“You’re so pretty mom, I wish I looked like you,” I told her once, but then she responded with, “You’re pretty too baby girl, I wish I had your hair.” This wasn’t the last time she made that comment, yet every time she says it, it hits me in an odd way. Her hair was her glory as a young woman, so I know it hurts her to not have what she once loved. Who doesn’t want their beautiful mother to feel gorgeous, but unfortunately, self-esteem isn’t a pill that can be swallowed and then magically erase all of one’s insecurities overnight. It’s a process, and for some, that process may never reach the final stage.
My mother had beautiful curly hair growing up, but as she got older, it began to thin and fall out—a biological normality for people reaching midlife ages. Nevertheless, this hindered her self-esteem and to this day she continues to look for remedies and hair restoration solutions to give the appearance of fuller hair. Fine hair is a genetic trait passed on from her mother’s parents. I was born though with a fair mixture of both my mother and father’s type of hair—medium-coarse. My father’s genes are of full and thick hair, therefore my head is full of it all.
According to several studies, women feel attractive and confident when their hair is in tip-top shape, versus if they were having a “bad hair day.” Those results allows us to safely conclude that looks indeed matter, whether for personal self-esteem reasons or societal standards. It impacts how we feel about ourselves, and how we are viewed in our personal and professional life.
New York psychologist, Vivian Diller, states that hair has several aspects to it—historically, developmentally, and aesthetically.
Hair has played a role all the way back with ancient royalty to colonial times with elaborate wigs to prove status, wisdom, and wealth. The “founding fathers” did not have “big hair, don’t care” just for the heck of it. The next perspective is the biological role. As toddlers, hair is strong and bold, but as time passes by, hair becomes fragile and fine, as a sign of aging and loss of health.
Lastly, hair is one of the top three features mentioned when describing another person aesthetically. It creates a first impression, similar to one’s smile, eyes, and skin.
Good hair days matter, and in our digital age, the internet has given us access to an endless stream of information, thus the ability to follow YouTube tutorial instructions to the “T.” Although, the fine print says that not everything out there is going to work.
We are as unique as snowflakes, therefore, from personal experience, being moody throughout the day is wanted when the curls don’t come out like in the watched tutorial.
Opinion Matters surveyed 1,024 women regarding their appearance and 68% of women stated that a “bad hair day” caused a decrease in confidence and impeded their work performance.
Women, we have to remember our self-worth isn’t determined by our aesthetic.
I refuse to be objectified by anyone, or be reduced to a few tresses. My confidence will be built on what I deem beautiful, which is deeper than the visible surface.