Fake It Till Ya Make It

I got my hair color done on Saturday and they butchered it (the cut was great – the color looked like hell).  So I went back on Monday to have it fixed, and they turned it RED.  I do NOT look good with red hair.  So after I got home from work, I got in the shower and washed it about 5 times.  You should have seen the orange dye running down the drain.  (You’re supposed to wait 48 hours to let color set.  I washed mine about 6 hours after I’d had it done.)  It’s better now: sort of a honeyed blond.  It’s actually really pretty, although a little red around the hairline, but I’m pretty sure that will wash out over the next few washings.

In the grand scheme of things, the color of my hair is really not that big a deal.  I know that.  There are children starving in Darfur, and soldiers dying in Iraq (still).  My hair is NOT IMPORTANT.

But I was hysterical before I got in the shower last night.  After I got out and blew it dry and saw how much better it looked without all that godforsaken red, I was better, but before?  HYSTERICAL. 

See, here’s the thing.  I talk a good game.  If you met me in real life without ever reading this blog, you would be stunned to learn of my food problems.  You’d be STUNNED to learn that I’m insecure, neurotic, obssessive, disordered, whatever.  I’ve actually had people tell me they wish they could be more like me, and it always makes me laugh.  (I laugh nicely on the outside – I’m not THAT much of an asshole – but inside I am NOT laughing so nicely.)

Fake it till ya make it.  That’s pretty much my one-line version of my life.  My personal credo.  My motto.  The short version of a theme song (cue the Ally McBeal soundtrack).  WHATEVER. 

And sometimes it works.  Sometimes I fake it so long and so well that I really come to believe what I’ve been saying.  Sort of like affirmation at its best.  But other times I just keep faking it.  I fake it for so long and so well that it’s almost like I grow a second person inside me.  She’s not me, really.  She’s the “fake-it” girl.  And I know why people want to be like her – hell, *I* want to be like her.  She’s the girl that laughs loud and cracks jokes and doesn’t take any shit from people.  She’s the girl who goes out with friends and has pizza and wine and when another girl gets weird and insecure about the calories, the “fake-it” girl is the one who manages to turn the conversation around into a girl-power revival. 

But deep down, I am NOT “fake-it” girl.  I read somewhere that Marilyn Monroe used to talk about herself in the third person when referring to her alter ego.  She only used personal pronouns when she was “Norma Jean.”  Marilyn was a creation, an illusion, manufactured as surely as a doll or a robot.  There are stories told by interviewers of being out with her on the street, unnoticed, and of her turning to the interviewers and asking, “Do you want to see me be her?”  She’d stride forward with a different walk, a different energy, and suddenly people would start flocking around her, even though she hadn’t changed externally: she didn’t whip off her headscarf and remove her sunglasses or whatever.  The change was entirely internal.  That’s how I feel about “fake-it” girl.  She’s a creation.  I can “be” her, but she isn’t really me.

And when my hair went bad the other day, I was reminded of why I’m so vain about it: I don’t like much about my body.  I wish I could say that I did, but I don’t.  I’m working on that, but I’ve been working on it for a long, long time, and haven’t made much headway, so I don’t know if I’ll ever really like much about my body.  Maybe it’s the way I’m hard-wired.  But I have great hair and beautiful eyes.  That’s it.  Even though I know objectively that others would disagree with me, in MY perception, that’s all I’ve got going for me in the appearance department: my hair and my eyes.  And if my hair is wrong – badly colored or badly cut – my world sort of collapses, because I feel like I’ve lost one of only two things that make me worth a second look.

I know how melodramatic that is.  I KNOW.  And I know objectively, that it’s not true.  But every so often something like this happens and I realize that I haven’t made as much headway in the “love myself” department as I’d like.  So even though I’m sort of laughing internally when people tell me how much they wish they were like me, I get it.  Because they really want to be like “fake-it” girl.  I understand that.  I’d like to be like her, too.

(And no, just because she’s a creation of my psyche doesn’t mean that she’s part of me, and therefore I’m already her.  When I was little I pretended to be Cinderella, and I’m no more “fake-it” girl now than I was Cinderella then.  I wish I were.)

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9 responses to “Fake It Till Ya Make It

  1. It’s so funny that you wrote this, because I’ve been sitting on a post about hair since friday. I dyed mine recently. I needed my roots done, and was going to treat myself to highlights at the salon, and it dawned on me that I have always been blonde. And it hit me like a thunderbolt that it’s never been a choice. I never woke up one morning and said “Oh I like being blonde, I’ll get highlights” I’ve always just considered that brown hair makes me look fat. Apparently now fat is a hair colour as well as a condition, a size, a feeling and an excuse.

    So as an act of rebellion, I asked myself what colour I wanted my hair. Turns out I have always had a secret wish to be dark chocolate brown, with scarlet highlights. So that is just what I got. And I love it. So does everyone else, but the funniest thing is, even if they hadn’t I couldn’t of cared less. Because I like it. It’s me. Blond was never me, it was just another offshoot of all the things I thought I had to be. successful worker, kind sister, polite daughter, size zero, blonde hair, the best at everything. I think I prefer being me. It’s far easier!

    Lola x

  2. I hear you – I’m a total fake. And my hair is my best feature too. What’s sad is now that I’m 48 my hair is changing and it’s so disappointing because it’s not that great anymore. Without my hair I have nothing good about myself, physically. I was never obsessed about my hair when I was younger, it was just naturally great hair. Now it takes maintenance.

    As for faking, it’s so energy draining sometimes. I wish I had people in my life that I could be myself with – but I’m sure they would all run for the hills if they knew the real me.

  3. Marste, please stop feeling like you need to defend yourself here, it’s ok to feel good about a positive attribute, and just as ok to feel heartbroken when that attribute is destroyed by some idiot hairdresser who did not listen because of course she knows better and ohmyheavens it’s a mullet, a MULLET, do I look like I’m from a boyband in the 80’s??? No I fricking well do not, you horrible, horrible woman…heavens, apologies, flashback from the past there…it took MONTHS before my crowning glory was restored to anything mildly resembling its former state.

    Anyway, the wonderful, wonderful difference between a bad dye job and a bad haircut is that the hair can only get shorter, but the colour can be amended til kingdom come, or until it’s all fallen out, whichever may come first, but it seems all’s not lost after all and strawberry blonde sounds pretty hot, no?

    I rather understand your public persona problem too actually, but I think every person on the planet adopts a mask to an extent, so as to facilitate braving the world…it’s just some of us have a more elaborate disguise than others.

  4. It is terrible that I want to see pics really badly?? I’m glad that you like your new hair color after all and that it didn’t all fall out. Sounds like you handled it like a pro. PS> I don’t think it’s shallow at all. I would be bawling my eyes out too if that had happened to me!

  5. Since chemo, I’ve tried all sorts of colors but not that many styles. Kind of limited. My hair used to be me. But chemo really changes that whole idea fast.

    I suggest, and of course, you can ignore all my suggestions, that you look at the faking it to make it aspect a bit differently. Faking it seems to describe something negative when in fact, this could be classified as an aspirations. Aspiring is a kinder word than faking. That’s all in the idea of reframe of course.

    Both books are great! I bet you’d get the most out of Shrink Yourself because you’re a foodie like me (or at least I think you are). And the Kindle is a great little invention but not that cheap.. I bought mine last Fall. I’m really glad I did. Most of my books are about fat people or addiction or nutty people or people who faked it to make it. Or aspiring folks like you.

  6. Lola, your hair sounds FANTASTIC. There was a time I really wanted black hair with big crayon-red streaks in it. Unfortunately, actors don’t get as much work if they don’t have “normal” hair, so I never did it. And now, I don’t know that I’d want it, you know?

    Harriet the funny thing is that I don’t necessarily feel like I’m trying not to be myself. I don’t find it draining in the moment – it’s just who I am. But at the same time, it’s not at all who I am. I’m not really sure how to explain it. My sister once said that I possess the uncanny ability to be exactly the kind of person that the other person needs to relate to. I sort of . . . morph into it without even thinking about it. It’s weird.

    LOL, Cara! Too funny about the mullet, and I TOTALLY get what you’re saying about the color vs. the cut. That’s part of the reason I love having long hair: I can go from brown to blond to brown again, but going long to short to long takes a LOT longer. 😉

    Ha! Charlotte, the really funny thing is that it’s pretty much the same color as my last set of pics. I’m not sure I even HAVE pics of the color it was a week ago (super-blond).

    Hm. Pod, I kind of like the idea of thinking of it in aspirational terms. I hadn’t thought about it like that before. I’ll have to mull that one over for a while . ..

  7. I know exactly how you feel! From the fake-it girl to the bad dye job!
    My brother is a hair-dresser/wig maker. He has done my hair (off and on, when we’ve been in the same city) since we were teenagers. He understands my hair and always gives me a fabulous cut. I thought he also understood what color I NEED to be. Until the time he made it darker. Same scenario, sobbing in the shower, only I used vinegar to hasten the departure of the red.
    Nowadays? I have to use a much darker color than I did back then in order to achieve the same shade. Gosh, I wonder if that means there isn’t any natural color left under all that dye?

    Great post, Marste! I am slowly learning that I don’t have to fake it so much anymore. Either I am getting older and wiser, or I have finally learned that people really don’t give a crap about me….

  8. Hey there! Just stopping by for the first time in *weeks* and wanted to say hi!
    Plus, I totally understand about the hair – the color and having great hair. I always have thought that while I may not have a great body per say, I have awesome hair, pretty eyes, and great tits. You gotta pick something to love right?
    😉

  9. I think we all have that person inside of us to some extent. I certainly recognised myself in a lot of what you were saying. Im the first person to tell people not to worry about self esteem issues and yet it burns inside of me and I always feel like a hypocrite.

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