So lately I've been feeling like a different person since my skin's been gradually clearing and improving in texture/appearance. I feel like I'm actually myself- not hiding behind caked makeup, turtlenecks, long hair and bangs. A few weeks ago, I started work as the makeup and set artist for my local highschool's musical theatre program. In the dressing rooms there are only bright fluorescent lights- a nightmare for anyone with skin problems. Not to mention, when doing people's makeup, most of the time you are within inches of their face and they spend the whole time looking straight at you. Six months to a year ago, that would have been the most humiliating and uncomfortable situation due to my skin and I may have even turned down the *paid* position just out of self-consciousness because of my skin. I'm happy to say that not a single thought or worry about my skin went through my head during the whole process. Yeah, my skin's not perfect, but its no longer a barrier for me. AND I can't tell you how many compliments I got- it was almost ridiculous how many people told me I was beautiful, gorgeous, etc. Even people I didn't even know very well I would overhear in the hallway commenting on how beautiful they thought I was. That was.. pretty incredible for my self esteem.
Another result of this new found confidence has to do with my hair. Since the 5th grade, my hair has been my security blanket. If my face/neck broke out, I'd always be able to wear my hair down or over my face to help hide my blemishes and insecurities. As I got older, I began obsessing with the length of my hair and my weight, employing hair extensions to cover my shoulders and chest and to make me appear thinner as I tried to lose weight. I've always felt "If I have to have bad skin, at least I'll be thin." Most of my life I've felt both fat and bad-skinned, so I thought that if I can't control or improve the condition of my skin, at least if I could control my weight. This led to so many insecurities and a rapidly developing eating disorder that I've been struggling to come to terms with and overcome for the past year and a half. I'm on the road to recovery, and even though I know I can't be "fixed" overnight, I have hope that my skin clarity and increasing self-esteem are definitely helping my overall stability. ANYWAYS, all that to say this: I'm considering getting all my hair cut off into an Emma Watson-esque pixie cut. Its terrifying to think about, but I'm thinking that a drastic hair change may be what I need to just take that leap away from the old me into the new me. My main fears from the *old* me are that 1) I'll look fat (I've had medium-length hair before and always felt it to be unflattering, making me look heavier, hence the hair extensions) and 2) I won't have the "bad skin security blanket" anymore. If my neck or shoulders or sides of my face break out- I won't have that curtain of hair to hide me, to draw between me and the world. I haven't had a breakout in months (knock on wood), but I'm still living in fear that all this is too good to be true and someday I'll go back to where I was. Kind of like Charlie in Flowers for Algernon. However, getting my hair cut in that fashion (which, what inspired me was trying on a pixie-cut wig and realizing I had the perfect face shape/stature for a pixie cut- it honestly looks so good on me) I would be accepting myself for exactly who I am, as I am- tearing down one more of the walls between me and the world around me. Yeah, I may have a breakout every now and then that is more exposed without the hair, but I'd be accepting that and accepting myself as being strong enough to deal with that possibility. Its definitely a step I'm willing to take, going to take a lot of prayer and consideration, but its my New Year's resolution to try it. You only live once, and hair can grow back if I don't like it. Its the experience that I'm looking to, the confidence and self-esteem and sense of empowerment that I think would be that necessary boost to really just catapult me into my new life and new self.