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.
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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