It is the bane of my existence. A love-hate relationship. And way too often the source of my identity.
What, you ask? …. My hair.
I came into this world on November 19, 1967, with a head full of black curly hair — looked just like my chubby Grandma Rosie Maniscalco Mondello.
My mother tells me that her first words when she saw me were, “Look at all that hair!!” And ever since then, it has been the thorn in my side.
I never had pretty, silky curls. I’d describe it more like frizzy, coarse, it-always-looks-damaged (even when it isn’t) hair. And though I love my Italian daddy dearly, this is one inheritance I could have skipped out on.
Actually, as a little girl, it wasn’t that awful. It grew very long and I wore it in a pony tail most days. But then came the day when I wanted my mom to “cut it off!” and since about age 13, it’s been a constant battle. I’ve cut it short, grown it long, highlighted, colored, and gone au naturel. I’ve burned up more blow dryers than I can count, used hot rollers, flat irons and the like. One day my sister looked at my collection of brushes and combs and asked, “How many brushes does it take for one little girl to dry her hair?” On that particular day, it was four. Big round, small round, flat brush, paddle brush.
I won’t even get started on all the different products I’ve tried!
Recently, I decided to take the plunge and spend an embarrassing amount of money on a treatment that was guaranteed to give me the smooth and silky locks I’ve always dreamed of. I just knew I would leave the salon that day with “Christie Brinkley hair”! Well, let’s just say, it didn’t quite play out like that. I mean, the first week it was easier to dry and style. But within about four weeks, that top-shelf 12-week treatment was just about gone. Like it never even happened.
Now, let me just say that I do not blame my hair stylist. She is wonderful and has gone out of her way to make sure I’ve gotten the full value in services of what I paid. Who I’m upset with is me. One would think that an almost 44-year-old woman who is a licensed therapist and head of a ministry for women would have grown into a little bit more self-acceptance than this. And in many, many ways, I have. But let’s just say there is always room for growth.
I can easily be tempted to believe–like 98% of the women around the world–that I am not beautiful. We — you, me, RPC clients, and sisters around the globe — believe we need to be taller, shorter, skinnier, or curvier–or have better hair–to be worthy of acceptance and love. To be considered beautiful. It’s a worldwide epidemic and not an easy one for us to avoid.
But the reality is…. none of it really matters, including better hair. What we need are “better hearts”…. healed hearts…. hearts that believe that the unique design God used in creating us is perfect. Beautiful.
There is a Veggie Tales® story called Sweetpea Beauty, where Sweetpea knows that what’s on the inside matters most, but the insecure Queen can’t see past her own reflection. At one point, Prince Larry asks Sweetpea how she sees beauty in everything. She replies, “I don’t know. It’s God who sees beauty in everything. I just choose to agree with Him.”
I wonder what would happen if women embraced Sweetpea’s perspective. We can stand in front of the mirror all day long and like or not like what we see. We can lose weight or gain weight, cut our hair or grow it long. In the end what matters most is that we have a heart that is captivating to Him.
The following music video is Nichole Nordeman singing, “Beautiful For Me”…. a song written from the perspective of God, a song that the artist wrote to “capture how much He adores us and how we captivate Him because He made us in His image.”
I hope it blesses you on this day. You are Beautiful.