Think your hair is not suited for being long? Your braid is not thicker than your arm? You can't see your own reflection in your hair? A prince can't climb your hair like a rope?
Ridiculous ideals like that are burned deep into our "sense of beauty" part of the brain. If that even exists, because the brain would actually be the one to tell you its not real. And while many women (and men) know that, they can't help longing for something that is praised as the ultimate beauty ideal.
Growing long is out of the question at this point, you are fighting too hard to keep frizz and splits, dryness and your rebelling hair texture under control. Plus, people around you seem to be the hardest critics, if your hair is not 'a certain way'...it seems it does not 'deserve' to be long - "you just don't have the hair for it", is a comment surely many have heard.
But what does that even mean? I'm wondering if some really try to imply that if your hair does not match up to Barbie, you just better stick to a fashion hair cut (or get extensions...those are supposedly 'cool', just real hair is not ...oookaaay )
Fact is, you permanently get the message that something is wrong with your hair, in one way or another. Natural hair color, hair texture or even a more simplified style need primping according to commercials and their victims. But, has anyone ever noticed that Catwalk Models often do not seem to fall in that category? Their hair is rather undone, very often natural color and they sport simplified hair cuts, often long. It is as if they wanted to say "look at me, I'm perfect naturally!" And granted, that type of "styling", simplified and pure, can draw more attention to other important features, it can make you soft, innocent and youthful...effortless. Now who is to say you can't have that?? L'oreal Hair Dye? Your Paul Mitchell Salon? Your snarky coworker?
Literally every one that is trying to alter your looks is earning money on you right? Or they are victims of the ones earning money on you (and them). Don't get me wrong, its not all bad, styling can be fun...its just you should never feel like you "have to" in order to be accepted as beautiful.
There is so much more to a good look than your hair color or cut, and like with all good things, you can "overdose" and instead of enhancing one thing or two, you will end up looking fake.
I'm really trying to make sense here, because I have spent lots of time figuring these things out. I have 15 years of experience in all different beauty things. Just like others I have altered my looks in many ways in the hopes to look my best, but in the end came to the conclusion that you have to be very careful and selective with changes, because you might end up not looking your best, o k a y...but just not best. Not everything has to be changed, and hair falls into that category, you have to be extra careful because it can change you more than a piece of clothing would.
Just like hair ads, other beauty ads are pretty much the same - unrealistic, photoshopped to death, false promises. That is something that has always bugged me, but since having studied in the science field (and not selling my soul to Pantene), I can't help but roll my eyes whenever I see a beauty commercial...I might actually end up cross eyed if the ads get any more cheesy.
They have no proof of its abilty, all they do is just throw outerworldy pretty pictures and big words at you..."fortified formula, vitamin B complex, patended bla bla bla" but just because its in the product, does not mean its actually potent enough to do jack shit (I will talk about this in more detail in a seperate post).
Is there any way to get clarity? Luckily there is, but it means being able to look at the beauty brain washing commercials from a distance. I see them as a form of art, nothing else...I even find them pretty, they just don't influence me to take them any more serious. Instead I have found much more inspiration in real women and their real hair that I have met on hair forums/ beauty forums. And of course, you will have to experiment to some degree...is it really your hair color that bothers you? Or would other changes boost your confidence too?
My strategy personally is to first create a "base" which would mean to naturally look my absolute best, without any alterations, make up, styling. That would include things like great healthy skin, healthy hair and a healthy body.
Then I see how I can work with those things, do certain things really still need change? Or are they good now that the overall appearance is at its best?
I find that really helps me a lot.
Do what you want but do it because you want it and not because you were influenced by others, and don't ever think you HAVE TO conform to anything to be pretty :)