Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Be Who You Are and Your Natural Beauty Shines!

When I make a choice for myself, I am generally pretty committed to that choice because for me, it feels right. I don't worry too much about what other people think because I know that I have to be comfortable in my own skin to be happy.

In 2008, after two years of coloring my graying hair, I stopped cold turkey.  It never felt like "me" to color my hair.  I personally don't think there is anything wrong with a person coloring their hair, it just wasn't the right choice for me. At the time I was and still am trying to reduce all chemicals that enter my body and I believe anything that goes on my skin is as harmful as ingesting it. But most importantly in my decision making was that coloring my hair just didn't feel right to me. It didn't feel like I was being true to what I wanted for myself.  So, I stopped.

Since deciding to go natural with my hair, I have had many women comment, or perhaps I should say, "apologize", for not keeping their natural color.  This makes me feel very uncomfortable. I have not made the choice to stop coloring my hair so that I can stand in judgement of others, I do it because it feels right for me.  In fact, I often think women that color their hair look very attractive.  I like the creativity that many teens and women of all ages express through their hair.  It just isn't me. 

Although I don't color my hair, I do enjoy wearing make-up.  I look for options that I feel have the least amount of chemicals, put it on my face, and enjoy it!  I don't apolgize to my friends that go without makeup when I wear it because I know I am wearing it because I enjoy wearing it.  To me our bodies are like a couch.  A couch can be totally beautiful on its own, but often we like to spruce it up a bit with some colorful pillows. My face, rather than my hair, is where I like to play around.

I think the human body provides us with a lot of creativity.  We have the option of showing our natural beauty when we want, but our body can also be a canvas for creating and exploring.  When my daughter was around two or three years old she started drawing on her body with markers which is a hobby that has continued into her teens (before that she painted her body).  One day she had pictures all over her body with marker.  I told her I was concerned about the chemicals that might leak into her body from the markers.  She looked so sad and disappointed in my response to something she obviously felt so good about.  When my husband came home he looked at her body and said something like, "Wow! Those are really cool."  She lit up!

This was a good learning lesson for me.  We all have our own desires for what we want to do with our bodies.  I know 100% that my daughter will have a tattoo when she is 18 years old.  Does that make her a person that is weak or trying to cover up her own natural beauty?  No way!  In fact, I love listening to her ideas of tattoos that she hopes to get one day mostly because I like seeing her face light up and also because she is a person that is totally sure of herself and makes no apologies for who she is or what she wants.  How could I not admire that?

Our bodies are our very own and however creative we want to get with them is a very personal choice depending on who we are and where we are in life.  No person should ever apologize for being who they are.  If you love being completely free of hair coloring, make-up and other body creations - do it!  If you love coloring your hair - do it!  If you love wearing make-up as I do - do it!  If you love tattoos on your body - do it!  I would rather see a woman go to the hair salon and come out with colored hair, polished nails, tons of makeup, and a GREAT BIG SMILE of complete pleasure than someone who is avoiding what makes them feel good because they feel it doesn't fit in with the group of people or ideals they admire.  Be who you are and feel good about who you are.  That is really when our natural beauty shines!     

To see my progress from colored hair to natural hair, visit posts here and here. 

This is one of my favorite photos of Steve and myself. On this evening I dressed up, put on my makeup and fixed my graying hair for an evening out with my husband.  As I looked in the mirror, I felt beautiful and this photo reminds me of that great feeling I felt about myself and how I could see that my husband felt the exact same way.  Be who you are!


  1. Great post, Cathy! I totally agree.

    Sometimes a little makeup or nail polish goes a long way to helping me feel better when I'm in a flare. I guess it's a way of reminding myself that I still value my body and that it can still be beautiful even when it hurts.

  2. I so agree with this post. And I take it even a step further by saying the same thing for what and how people approach their ra. Some use traditional meds and feel fine doing it, some feel only all natural is the way to go, some do a combo of the above and some do nothing at all. If it works for you, then hats off! I enjoyed this post. And I have to admit, I am still doing my hair with color. I tried the all natural but gave in. I will say I do it less and less often...maybe 4 times a year now and who knows...maybe one day I will like my greys enough to call it quits all together.

  3. I think it's wonderful that you accept the signs of ageing so gracefully, Cathy. I feel the same way about it right now, but so far haven't had to face gray hair. Instead, my naturally blonde hair has slowly dulled and darkened over the years, and to spice it up a little, I've had it highlighted when I could afford it. I wear only the lightest of mineral makeups--have for years, mainly to de-emphasize my ruddy rosacea blotches--but if I'm dressing up for a special evening out, or for a job interview, etc. I put a bit of eye shadow and mascara on, too. It's fun to pretty up, and gratifying to know I still "have it" even in my mid-50s.
    Thanks for the playful post, Cathy!

  4. Cathy, I loved this post. It often confuses and almost pains me when a personal choice I made for me or my family makes another person feel apologetic or even defensive. Thank you for writing about it. Our choices are for us to decide I feel blessed when I realize the extent of personal freedom we are allowed if we want it.