One, getting my yoga teaching certification took up much more of my energy than I anticipated. Hence, I just had to let some things go for a while. However, since my graduation in June, I'm feeling much more inspired to write.
Which leads to the second reason. This blog is much more difficult to write than my personal blog. The other blog is more of a quilting journal interwoven with snippets from my daily life. Import a few pictures, crank out a few captions and voila!, a new post.
This blog actually has point of view. And for me, that's much more difficult to put on a page.
Consequently, posts on this blog come when something inspires me. If I look at my past history, that seems to be about once a month.
So, while every how-to piece on blogging says that frequent, regular posts is the only way to garner a following, I'm just going to have to apologize to all those would be followers out there who need more frequent postings.
Sorry, but this is just the way I roll.
And it just so happens that I've lately been inspired by a trend I have noticed in my life.
Recently, more than one friend has sent me links to articles like this one. They seem to think it is some sort of victory for me that younger women are now dying their hair gray. But no, this is not a victory for me. In fact, it is a complete misunderstanding of my point of view.
I'm not out there banging a drum for every woman, young or old, to have gray hair. I don't think it's any better for a young woman to dye her natural hair to gray than for an older woman to dye her natural hair to cover her gray.
Both actions reflect the same insecurity and lack of self-acceptance. Both speak to the deeper issue that somehow women have come to believe that in order to "express their true self" they must reach for something artificial.
I recently saw an article entitled "How To Be Original". Ironically enough, one of the first things on the list was to dye your hair.
Really?! How is that idea not an oxymoron? In what universe can one express their "true self" or be "Original" by camouflaging what they truly look like?
My belief is that women should embrace their own natural beauty. To do so is the mark of a truly original woman, the only path to real self-expression.
In fact, I go so far as to say that the more artificial things we do to alter our appearance, the less true or original we become.
No ones natural hair color is "exactly" the same as another's. Admittedly, it may be very similar, but real hair has it's own unique highlights and a unique pattern to those highlights.
Not so when you get your hair color from a bottle. When you put "Blonde Potion #9" on your hair, it is now the same color as the 6 million other people who use that same potion.
Not only that, you've just colored over all of your natural highlights so your hair now looks flat. Sorry gals, but all that glowing shine you see in the ads is Photoshop magic. Colored hair is dull and actually absorbs light rather than reflects it. This fact requires your hairdresser to paint on fake highlights. Which is why 6 million people all have the same brassy, symmetrical stripes in their hair.
Remember the ad line, "Does she or doesn't she? Only her hair dresser knows for sure." Wow, not any more. Since hair dressers are all taught the same techniques treated hair is unmistakable.
By artificially changing yourself, you've instantly gone from being one of a kind to following the herd. While your intention for coloring your hair may be to better express your individuality, you've actually just taken a huge step into cultural conformity.
I recently read a great article regarding how tattoos and body art, once the great sign of rebellion, are now a sign of "craven conformity". I highly recommend that you click the link and read it. This guy is brilliant.
Anyway, while he is speaking of tattoos, much of what he says is directly applicable to my thoughts on artificial hair color.
...the mistake ... is to believe that tattoos are evidence of deviancy. They aren’t. They’re now symbols of conformism. Indeed, it is those who withstand the social pressure to get a tattoo, those who see all the endless photos of celebs sporting body art and who still refuse to join in, who are the true deviants today. If a deviant is one who “departs from usual or accepted standards”, then it is the non-tattooed, the unbranded, who are exercising deviancy in the 21st century. In an era when, in Britain, more than a third of 16- to 44-year-olds have tats, when PM's wives sport them, when there has been, in the words of one newspaper, “a massive boom in body art led by celebrities, footballers and other high-profile figures”, it requires Herculean levels of self-possession to refuse to be tattooed. Once, a tattoo marked someone out as a rebel, as an individual who had voluntarily cast himself out of the mainstream; today, when you can’t walk down a high street without seeing scores of branded people, being tattooed is the mainstream. And to not be tattooed, to have what is known as “virgin skin”, is to thumb your nose at the mainstream, to demonstrate your ability to read celebrity magazines and listen to “high-profile figures” bang on about the glories of body art without feeling the need to copy them. To reject body art is to rebel.
Which leads me to another incident that inspired this post.
Last week, I was asked to sub a yoga class at the last minute. This was not a class I had taught before so several of the students were unfamiliar with me. As I was setting up, a young lady walked into class and loudly exclaimed how much she loved my hair color. Then she said, "Who highlights your hair?"
I have to admit that this is a question I get asked a lot, so while pointing up I gave my standard response, "God."
Everyone laughed and made jokes about how hard it must be to get an appointment but then she said, "It's really cool that you're comfortable in your own skin". No one ever said that to me back when I colored my hair yet I hear it frequently now.
So, here's my radical advise for "How To Be Original". Don't change a thing. Keep your "virgin" hair color. Don't wear colored contacts. Learn to love your natural lashes. Don't graffiti your skin. Throw away the Oompa-Loompa colored self tanner. Embrace your breast size. Run far and fast from anyone suggesting nips, tucks, implants or injections.
It will require courage. Yes, it will require "Herculean amounts of self-possession" and even a little defiance. But those traits are the hallmark of a truly original person.
I can't say it any better than George Orwell, "In time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act."