Okay, I’ll admit it. Vanity is my second favorite sin.
I grew up following my family to weight watchers meetings on Thursday nights. I used to love going with them because it meant we always got to go to White Spot after for pie. But looking back it probably wasn’t the healthiest impression to give a six or seven year old.
Fat = bad. Skinny = good.
Lose weight and get rewarded with praise. Gain weight and… well, there was always the walk of shame from the scale to the car.
And then pie.
My mom and my aunts would fluctuate with their weight but it was always a GOOD thing when you looked like you weighed less than the last time they saw you. Appearances obviously meant something.
And then of course, as a career I chose the most appearance-centric industry possible aside from modelling. I became an actor. Because obviously I have some latent masochist streak in me somewhere.
Weight has always been an issue at the front of my mind. Especially in Vancouver. Vancouver might be the most superficial city on the continent outside of Los Angeles. When you overhear guys talking about women they find attractive in Vancouver? I’d bet at least 80% of the time you hear that she had an incredible body before you hear any of her other attributes.
So, because I’m a bit of an asshole, I protected myself (and my heart) by staying physically unattractive. The guys I find attractive don’t look at girls with as much junk as I have in my trunk. I could wear the apple bottom jeans but the boots with the fur had to be wide calf. My milkshake wasn’t bringing anyone to the yard because it was made with full fat real dairy. And I don’t think anyone is ready for this jelly.
The funny thing was, I had a lot of people telling me that I was attractive but I never believed any of them. And I still don’t. Because that’s just something people SAY. Seriously now, who the hell is going to say to you, “wow, you’re so almost good looking.” No one.
I got the most interesting compliment once when a guy told our mutual friend that he thought I was really beautiful. “But, like, I don’t want to date her or anything.” Story of my life. I’ve never been girlfriend material. But I’ll do in a pinch as good time material.
I remember having a great time with a cute guy one night at a party. We drank, we kissed, we drank some more. And I guess he got a bad case of buyer’s remorse when his friends called him on it the next day. I still remember the “friend” we had in common telling me with a laugh, “He said he didn’t even know what he was thinking!”
But really, that worked just fine for me. Because I never wanted to be with someone that would only be interested in me if I weighed the same as an 8th grader. In fact, my weight became the ultimate test. If someone could stand to love me or be attracted to me when I was overweight then wouldn’t that prove they truly loved ME as a person and not just what I looked like?
What if I got in the best shape of my life and met the man of my dreams? I’d spend every day worrying about gaining a pound just in case their feelings for me changed. Because he couldn’t POSSIBLY like me if I was overweight. My incredible snarky ways wouldn’t keep a man so I’d have to keep a perfect body.
And that is NEVER gonna happen. So my body has kind of become the sword in the stone.
I’ve come to terms with that. Maybe there is a great guy out there who woudln’t give a damn if I ordered extra butter on my popcorn at the movies. Hell, even my FATHER gives me the Sigh of Doom when I do that.
I used to believe that Dad and I would get along better if I could only look perfect. I know he loves me, that’s not the question at all. But I also know he likes things a certain way and expects females to fit into a certain mold. He definitely hasn’t been comfortable with my size for a LONG time. God only knows what he thinks these days. I know what I think and that’s bad enough.
Eight and a half years ago I thought I was practically a whale. I look at those photos now and wish I could be there. Instead I’m almost 100lbs heavier. That’s a big deal. And it has had a huge impact on my self esteem.
So since my body is a no-go-zone, at least I have my hair.
Or I did until I got fed up and chopped it all off last week. About a year and a half ago a brand new stylist decided to thin my hair out FROM THE ROOT with these nifty weird scissors. We hadn’t discussed her cutting anything and my politeness got in the way of my mouth so it was a while before I asked what the hell she was doing. She said, “don’t worry, I know curls.” Which, apparently she didn’t. Since then I’ve been dealing with the regrowth – brand new curls twisting around themselves at my scalp. It has been hell and I had finally had enough when I woke up the other day and my hair was completely matted.
I was prepared to take a pair of scissors from the kitchen and hack it all off. I was FED up.
My hair was pretty long, about two, maybe two and a half inches lower than my bra down my back. And now………
So it’s pretty much all gone. GAHHHH!!! It hasn’t been this short since I was 10/11 years old. I’m still getting used to the fact that I can’t put it into a ponytail but I really, REALLY love that I can get in and out of the shower without a care now. It’s a wash and go kind of situation which is perfect for the summer heat. And honestly, I had some pretty serious heat damage to get rid of so I’m ready to start anew!
It’s truly amazing how cathartic a haircut can be. I went in looking like Buckwheat and came out feeling like Beyoncé. And to be honest, I really feel good. I feel lighter overall despite what the scale says. I feel ready for a change, ready for a challenge, ready for whatever comes next.
All because Erin at Mystique Hair Design gave me a brand new look.
Vanity. It’s my second favorite sin. Heh.
“Mirror mirror on the wall, hit up Prince Charming tell him to give me a call – never mind, screw him,”