When I was in my late teens and early twenties I rather liked my reflection in the mirror. I don’t mean that I imagined I was hot stuff. More that I had a nice smile, a petite elf like face and good skin.
Recently I had a bad haircut. This haircut has become like an avalanche taking down my confidence with it.
Let me start from the beginning. I was 35 weeks pregnant with Wonder Girl and I decided a nice shiny new haircut would be a good idea. I felt rather whale like and as the only bit of me even close to normal size was my head, it seemed sensible to focus on my hair.
The first mistake I made was letting a local mum, who works as a hairdresser from home, cut it. I asked for a shoulder length bob. I got a razored cut of many different lengths. The back looked like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards.
It was literally the worst haircut I had ever had! I lived with it for a few days. I decided I would be a hat wearer. Then I imagined my first pictures with my new baby, with this horrible haircut. After that I cried more than I’d like to admit and booked myself an appointment at an actual hairdressers with premises.
The hairdresser was pretty shocked that someone apparently trained to cut hair had managed to achieve such a terrible look. The only way to salvage it, a drastically shorter cut to get rid of the razored mess my barnett had become.
This is how I ended up with a short bob. It looks fine, I get compliments even, but I don’t really like my hair this short.
This new haircut prompted me to spend rather more time than usual looking in the mirror. Gosh what a shock it was to find crow’s feet, and other wrinkles on my once unblemished skin. I have this weird brown patterning that I recognise from looking at older women, only now it’s on my face.
Also to add to my delight I appear to have rather more chins than I remember from ten years ago. More I have a chin under-hang. I don’t need this extra flesh and it rather reminds me of a goose.
You are probably reading this in horror at my vanity. I know, I know, crows feet are a sign of laughter. Confidence in my appearance will apparently shine through so I have to learn to love this gradual decline.
I have made my living in part from my appearance. It’s hard to go from smiling on stage, head to foot in Lycra, to hiding on the school run because you forgot to apply your make up.
I decided to have a chat with a slightly older woman who I consider to be growing old gracefully. She hasn’t hit Marks and Spencer yet, and I think she looks great.
She told me this. The simple fact is we look our very youthful best in our late teens and early twenties. After that you have a choice, either spend time and energy craving that youth and mourning it’s loss. Or don’t, enjoy what you do have and don’t sweat it.
This struck me as so true. I’m only thirty (something) and I’m already worried. I have decades ahead(hopefully) in which I could get my knickers in a twist about all this. Or I could be enjoying myself, regardless…
Appearance is such a small part of life. Youth is such a tiny window in that life. I don’t want to buy into the modern obsession with clinging onto it.
So this is me. I live, I laugh and I love. Every blemish and wrinkle is a testament to that.
My vow from here and now is to hold onto that thought. I’m sure I will still look in the mirror and be less than thrilled with what I see from time to time. Those feelings are going to be as tiny and unimportant as they should be. I’d love to hear from you about this
Your hair looks lovely and that’s a great photo!
But I do feel your pain. Way back in 1997 I decided in my ‘wisdom’ to go for a ‘shorter more manageable look’ before I gave birth.
The result – short boy hair. That on it’s own would not have been bad – but the hairdresser (and I say hairdresser in the loosest of terms) styled the front on Dot Cottom from Eastenders.
Shocking and my birth photos remain hidden out of public view…
Ah so you understand then, thanks.
Oh, yes. I had a “I have two small children, this will be more practical” haircut when my son was a baby. Disasterville.
I feel your pain, and I was not horrified, but rather nodding in agreement.
More important than fresh faced skin is character and expression, or so I tell myself. I won’t be heading to the Botox counter any time soon.
Moisturise daily, drink lots of fluid and stop worrying about things you can’t control because you’ll make it worse and then you can add in a frown line too. I am 40 next birthday and am aging disgracefully but I try not to grind my teeth, I relax my jaw and my mouth. There is tension in aging that accelerates the wrinkles. Try and relax – stick on some tunes, shake your booty, do a handstand connect with your inner acrobat!! Good luck – say cheese 😉
I love your hair! (Maybe because we are hair soul sisters, with an almost identical look? Well, maybe…)
But I know that pain of the terrible haircut. I’ve recently decided that my hair is too dry so I’ve cut way way back on how often I wash it. I think it’s going into shock, judging my the tantrums it’s throwing.
Just think of people like Georgia O’Keefe or Gertrude Stein – they weren’t really beautiful but you in pictures you can’t take your eyes off them. That kind of beauty and presence comes shining from the inside.
I think my hair looks great on you! This is actually making me feel better about it on me, so hooray for red quirky hair. Lovely to meet you today. Have got a head full of ideas now underneath my cool hair.
I too went and had a bad hair cut just before I gave birth to Burton – it’s taken me all this time to get it back to the length it is now!!
I think it is true that we need to grow old gracefully and as stylish (to ourown ndividual tastes) and befitting of our age as we possibly can. I thought you looked lovely yesterday – I don’t know your age but your skin is in great condition and you look fresh faced. I look in the mirror and see a lot more lines, sun spots etc.. But hey I have lived and had fun and laughed and my face shows this. I don’t want to grow old and I can’t believe i am the age I am, but what can you do??
Great post as always and nice presentation 😉 xx
Thanks , I think we always look more critically at ourselves than other people. I think you looked lovely also. The recommended spaces in the post defiantly help don’t they.
You are looking good to me sister!
I am 44. Mother of 5. Had a crisis a few years ago – and sometimes look at my 21 yr old daughter with something that would be envy if it wasn’t also pride …imagine my surprise to hear that she envies me – my style, my confidence, my grace, my unflappability (hadn’t realised all these lovely things about me!!). We seldom appreciate the youth we have when we’ve got it. We seldom appreciate the good bits about us.
From a vanity perspective – a good sun factor moisturiser, good diet, and lots of laughter and love! And acceptance.
From a more serious perspective…My close friend died when she was 26. I sometimes remind myself that I am lucky to be this old…
Hair looks fine and not vain at all. Don’t blame you for feeling the way you do – we all want to look good especially in the third trimester when we can feel grotty. So if it goes wrong, which in your case it did, it can feel mortifying. If it makes you feel any better, I decided not to dye my hair in pregnancy and had a lot of grey hair coverage by the time Little A arrived, nice – I was 39. PS great photo. Love the sling!
I think it’s working for you – it looks good!
I had a too short, too choppy cut earlier this year that ended up being remedied by going REALLY short. And I don’t have a pixie like face – I have an oval face that short hair doesn’t suit. I was really upset about it, too – I was convinced it brought out all my worst features and wrinkles – but I think it was just the shock.
You’ll get used to your hair, I reckon, and maybe even learn to love it. Good luck!
What a stunning photo. I completely agree with your sentiments about the aging process. It is tough to see the bloom of youth fading away ( by one’s thirties anyway!). I do not consider myself vain that I wish to look attractive – it makes me feel good about myself, and yes, things like a good haircut do help. As for the crows feet, the laughter lines, the frown line between my brows – my face paints a picture of the life I’ve lived, and I try to be proud of that.
Thanks for all the comments. It is good to hear that I’m not thought vain for being concerned with my wrinkles. Also good to hear that the general consensus on the hair is good. Now not sure whether to grow it back or leave it how it is.
There is nothing like a bad haircut to destroy your confidence. I think it looks lovely though. I was never allowed long hair when I was little so I don’t ever have it cut these days and when I do, I only let them take an inch or two off! I went through a phase of having a fringe though and I had some awful people cut it – luckily it grew back fairly quickly though! And I noticed some crows feet the other day! Arghhh! x
Actually I was never allowed long hair either so perhaps that’s why I prefer my long. After years of bad fringes I just cut mine myself now, as I look terrible without it. Thanks for your comment.
Fab photo- you look great! I know what you mean though about haircuts. A bad haircut really does knock your confidence. I had a horrendous haircut when I was younger, and it was really bad! It scarred me for life and I am really neurotic about hairdressers – I hate having to change as I like having a hairdresser I can trust! Great post!