Why Does Your Hair Look Like That?

As long as I can remember, I have longed for, desired to have, dreamed about and pined for long, thick, wavy, healthy, beautiful hair – girlie hair.  For many, many years I bought in to the belief that long hair made you more feminine.  It made you more desirable.  It made you more beautiful.  It made you of more worth.  Through those times, I did attempt to have longer hair, with very little success.  I have finally come to the conclusion that it will most likely never be something that I will ever possess. Because of heredity and my body’s physical composition, thin, wispy, fly-away, baby fine hair is just something I have to live with.  I have come to terms with this and I have accepted my short, spiky hair style.  This is the thing, there are other people out there that need to come to these same terms!

It is kind of hilarious that people actually feel the need to vocalize their personal opinions (or make it their duty, in some instances,) and look at you and tell you that your hair looks terrible and you should let it grow; or (actual comment) “Please don’t cut your hair all off again.  It looks awful.”  Again, I will reiterate, thin, wispy, fly-away, baby fine…walk a mile in my tresses.

There are some hilarious moments in the “short hair saga” though.  Children start young at defining their opinions.  When my youngest niece was three  years old, she had to have a procedure done where she had to be sedated.  I was keeping her during the afternoon after her procedure.  She and I were snuggling in the rocking chair.  She was slowly beginning to wake up.  (Pre-story on this child:  She is the one that gave me my chosen pen name – Ele Layne.  Most people call me either Sis or Elaine.  She didn’t want to call me Sis, and was trying to call me Elaine.  It just came out as Ele Layne, and it stuck.)  At one point while I was holding her in the rocker that day, she looked up at me through blonde, curly locks with sleepy blue eyes and said, “Ele Layne, you haar {aka hair} is ugly.”  She was so completely serious.  I told her, “That is not very nice.”  She came back with, “But you haar is ugly.”  I was trying hard not to laugh and told her, “That is not very nice.”  She was determined and says, “But, Ele Layne, you short haar is ugly.”  I told her, a little more firmly, “You hurt my feelings. ” to which she says, as she leaned up and patted me on the arm, “But you can fix it when you get out of bed in the morning,”  We have had other conversations about short hair as she has grown up.  Once when she was about five or so, I was taking her home.  She was in the back in her car seat and for some reason she called me a boy.  I told her, “I am not a boy.  I am a girl.”  She says, “You are not a gurl, you have short hair, you are a boy.”  We went around for a few minutes before I won the argument by saying, “I’m telling your dad.”  She concedes, “You are a gurl.”

I understand also that, traditionally, a large majority of men prefer women with long, luxurious hair; but long, luxurious hair does NOT define a woman’s femininity, and should not define their desirability   Clean, properly cut, well taken care of hair is beautiful, no matter the length.  A previous boy friend used to pull at my hair and tell it to grow.  Yes, of course his hand got smacked!  A male friend of almost thirty years used to dance all the way around the subject without actually telling me that I should let my hair grow.  I was always hearing how much he liked long hair on women, about his current-at-the-time girlfriend’s long, beautiful hair, or the new girlfriend that let her hair grow out to please him.  Poor girl! I say, “Poor girl,” because her hair was the same consistency as mine.  I know what kind of headache she was dealing with.  I think that men who pigeonhole women as not desirable because of short hair are really missing out on a lot of awesome women.

I received an attitude adjustment early in life about focusing on physical beauty, or the perceived lack thereof.  I was a twenty-eight year old that had zero self confidence, and the thin, wispy, fly-away, baby fine hair was a large contributor to that condition.  While on a business trip to the Washington D.C. area, I met a man that turned my way of thinking up side down and changed the way I thought of myself.  I had noticed him the first part of the week.  He was a black man with salty gray hair and very, very dramatic scars on all visible parts of his body. The thing I noticed during the week was that he had such an amazing and beautiful smile.  The lady that I was traveling with told me that generally a burn is about the only thing that will cause that type of scarring.  She and I ended up at dinner with him one evening during the week.  This man was a sweet grandfather who was retired from the military.  While he was a young man in the army, he was in a terrible helicopter crash.  He was burned over most of his body.  He spent years, and years – and years recovering – physically, emotionally and spiritually.  We sat across the table from him that night and told him our stories and listened to his story and his words and his wisdom.  I cannot even begin to describe the peace that he carried within his heart.  It emanated outward as light.  By the time our dinner ended that evening, as I looked across the table at him, I could not see a single scar on his face.  Sounds off the wall, I know.  All I could see was beauty…beauty in that dazzling smile and beauty in the light that came from the peace and love of God inside him and flowed out of his eyes; which were the kindest eyes you can imagine.  Plus, the scars seemed to disappear.  When we returned to the hotel, I asked my traveling companion what she thought about the evening.  She told me the same thing that I was feeling.  By the end of the evening, the scars had disappeared for her also.  All she could see was beauty – beautiful, glowing, smooth skin, and those eyes that looked straight into your soul.  That evening was the time when physical beauty ceased to be the guiding factor in my life.  It was the time that I truly experienced the reality that beauty comes from within.

It was also a short time after this meeting that I found a haircut called the “mop top” on the cover of a magazine.  I took this to my hair dresser and told her that I wanted this cut.  She hedged for a moment or two and tried to explain how short this cut was.  I told her it was what I wanted.  She cut my shoulder length, thin, wispy, fly-away, baby fine hair into that short, shaggy, messy, spiky style and I fell in love with in instantly.  We modified it so that it is a little longer than that first cut and I have grown it out a little longer a few times, but I always go back to the short pixie-type hair cut.  I have made peace with my hair and I wish other people would also.

Our ladies Bible study group has been doing a study on 1 Peter over the past few weeks.  We have had some conversations about outward beauty and how that sometimes the most beautiful outwardly are not beautiful at all, and sometimes those that do not have obvious physical beauty are the most beautiful.  For those that are just plain mean on the inside, no amount of beauty on the outside will adhere.  It just melts off and pools on the floor where it slips away from them.  The way that you behave and the way you treat others is such a big part of being a beautiful woman, or a beautiful person for that matter.  I have no illusions about physical beauty, but I truly seek to cultivate that internal beauty, that comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the Spirit that lives within me.

So, even though my hair looks like “that,” what do I want people to see?  I would hope, when all is said and done, that people will not see me and my many imperfections, but would see the love that God has shown to all mankind through the gift that is His Son.

~~

Instead, make yourselves beautiful on the inside, in your hearts, with the enduring quality of a gentle, peaceful spirit. This type of beauty is very precious in God’s eyes.  
1 Peter 3:4

Therefore, as God’s choice, holy and loved, put on compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.
Colossians 3:12

3 thoughts on “Why Does Your Hair Look Like That?”

  1. Love this one too Elaine!! Having lived many years now with hair that would embarrass a clown, i needed
    this reminder. Even as a senior now!!

    Like

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