At the end of December, I bought a planner. It was cute, it was half-off, and everyone who owns a planner says it’s life-changing. And while I wasn’t sure I believed that hype – I’m already pretty hyper organized as it is – I figured why the hell not? You can’t be too organized, right?
Then, as the calendar flipped from 2016 to 2017, I decided it was time to write some goals down. If it was going to be the bible of my life, there was no better place to document the things I wanted to accomplish this new year than in a place where they would be in easy reach all the time. Some of my goals are lofty (Am I really not going to buy a single handbag this year? Probably not.) and others are strategically more attainable, so when I achieve them, I can actually feel like I did something. Falling into that latter category is: “Do hair daily – no lazy hair!”
Yes, I seriously had to write that down on a list of goals for myself. You see, as I’ve grown my hair out from a chin-length bob to what I hope will eventually be gorgeous flowing mermaid hair, I’ve gotten lazy. I’ve fallen into a routine of wet pullbacks (ugh), messy buns, and stretchy head-wraps, with nary a blow dryer, flat iron or curling wand in sight. Sure, I could blame my lack of a polished coif on the sheer time it takes to deal with my hair, but it was more than the time commitment. Aside from the rare occasion that I felt I had someone to impress, I had just stopped putting in any effort. I said “fuck it” and fully embraced the “this is how I look when I get up in the morning and if people don’t like it, screw ‘em” mentality.
I wasn’t alone. The world (aka social media) seems to be overtaken by makeup-free selfies and un-brushed bedhead, which is certainly empowering in its own way. But I realized something as I was writing down those 2017 goals: while it is fantastically freeing feeling to stop giving a shit what other people think about your looks, there’s also a downside to not putting in any effort: you’re also likely sending the message that you don’t care what you look like.
Sure, there are those that would argue going out into the world with unkempt hair or no make-up says that you are just happy with your “natural look.” But seriously, aside from Gisele, who is that really true for? Instead, it’s more likely that you’ve just gotten lazy or discouraged or disheartened, and the message that you’re sending isn’t one of self-confidence, it’s one that says you don’t have enough respect for yourself to at least try and look semi-presentable before you leave the house. Is that what you want people to think when they look at you? The more I thought about it, the more I decided I absolutely did not.
But yet, for some reason, I was afraid to outwardly admit that I was going to start putting in some effort. Because we mock those girls who actually try, the ones who make an effort with their hair and makeup, even at the gym. When we put some work into our appearance, we downplay it, like we’re embarrassed to admit that we didn’t somehow wake up looking like Beyoncé. And all I can say to that…no matter what the caption on the picture is, if you actually believe that Beyoncé woke up like that, I’ve got a unicorn you may be interested in buying. The fact of the matter is no one “woke up like this” and presenting it as such is just as fake as the eyelashes the girl who is “trying” glued on her lids this morning. So let’s cut the crap, shall we? We all care what we look like, and even if you are Queen Bey, it takes a little work.
Here’s another one of my 2017 goals: finding a middle ground where we all aren’t afraid to admit when we put a little (or a lot of) effort into our appearance. And since I figure that starts with me, here it is: I didn’t wake up like this. Instead, I woke up an hour early to straighten my hair – and I’m not afraid to admit it..
Image via Shutterstock