Monday, March 1, 2010
Last Friday, my boyfriend was kind enough to be open to renting Chris Rock's latest documentary, Good Hair. I had been aching to see it ever since Chris did publicity for the film on Oprah. Besides having a celebrity crush on Mr.Rock (I have a weak spot for people who make me laugh), I found the film a fascinating look into the world of African-American hair-styling. It was like someone drilled a hole into a world I've never had the opportunity to enter. It also really made me think about women in general, and the booming industries that capitalize off of making us feel like we won't look acceptable, pretty enough, or good enough if we don't use their products to tan, straighten, boost, whiten, bleach..and so on.
For those of you not yet familiar with the film, Chris was compelled to investigate the world of chemical straighteners, prosthetic hair pieces, and so on when his darling four-year-old girl came home one day and asked him: "Daddy, why don't I have good hair?"
Knowing very well that there was nothing wrong with his beautiful daughter's hair, and feeling a bit rattled, the proud pop began his investigation. The end result is a film worthy of a girl's night in, to laugh about as well as stimulate healthy conversation.
Why are the majority of women so involved with their looks, that we practically glue ourselves to our mirrors? And when did stick-straight, shiny hair become the look that most women lust after? Although the documentary focuses on African-American hair, the majority of women I know (from many different races) spend hundreds of dollars and countless hours with serums, potions, lotions, conditioners, and $200 straightening irons (the most popular of which is called Chi, which is a little ironic to me).
Don't get me wrong ladies, I don't think you should stop doing your hair, shaving, or wearing make-up (if those are things that you enjoy doing). If someone walks in dressed to the nines, I'm not going to turn my nose up at her for spending time to look her best. There's nothing wrong with looking your personal best, but it needs to be your authentic personal best, and something that makes you feel good. If you're seriously obsessing over trying to look like a certain celebrity, or that pretty girl that stole your ex, you're not going to be happy. Trying to look like someone that you're not isn't going to get you anywhere, and only lead to unhappiness.
Find a feature about yourself that you like, play it up. Accept the things you can't change. I know that doesn't sounds easy, but working on self-love day by day will be make a world of difference in your personal life. And if there's something you don't like, and you know you can change it, then honey, change it! Just keep in mind where the inspiration for the look your going for is coming from. It's fine to experiment and have fun with style, but don't make it your only priority. Never scold yourself or beat yourself up over what you may view as short-comings. When you find yourself slipping into this pattern, call a close friend who you know will make you feel better with his/her upbeat outlook on life. Can't think of any friends who are like that?.. sounds like it's time for new friends (which is a whole other post on it's own).
Also, consider what you're trying to fulfill when your find yourself revolving your thoughts around your mirror image. Did someone tell you something, whether it be long ago, that made you feel like you simply weren't good enough? Is there something in your life that's less than ideal somewhere in your career, relationships, physical activity or spirituality? In my personal experience, I'll stare at my pores and think about how my face could look better when there's actually something else going wrong. Humans tend to use superficial distractions to take their focus away from conflict happening in the bigger picture. Recognize and honor your humanity, then shift your energy to your deeper needs.
The most beautiful women I've ever met are women with meaningful beauty. Women that radiate life, love, and respect for others. There is nothing more attractive then someone with a genuine smile. Having positive energy will not only make you feel better, but attract others that are positive to want to be around you.
The power of inner beauty is immeasurable. You've got what it takes, so take care.