Sunday, 2 May 2010

Ink, metal and hair dye

"In all ages, far back into prehistory, we find human beings have painted and adorned themselves."
- H.G. Wells

Some girls need to wear full make-up before they'll even leave the house. Some wear designer clothes, showing off their material wealth with a little logo you can barely see unless you're looking for it. Some girls get out of bed looking like they've just been to the hairdressers. I am not and have never been one of those girls. I have never been 'beautiful'.

I was never taught how to put on make-up despite having three older sisters, I was overweight and ashamed and either wore my school uniform or tracksuits and I had a terrible fear of hairdressers from the age of six onwards and only in the last few years have I conquered it, although still not entirely enjoying the experiance as most girls do. Despite this I had beautiful hair. Long, wavy and naturally a brilliant shade of brunette.

At fourteen I'd had enough of being overweight and bullied so I went on a diet that turned into and eating disorder that turned into severe anorexia nervosa. When I was eighteen and at my worst the lack of nurishment made my hair fall out and fade into a dull, lank, lifeless mess. Fairly representative of the girl I had become. I turned to hair-dye, pinks and purples, bright colours to take any focus away from my body and face. When I got out of the hospital I cut most of my hair off for the first time in my life because it was no longer beautiful. It was an incredibly liberating experiance. I kept dying it different colours. I wore band t-shirts and jeans and genrelly didn't attract any attention elsewhere.

Over the last couple of years I've been more drastic, prefering to wear short, androynous styles dyed bright shades of red and purple and I have discovered clothes and stopped being afraid to stand out. Settling for a style that's somewhere between vintage and soft goth. I take my inspiration from Vince Noir and buy things that I love no matter how bright or shiny or glittery. I got my lip pierced and wasn't scared of the attention it might bring to my face.

I recently got my first and second tattoo and I can honestly say that I adore them both. I was sitting in the bath just ten minutes ago and staring at my ink and feeling completely in love. They are beautiful and they are a part of me. Therefore a part of me is beautiful.

My body image isn't great right now, a part of me doubts that it will be. I am at my highest ever weight with a BMI of 28 which is above what is considered medically healthy. Yet, in every other way my self image is better than it has ever been. More than that, I feel like I am developing my own identity, becoming the person that I have always been too scared to be.

I am not afraid to stand out, in fact I rather relish in it.

Ink, metal and hair dye are not only a part of my body but a part of my personality, and they make me feel just that little bit less hideous and sometimes just that little bit beautiful.

1 comment:

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