And here I am: sitting in front of the computer, with a cup of coffee and the silence of the afternoon. Nothing out of the ordinary, except for the concern to put into words the personal opinion on a topic that is much talked about, talked about and debated.
It all started when, a few days ago, I found myself in the bookcase The four Agreements, by the Mexican writer Miguel Ángel Ruiz Macías, dusty and worn. You may think, like me, that there is no more cliché self-help book. However, I opened it, read the first agreement and kept thinking about the power of words, those we use with others and with which we refer to ourselves.
And that’s how we are: we judge everything. That’s how they taught us. We have mastered the art of giving greater importance to the image than to the being. Why do we put so much weight on appearance? It seems there is no other option. Only then we know how to build a concept on others. And the same thing happens in reverse. The problem is that we let the way in which they see us from the outside define us, with prejudices and social rules. A vicious circle!
Let’s break stereotypes about the appearance of hair
My mom is 58 years old. She is a woman who has always worked, who has managed to overcome any difficult situation that her life has thrown her way. There is no stone that makes her stumble! At a very young age, she raised four siblings single-handedly. She has been awarded prizes for being the best in a company that operates technology services in 46 countries around the world. I do not have to say more to make you see that I am talking about someone exemplary and incomparable.
In one of those family gatherings by video call —with the context being the middle of the pandemic and everyone in confinement—, my mom took her phone and smiled in front of the camera. And as? If after months she was finally going to be able to have a decent conversation with her brother, the youngest of all. Before they could even greet each other, I heard a comment so hurtful that she destroyed her trust, security, and her own love in a second, as if she had no trouble winning them over: “Your gray hair is showing! Don’t you feel sorry to see yourself so left and disheveled? Again with the theme of the white root!
I kept wondering, anger between my teeth, why she didn’t defend herself or just let the comment slide. It was as if a spell had been cast on him with immediate effect. The next few days, she got nervous at work meetings and, rather, she ran to the drugstore for a homemade dye to cover those disastrous signs of her age. Because, of course, as a woman she can’t afford to be disheveled and misaligned. At what point do you let one cane destroy everything you are, what you have built? It really is a serious matter. Besides, why, at the cost of prejudice, are you going to start hating a part of yourself? Hair is our best accessory, companion and reflector of our interior. You have to take care of it, and it all starts with self-love.
And it is that, if it is not the gray hair, it is the haircut: do not cut it, because your face looks rounder. Do not leave it so long, because it is not in good taste. Did you choose a straight cut? How boring! If it’s a very short style, you’re a tomboy. Do not go to a work appointment without combing your hair, you will give a bad impression! Don’t try too hard, it’s just an interview and you don’t want to be forced. Don’t dye it green, that’s for young people. Did you dye it green and you’re only 15? You don `t know what you want. Leave your hair down so that men will find you attractive. Better pick it up, you can’t see your face and you seem insecure. Your hair defines who you are! That’s how it always is: unavoidable.
breaking the cycle
My point, after all, is that it’s up to us to break the cycle. My mom’s issue could be generational, because she was always taught that women should never show any signs of weakness or aging, like gray hair. There was never anyone to teach her to forge a self-concept based on her strength and her achievements, but on her image. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that no one should care about how it looks. But how healthy is it? The weight given to appearance must have a limit. And, rather, the goal is to find a balance.
Let’s teach our daughters the importance of going beyond a social construction about what it is to be a woman. That belonging to the female gender does not mean always being prim and perfect, that it does not matter what cut, color or length of hair they want to wear, as long as it reflects their true self. Let’s give them the freedom to decide and experiment with their mane! And of course, they learn that gray hair is nothing more than the loss of pigmentation, because that’s how the body works: it changes over the years. In this way, no one will be able to destroy their confidence in themselves.
Let’s break with the idea that a woman’s greatest power is her beauty. The most important thing is to achieve our goals, never settle and walk with our heads held high. Let’s respect the different styles and tastes. Nobody is equal to us. Make your hair your best accessory, reflect your personal success and accompany you on the road to new adventures.
The image matters, but what is inside matters more. The perfect hair does exist, but it is not the one you want to copy from a celebrity or the one that hides her natural flaws, but the one that reflects the true power and personality of a woman.
The post ATH thinks: A world where the appearance of the hair weighs more than success appeared first on All Things Hair Mexico.