Somewhere around 2007, I dressed up for Halloween as a pregnant Nicole Richie. I wore a big blonde wig, black sunglasses, and a black dress with a pillow stuffed inside. In hindsight, it was a dumb costume. My get-up was a total fail. I was completely misunderstood at the house party that night, which was full of zombies and dead football players. I constantly had to explain that I was not dressed as Audrey Hepburn. Why would Audrey Hepburn be pregnant? Explaining who Nicole Richie is got old. I thought I was being topical, but it just made for a very dull Halloween. Now that I'm older, and wiser, I only attend Halloween parties where other people are dressed as celebrities, memes, and internet things as opposed to scary things with blood on them.
So, back to the blonde wig I wore on that fateful Halloween.
I've always a brunette, and I have pretty dark eyebrows, so before that costume, I'd never even thought about being blonde. But when I caught a glimpse of myself in the frat house bathroom that night, I saw a twinkle in my eye. The blonde wig made me feel brighter than ever. For weeks I couldn't stop thinking about how good I'd look as a blonde. But I was afraid, and I was poor, and then I forgot.
Fast forward almost a decade to a couple of months ago, and I realized it was time for a hair change. I decided that after our wedding that's coming up in August, I would do a big chop and go blonde and obviously start having way more fun after the "big day." I wanted to preserve my long, healthy, sun-kissed brown hair for my virginal braided crown for our wedding, even though I was dreaming of my future blonde lob and couldn't wait for September. I had unconsciously adhered to another one of those rules we impose on ourselves without rhyme or reason, especially around weddings. More on this later.
So I told my 6-month hair plan to one of my aunts, and all she said was, "Why wait? You'll look great no matter what." And it was all I needed to hear. Turns on the hangup was just a tiny thread, waiting to snap. I simply needed one person to give me permission. I also realized that putting my life on hold for a wedding just isn't my style. If I am okay taking a risk, and walking down the sidewalk as a blonde, why couldn't I walk down the aisle as a blonde?
So I did it! My blonde lob is alive and I'm loving every minute of it. My cousin, Jessica, did it and she did exactly what I wanted. If you're ever in the Peterborough, Ontario area, hit her up!
So, what is it that keeps us from making changes to not just our hair, but to bigger (more important) parts of our lives? What's with this whole "permission" thing? My challenge to myself is that next time I want to take a risk, and all I need to make it is an ounce of validation from someone else, I'm going to try to give it to myself. I want to tap into that inner power.
The whole "bridal beauty" thing is also pretty perplexing, no matter what "style of bride" one might be. (Side note: I think I hate the term 'bride' more than like, anything, ever.) If bridal beauty expectations is a topic that you're interested in, check out this article titled "Who Decides Which Version of Yourself Is the “Best” Version? " on my favourite wedding/relationship blog, A Practical Wedding.
So, thank you Nicole Richie, and thank you to that dollar store wig. I guess we don't always know will be right for us until we try. The rules, in fashion and in life, seem to matter less and less all the time, don't you think?