On My Mind

Little Ears, Big Impact

Sticks and stones and whatnot.

In the fourth grade, not long after I moved to Colorado, my mom took me to get a haircut by a lady named Sindy. Yes, Sindy with an S.  I remember the name of the salon and everything.  I don’t want to call ol’ Sindy all the way out on this but let’s just say Sindy was proud to be from Texas and it was in the name of her salon.  Anyway.

I was excited to get a hair cut and was thinking since I was in a new state maybe I’d try a new look.  My mom always cut my bangs way too short so I let Sindy know I’d like to just let them grow out, if she thought that would look ok.  I have never and will never forget how Sindy made me feel with her response.  I’m pretty sure Sindy would be shocked to know the impact she had on my life with her what carelessly escaped from her lips to an impressionable 10-year old’s ears. She giggled and swooped my bangs over to the side with her hands and turned me towards the mirror.  “Oh honey no.  With this forehead, you should ALWAYS have bangs.”

Thanks, Sindy. I will carry that with me the rest of my life.

I have had a complex about my forehead ever since.  Seriously.  One statement, 10 seconds of my life, did long lasting damage to the way I felt about my appearance. That damage was a chip in my self-confidence.

 I have joked about having a five-head, I have joked about being able to rent the space as a billboard.  I have brought it up at totally inappropriate times.  Apparently, I’m even now writing a blog about it.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about confidence, obviously.  I’ve been trying to figure out how, now at nearly 38 years old, the mission to help others build confidence is such a big deal to me.  Some of it has to do with Sindy.  It may seem silly or petty to hold a grudge against a hairdresser nearly three decades, but I am who I am.

What’s truly sad is I know that what she said to me was nothing.  Insignificant.  Really maybe even gracious compared to some of the things that were said to you as a child or some of the things being said to your child right now.  I’m only telling it to you now so that we can pause.  We can think.  We can take a breath, 5 seconds, before commenting to a child about their appearance.  Something they can’t change.  It may just stick with them forever. 

Speak love to the kiddos, y’all.  Speak positivity.  Speak kindness.  Let them get a mohawk or grow their bangs, dress themselves to go to the grocery store.  Even if they want to wear a Halloween costume and their Easter shoes.  Throw them a compliment on their sparkly eyes.  Their joyous smile.  Your sweet words may be the very thing they are remembering 30 years later.

Me, in a blue dress, with my handsome hubby and my forehead on full display.

Important to be noted now.  I love my forehead.  All that real estate up there, and not a single wrinkle.  I think it has something to do with surface area.  Also, I’ve grown out my bangs.  Sindy be damned.

She, confident in her appearance, wears her hair however she dang well pleases.

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6 thoughts on “Little Ears, Big Impact

  1. My goodness! How amazingly impactful every word that slips past our lips can be to others and ourselves! I’m sorry that you had to hear that at such a young age. No matter the severity, if it pricked your heart and stamped on your memory, it was significant. You’re beautiful. All children are beautiful. In fact, that means we all are beautiful as we are also children, children of God. Be carful what you say to others and to yourself. Be kind, be loving!

  2. This is so good! I think we forget that kids are still growing in their personalities and do not always understand. Adults, myself included, can take one statement by someone else 10 different ways. I especially liked the end, “Sindy be damned” 🤣 I can just hear you saying it. 💪🏻❤️

  3. This is so true. Sometimes we say things flippantly and don’t realize the impact it might make.
    We should always be encouragers and not be a discourager. We were always taught if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything. A real good book to read on this is by Florence Littauer called Silver Boxes. We need to build people & kids up and not down. I have enjoyed all the articles and God Bless you for doing this. Love Marie

  4. Yes it is amazing how the little things we say or hear from others impacts us for life ! I still carry what a photographer told me when I was a teenager and tried out for 4H modeling squad my daddy always told me I should be a model so decided to try out little did I know that what I heard that photographer say behind my back would stick with me forever and to this day hate myself in pictures ! He said that I just didnt have that outer beauty that shows up in photos and would never have it I was just not pretty enough!! These words have stuck forever and I still hear them when I see my photos ! 😪We should build up others not tear them down ! Thank you for sharing your story !! 😘Also for doing this blog so I can see that Im not alone !! Huge!!

  5. Absolutely. From your mouth to God’s ears. At 56 I still feel the sting from jabs my father through my way. It lives forever more in my psyche. Swore I would never, ever, say anything to a child or anyone that might scar them, for a moment or for life. People just don’t realize the power of the words they speak, good or bad.

  6. Something very similar happened to me as a kid but it was a family member who made the comment. And it stuck with me way too long. As a mother of two teen girls I try very hard to lift them up with my words ant to teach them to embrace their beautiful uniqueness.

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