Monday, May 6, 2013

Be Your Own Beloved #22

Every day, I am taking a self-portrait in conjunction with Vivienne McMaster's Be Your Own Beloved e-course. Sometimes it takes me longer - like a month - but I'm dedicated to finishing this project!

Lavender Hyacinth Hair, you are mine! With HUGE thanks to MJ Hahn.

Hey! It's been exactly a month since I was able to accomplish my last photo for this project! If ever I doubted that my Totem Animal is The Snail, I now have proof (but that's for a different blog post). The next assignment from Vivienne is to take a picture inspired by this quote:

"People often say that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder,' and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where other have not dared to look including inside ourselves." ~ Salma Hayek

Once again, I was paralyzed by this assignment. I have a long history of difficulty in practicing self-love. It's gotten better, by leaps and bounds, but when faced with the direct request of seeing my beauty as the beholder, I was frozen.

Meanwhile, I was starting to notice some serious grey hair coming in at my temples. I'll soon be 41-years-old (which is SHOCKING to me) and I'm starting to feel the shift in our culture where women "of a certain age" disappear from view - they are no longer "attractive" and therefore they don't deserve to be paid attention to or take up space. My friend Tam once said that she wanted to start a covert spy group of women over 40 - no one would notice us so we could get away with everything!

And, quite frankly, being a fat woman, I've always been somewhat excluded from the "cult of beauty" that women are harassed into joining from about age 9. This both liberated me and shamed me as a growing girl and woman.

Side view of all the purple power.

So, as I was contemplating my grey hair, I started to ask myself, "Tristy, girl, what do YOU want? How do YOU want to look?" I knew I wanted a big, drastic change. I wanted a SHOCKING transformation. I wanted to celebrate who I am now, celebrate my new glasses and be the beautiful, witchy nerd I know myself to be. So when I consulted with my amazing hair stylist (the multi-talented MJ Hahn - Check out his great gothic horror podcast/writing!) he suggested TWO big changes - getting bangs and getting some lavender highlights. I was nervous, but I felt so ready! So I said yes!

And now you see the results! And as I was looking at these photos and staring at myself in the mirror (asking "is that really me?") I realized that I was truly beholding my beauty. Not just because I have lavender hair, but because my new do reflects the silly beautiful joy I feel in myself. It reflects the "I don't care how society looks at me" feeling I've been having lately - which surprisingly, has lead me to some really deep, self-love. I'm seeing my beauty and really appreciating it in these photos and that can only lead to more and more self-love. Exciting!

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