Saturday, August 27, 2011

She's like Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga

My daughter taught me how to be blond. The first time I attempted it I utterly failed and it’s taken me years before being willing to even try again. I grew up with dark hair which was perfectly fashionable in my youth. I never envied blond girls. I never believe the hair color ads that proclaimed “blonds have more fun”. When I started coloring my hair I used henna and through the years graduated into foils and truly inhuman shades of red, copper and burgundy. At times I attempted more “natural” shades of red and brown, but usually reverted to the carnival colors I was drawn to.

I recently took advice from someone who forced her way into my life in the most charming way. Once I became blond she just slipped away. This time it feels right. I picture myself owning this hair color for quite some time. I like the way my hair looks, but more importantly, I like the way I look. This may have more to do with learning to love myself than changing my hair color, but being blond is now part of the package and I’m hanging on to it for now.

This is actually about my love for my daughter and what she has taught me. She is blond and beautiful and charming and witty and compassionate. All of that just comes naturally to her. A unique combination of imperfect genes combined to create the perfect female child. I remember marvelling over her long fingers moving so gracefully just hours after her birth. She was instantly the epitome of femininity. I knew I would learn far more from her than she would from me. And yet she is truly a reflection of myself that is surprisingly wonderful to observe.

When she was not yet two years old I was watching her play in a wading pool with two other little girls. They were all so cute and having so much fun. I sat there looking at how happy and beautiful they were and realized that Brenda’s kids were slender from the belly down and my baby had saddlebag thighs and a round little rump. I lazily admired the shape of her tiny body until I suddenly realized that she was shaped exactly like me. It hit me like a ton of bricks how beautiful she was and how beautiful I must be too. It was so hard to accept that I only took a baby step at loving myself that day. Instead of buying into how perfect and beautiful my body must be I just gained a bit of comfort in the fact that I probably was not as repulsive as I thought I was.

Since that time nearly fourteen years ago my daughter has shown me more new ways to see myself than I could have possibly imagined. Seeing these parts of myself through her has been a gift that is immeasurable. I have come to realize that my love for her is boundless and so it should be with my love for myself. So I look at my daughter; my reflection, and I see so much to love. I see so much to admire. I see a perfectly imperfect and wonderfully talented and fun and special and remarkable woman.  For now she is blond.