Keeping up appearances?

The idea for this post came to mind after I read this awesome post from the Finding Positives blog. Do check it out, its a fab blog and Mr FP is very friendly! The post talks about tattoos, piercings and hair dye. I haven’t got any of the first two but I regularly dye my hair and Mr FP’s post got me thinking about my thought process when I’m deciding what colour to go for. It also got me thinking about how some people (me included!) may use our appearance to put on a front. More about that later, first I want to talk about hair dye.

In the few years that I have been dying my hair, I’ve noticed that when I’m choosing a colour I think about what that colour “says” about me. Yes I know that sounds weird but I guess I want the colour of my hair to look the way I want to feel. For example:

  • Red- Cool and confident
  • Brunette- Sophisticated, “grown up”.
  • Deep purple/plum- Brave, confident, more noticeable

So when I was going through my red phase, I would think that it would be easier for me to act confident, because I would look the part, because you need a certain amount of confidence to dye your hair that colour in the first place! Hey I never said it made any sense…

But I don’t think I am the only one who does this. A phrase that I have heard a lot in the past is “If you don’t feel confident, fake it!” and if dying your hair a particular colour helps you feel more confident, then go for it! That’s what I do. I suppose at some point everyone uses their appearance to make themselves feel a certain way. Whether that is wearing a favourite warm jumper in the winter because it makes you feel comfortable and secure, wearing high heels because they make you feel taller and more sure of yourself or wearing a dress that makes you feel pretty and elegant. Have you done something like this? Let me know in the comments section.

I think the point I am trying to make is that whether it is tattoos, piercings, hair colour or generally the way we dress, it is something we can control. Whether you have a MH condition or not, our appearance is something that we can control and use to express who we are. For those of us who do have anxiety or depression or another MH condition, control is often something we crave. After all, isn’t that what we want, to be able to control ourselves and our emotions? I would definitely like to be able to control anxious thoughts and feelings when they pop up! So having something that we can control, no matter how small can be a huge comfort. I am learning to reduce my anxiety, trying to “control” it normally makes things worse, so instead I’m learning to let the anxiety pass when it bubbles up without trying to fight it. So far it is working! But in the meantime, I take comfort in choosing my clothes and hair colour based on who I want to be, a confident person who doesn’t let anxiety take over her life!

And you know what? Step by step, I’m getting there =)

What about you, who do you want to be?

Take care,

Hayley x


7 thoughts on “Keeping up appearances?

  1. Lovely blog and thank you for the beautifully generous words. I agree with your point it affects our confidence. I feel different wearing a suit, shirt and tie than I would do in jeans and a football shirt. I remember when I worked in an office, dress down Fridays had a different vibe than when we all wore office clothes.

    I’m all for people expressing themselves. No-one should hide in the shadows of life. We are all fascinating and beautiful creatures who deserve to be celebrated – not feeling shy or too timid to have our moment in the sun.

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