Appearance Is Everything, Self-Worth Is Nothing

I’m going down south for the weekend. I’d rather not since I don’t really know anyone down there, but I don’t exactly have a choice. That alone is bad enough. What’s worse is I have to get my hair done.

Yes, I have to get my hair done for a ONE-day trip to see people I don’t even know.

My grandfather initially wanted me to get hair extensions done. Uh, no. Hair extensions take too much time and are a pain to take out. No way was I getting extensions in my hair for one weekend. Too much work and too much money. The compromise was I go to the salon to simply have my hair straightened. But what’s upset me is something my grandfather said today.

“You’ve got to start going [to the beauty parlor] again, so you may as well start now.”

No. No! NO!

This isn’t anything new. Almost my whole family has an obsession with appearance. Specifically, my appearance. The idea of a girl who actually likes how she looks and doesn’t feel the need to run to the salon every week is a foreign concept.

In other words, my self-esteem means nothing.

Forget the fact that I have low self-esteem to begin with. Apparently, being short-haired, wanting to stay that way and wanting to do your own hair is an issue. If this were a wedding (which I also hate), I could understand, but this is nothing but a trip. Nothing special at all. Just a trip. Even my uncle doesn’t want to go. But I’ve got to be dolled up, for some unfathomable reason (forget the fact that my nails are already done).

Like I said, this is nothing new. My own mother’s definition of pretty was having your hair done for $70. I was getting weave in my hair at the age of seven. Why does a seven-year-old need hair extensions?!?!? I hated it. Hated being in that chair, hated my aching head and I hated the notion that I wasn’t pretty without all this. I was bullied at school and being called ugly was the most common insult. It really doesn’t feel good to be told you’re ugly in school by your classmates, only to come home and basically hear the same from your own mother! This is the person who’s supposed to be helping me grow as a person, not make me feel small!

When I think about it, however, the real bully was my mother. Sure, my classmates (most of them, not all) picked on me, but never as much as she did. High school was when the school bullying began to stop, but my mother didn’t. I can recall her screaming at me (when I was 15), “People talking about you!” No, she was. Nobody was picking on me but her. And even if it were true, why did she care? When you have children, shouldn’t their opinion matter more than someone else’s? So what someone else thinks of me is more important to my mother than what I think of me?

I guess so.

Back to the original topic, this situation going on just makes me more anxious for the day I can finally move out and get the heck away from everyone. If I’m happy with myself (usually), why can’t everyone else be? I’ve got nothing against going to the beauty parlor. I just don’t want it. As long as I look neat (and I always do), there shouldn’t be an issue. Plus, if I’ve got to do anything, it’s learn to take care of myself and that does not mean running to the salon every month.

I’ve been considering estranging myself from my family when I’m finally able to be on my own. That’s a drastic step, but I can’t have my mind being broken all the time. I’ve got issues as it is and being around here is not helping. Maybe that’s why I usually feel more loved/liked by my friends and even my camp (yes, that counselor and I are back on good terms now). They see more to me than just my appearance. And that’s how I prefer to be seen.

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