Wow, we are just over a week into the new year and I already feel like it’s flying by! Ummm… wasn’t it just New Year’s yesterday?? No? Okay, I digress. I hope that everyone’s 2019 is starting off on the right foot and you all are feeling, happy, healthy, and confident!
If you’ve been following my blog since day one, or even if this is our first moment together you are probably feeling some positivity and confident vibes coming off of me. I’m not a bragger by any means, in fact, I think of myself as super humble, but I can comfortably talk about my accomplishments as well as my failures and I’m good with them.
If this was 10 years ago and you met me, you would have met a girl who had no idea what her worth was.
I grew up experiencing a lot of trauma, but I think the one thing above all else that I still have to keep in check is my self-confidence. Sometimes I feel like my confidence is a 7ft deep, reinforced steel, make my day, kinda confidence. Other times I feel like a dollar store tissue, one ply, unable to withstand the smallest sneeze without falling to pieces.
I have struggled with my appearance, my weight, and my hair for years. And until just a few years ago, I never really felt very pretty.
My ex-boyfriend who was also my first routinely called me a butter face, you know, “everything looks good but-her-face”, and he allowed his friends to also call me ugly quite a few times. I had such little self-esteem that I couldn’t and most wouldn’t even try to defend myself.
It wasn’t until 2010 when all of that started to change.
I remember sitting in my bathroom, my ex was playing video games in the living room. I had just rushed a sorority, not of the Devine Nine, but the Panhellenic sorority Gamma Phi Beta, and the next day was bid day. I was drunk and high and I stared at myself in the mirror and hated everything I saw. But mostly, I hated my hair, I had a perm and my hair was thin, damaged and sad plus my mom was the only one who did my hair and I was away at college. I was too afraid to perm my own hair because I was scared that it would fall out.
I needed to make a change, and if you know me, you know I don’t do anything half-assed. It’s all or nothing for this girl! So I decided to cut off all of my hair. (The irony right?) I drained my glass of wine and just started cutting. Maybe I had a Britney moment, who knows? I was definitely having a Jasmine moment.
When it was all said and done, I looked in the mirror, searching for my a-ha moment and it wasn’t there. I didn’t feel more beautiful, I just felt bald. I went to a hair salon the next day before class to see if anything could be done to make me look more feminine and less like – well Britney, sans umbrella. The lady lined me up and when I looked in the mirror, something was a little different. I noticed the shape of my face, perfectly oval and I thought, okay I might be able to do something with this. I marched as confidently as I could onto campus and received my bid.
The process of growing my hair out was slow and confusing, I had never seen my hair in it’s natural virgin state and I was completely out of my element. It was distressing at first because my hair grew so slowly but as I learned to navigate and care for my hair, I was also learning to care for myself.
The nightly rituals of tenderly finger combing my curls and braiding or twisting them together so that in the morning I would hopefully have a banging twist-out. Key word… hopefully.
I developed the patience to allow my hair to come into its own. I allowed myself the same patience to experience my pain and grow from it. Growing my hair out taught me to take care of myself, physically and mentally. If I didn’t take care of my hair, it would dry out and tangle, I had to take care of myself to take care of it.
As my hair grew longer, I grew more confident, not only in my appearance but also in who I was. I began to see my hair as a crown and if I had a crown, I had to be a queen and there wasn’t a soul on this planet that could tell me otherwise!
I grew my hair, cut my hair and did it all over again. I was so comfortable with who I was and people gravitated to me and my energy. For my 25th birthday, I cut all my hair off into a mohawk and walked into a men’s barbershop in Oakland and asked for something fly.
During the tail-end of 2017 and all last year, I have been in the process of growing my hair back after a few years of heavy experimentation with my look. The last hairstyle before this last big chop was a super cute blonde curly short cut that lasted for 3 weeks before it turned into a hairstyle that resembled dry ramen noodles… So I cut it off and I’m working my way back again.
Beauty comes from within you and people feed off of the energy that you give off be it positive or negative. How you feel about yourself is yours and no one can take that away from you!