Self Acceptance

When I was a younger (less mature!) woman, my hair was dark, almost black, and then as I eased into my early midlife, it was salt and pepper. That was fine for a while, and then one day an exasperated friend hissed, “Why don’t you try color?” after she had heard me say that I looked like a witch and was going to cut my hair SHORT. “Oh, I couldn’t do that,” I replied. At that time, somehow I construed coloring one’s hair as artificial and too “obvious.” Interestingly, that same week, both of my teenage daughters experimented with hair color, and they looked stunning. I’m a biased mom, but still….Anyway, I changed my attitude about color and realized that it could be FUN. I followed my daughters’ examples, and for the first time in years, my bangs were dark brown. And so it began. Fifteen years later, and I’m still experimenting with color and having fun doing it.


Moving along, one day someone remarked that I was too old to have such dark hair. Ouch. A dagger to the heart. Not willing to go gray, I began experimenting with high lights and low lights and light brown and warm brown and all sorts of colors in-between. Nothing looked good; nothing suited me. However, some people apparently liked it. A brother-in-law even told me that I looked more real and less “plastic.” And yet, I wasn’t satisfied with my tresses.


My sweet daughter Elizabeth said, “Mom, it’s not you. You need to see Liz, my former hair stylist who lives 115 miles away.” My other daughter kept silent. So did my son…and DH too. Oh Christmas day, we went to Lisa and Mike’s house, and Lisa’s mother, Mrs. Mitchell was there, an 80 year old with dark brown hair. She looked fantastic. I remember once when someone asked her if her hair was (I know were is the correct verb but it looks funny here) really that dark, and without batting an eye, she said, “Yes, today.” Isn’t that great?


I relented and called Liz. She worked me in that week. After saying the magic words, “You’re too young to be an old lady,” she applied a medium dark color to my locks. I LOVE it. It’s more me. And if you ask, “Is that your real color?” I’ll answer, “Yes, today.” Or I might say, “Did you really ask that?”or “Are you that audaciously rude to ask a question like that?” or “Why don’t you try to improve your appearance a little too?”


So to Becky and Allen and any and everyone else who would prefer that I stay with high lights and low lights, I say, “This is the real Marla Jayne.” I think it was Judy Garland who said that a person should always be a first rate version of herself rather than a second rate version of someone else. Go Judy! By the way, Lisa and Elizabeth say this is the real me; the jury’s still out with DH and some others.


Am I writing this so that you’ll go out and color your hair? No. I’m writing this so that you’ll be true to yourself. Find what works for you and go for it, ignoring the critics and naysayers along the way.  




Author: jayne bowers

*married with children, stepchildren, grandchildren, in-laws, ex-laws, and a host of other family members and fabulous friends *semi-retired psychology instructor at two community colleges *writer

6 thoughts on “Self Acceptance”

  1. I love you hair and think you always look great! I have decided that as far as my hair goes, it is here to please me not anyone else!

    Ah, if only I'd had your confidence when I was a younger woman! Oh well, at least I have a little more now.

  2. I haven’t seen it yet, but I will on Friday. 🙂 Even without seeing it though, I say who cares what they think anyway. You’re the one who always taught me that as long as you were happy with yourself, it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. I’m sure it looks fantastic!

    Hmmm. I guess I should have been paying more attention to my words and matched them with my deeds.

  3. You ALWAYS look good!!! and it is YOUR hair! Speaking of which…I was being all smug b/c I thought my appt with Laurel would be fine since she had the baby 4 weeks ago…nope…she is staying home until February. So mine is way tooo long and needs some color…I am not ready to be gray.

    Thanks, Friend. I agree about the gray thing. So are you going to wait until Laurel comes back?

  4. when i was a blonde i had a hard time with people, but now that my hair is mauve i accept myself and can go on with confidence

    I'm not quite as experimental as you are Putz.

  5. LOL! Been there, done all that with my hair. And now I can’t see how to get out of coloring it forever! After reading this, I’m thinking why not keep on keeping on 🙂

    By the way, I’m out and about today, letting bloggers know I have another give-away contest running on my blog this week (new one each week). It’s for all mystery and suspense enthusiasts, and comes from LDS author G. G. Vandagriff, who is offering a set of her fascinating Arthurian Omen CD’s. This super prize is worth around twenty dollars. If you have a moment, please do check it out.

    Sounds exciting. I'll be sure to check it out.

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