say "it also makes you fatter too," because she was frankly twice my size but I kept my cool and simply said "oh, good for you," in a very fuck off tone. When I had to go back to the shampoo station just one more time, I walked past her and cut through her with my stank eye. Just before she left, and I was back in the chair, she gave me a kind of fake smile and told me that she hoped I liked my new hair, walking past me flipping her hair as if she was walking off like her shit don't stink.
It just baffles me how people feel threatened by others' confidence to do something that they themselves might not be comfortable to do. Everyone goes to the salon to treat themselves and make themselves feel beautiful. If you have to tear someone down to validate your own beauty, there's no product or treatment in the world that will make you beautiful. Beauty is something that radiates from within, and if you can't find it there, you will be an ugly person, in and out. I hope that these two women that I had the misfortune of meeting find it within them to love themselves more so they can be kinder to others.
If we as a people can learn to accept beauty in all of its colors, shapes, and sizes, we'd be one step closer to living in a kinder, prettier world.