A Woman Who Cuts Her Hair…

A couple days ago I posted some pictures on social media to show off my new haircut. The caption of one of the pictures had this quote by Coco Chanel: “A woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” And from outward appearances the pictures showed me to be content and confident in my new look with short hair. But, today I’m here to tell you the truth. And the truth is I’ve actually been struggling to feel confident and beautiful ever since I got my hair cut.

So let’s start from the beginning. Why did I cut my hair? I cut my hair because I am making some big life changes right now and one of them involves moving overseas as a missionary for the next year. I cut my hair because I didn’t want the worry and stress of figuring out how to do it while also adjusting to a new place. I wanted something low maintenance. So I walked into the salon, sat down, and got my hair chopped off. IMG_4368.JPG

Now, I would love to say that I was immediately comfortable and confident in myself as soon as I walked out of the salon, but I was not. I figured I would struggle to get used to it, but I wasn’t prepared for the onslaught of insecurity and self doubt that plagued me in the days after the haircut. I’ve always been insecure, but this haircut took that to a whole new level.

Society puts a lot of emphasis on women to look a certain way and having long hair is seen as desirable. So with that in mind I was worried about so many things: Do people think I look like a boy? Does this haircut look good on me? Will guys be into me now that I have short hair? Did I make a mistake? But the question that kept plaguing my mind was: Am I still beautiful without my hair? Because honestly, I felt ugly and masculine every time I would glance at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognize the person staring back at me.

This self-doubt and anxiety about my hair lasted for a little over a week, until yesterday. Yesterday I had a complete meltdown and shed many tears on account of my worries about looking like a boy with short hair. But thank God for big sisters because she picked me back up and put all my doubts and fears to rest.

From that point on I knew I had a choice to make. I knew my hair wasn’t going to grow back overnight so I had to decide whether I would learn to love myself with short hair or continue to live with doubts and fears.

I chose to learn to love myself. And that’s what I’m working on right now. I’m slowly getting used to seeing the new me in the mirror and I am speaking to myself positively. All the compliments I’ve received from people are useless if I don’t see myself in a good light.

As time goes by I am realizing that I really do like my new look; the girl who cut my hair did an amazing job! It’s all so new and definitely takes some adjusting to, but the initial regrets from before have subsided. I’m proud of myself for taking more risks in life because that means I’m growing.

So to any other women struggling with their short hair, I will say this: It’s ok to not be ok for a while, but eventually we all have to make a choice and move forward. I hope you choose to work on seeing yourself in a positive light. I’m not completely there yet, but I’m working on it and every day it gets easier. Plus, the way you carry yourself really impacts how people perceive you (it’s not all about how you look). So I am choosing to walk with confidence; I may not have a lot right now, but I’ll fake it till I make it.

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Before Haircut

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After Haircut

And I will continue to remind myself that with short hair I am still femininedesirable, and beautiful.

It’s Not That Complicated

You know what bothers me? Whenever I genuinely give someone a compliment and they refuse to accept it. I often wonder why people can’t accept compliments about themselves that are clearly so true. But then I realized, I am that person. I am the person who has a hard time accepting compliments. The thing that bothers me about other people is actually manifesting itself in my life.

There is a quote that says something like “what you dislike in others is a reflection of yourself” and in this case that rings true.

So why do I have a hard time accepting compliments? Well, there happens to be two main reasons why.

Sometimes I have a hard time accepting a compliment because I don’t feel like it is true. If I’m having a rough day and you tell me I look cute, I most likely won’t believe you. Deflecting compliments is something I do well, whether the compliment is in regards to my appearance or my talents such as writing or music. And though it may not seem like a big deal to me, sometimes it leads others to think that I have low self esteem, which truthfully is something I’ve struggled with (you can read about that here).

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Sometimes I have a hard time accepting a compliment because even though I know it’s true, I don’t want to come off as conceited and self-absorbed. Oftentimes we think we have to act shy and deny the compliments people give us so that they think we are humble.

So yeah, there are reasons why I have a hard time accepting compliments, but maybe it doesn’t have to be that complicated.

Maybe accepting compliments starts with me seeing myself in a positive light whether I’m having a bad day or not and being able to accept that I’m still beautiful when I’m wearing a sweater and my hair is in a bun. Maybe it starts by me celebrating my strengths and accepting my weaknesses. Maybe it starts by me building my self confidence and believing that others genuinely mean what they say when they compliment me.

And really, maybe accepting a compliment is as simple as saying “thank you” and moving on.