I’ve been thinking a lot about authenticity as of late … I’ve been on the fence on writing about it …
Doesn’t it seem – hypocritical – for a girl that wears a layer of spray tan, a pound of makeup, and other people’s hair clipped onto her scalp to write an entry about authenticity? I mean, I’m kind of like the poster child for somebody who isn’t “authentic”.
But here’s the thing. I feel like I’m about as real as they come. I may coat my exterior in layers of – let’s call them “colors”. But I don’t pretend to be anything that I’m not. If you compliment my long hair, I’ll immediately tell you something along the lines of, “Thanks. It’s not mine. But I’m thankful that somebody else took the time to grow it”. I proudly share my “beauty” tips. You like the orange glow of my spray tan? I’ll tell you what brand I buy on Amazon. I make fun of myself. I OWN my actions – good, bad, and flawed. I feel like for the most part – I’m a true-blue kind of gal. I am what I am, and I’m not looking to fool anybody into believing anything otherwise.
I’ve recently gone brunette. Mostly I have loved the change … BUT … I was off a little on my color palette. My blonde makeup face looked – washed out on my brunette face. I tuned in to YouTube last week, channeled my inner Cindy Crawford, adjusted my palette and voila! I started feeling better. I spent Monday evening dying my clip-in extensions (aka, painting strips of somebody else’s hair and destroying my kitchen countertops – and maybe also inadvertently dying a patch of my dog’s bottom in the process – werps!) Yesterday I left the house with “my” hair in, and my face painted. I won’t lie – I was feeling kind of cute. I posted a picture I had taken on Facebook – (a car-selfie, because I am THAT girl). I was flooded by comments and compliments. But the more kindness that was extended … the worse I started to feel!
I felt like I had duped people. I posted a photo of me – made it my profile photo, my go-to image, and it just couldn’t be, well: less me! In the photo my skin looks perfect and bronzed. My eyebrows are curved to perfection. I have long lustrous hair. I look like the magazine version of Taylor – my best self! The real me? My authentic self? She’s pale. Freckled. Blemished. My eyebrows are thin, and sparse. My hair is shoulder length, not mermaid length. I’m a very normal looking person. I’m not extravagantly beautiful; I’d garner no special attention without the aid of my “mask”.
So what does it say about me – a person who is so willing to open up to the world about any/all of her insides (flaws and all!) – but who will present herself as an image of something she isn’t? I’ve thought long and hard … and here is what I think it makes me …
We shave. We get our hair cut. We iron shirts. We wear fragrances. We wear makeup. We color our hair. We wear just the right outfits. It’s – it's ultra hygiene, I guess? Maybe I go to great lengths to be “extra” whatever, but … I think we’re all guilty of it, in some way or another. And … I’m not going to worry anymore that I’m duping any of you. I am, what I am. And I work with what I’ve got. Just like everybody else. If it makes me feel good or better - I'll go with it.
My authenticity comes from the fact that I can look you in the eye, and freak you the *!%$ out when I simultaneously thank you for the compliment AND demonstrate how my hair comes out.
Here's magazine Taylor. Am I too old for car selfies? Yes! But you know what they say? LONG (fake) HAIR, DON'T CARE!