Hello Blondie by Mandy Levin (divorce blogger)

When a woman changes her hair she is about to change her life…..

I was born with pitch black hair and I have pale skin with freckles. My long hair was wildly curly and I always looked longingly at the skinny blonde girls with golden tans and silky, straight locks, thinking that their lives must just be perfect. No amount of blow drying or sun could change my curls or bring a tan to my fair skin.

It took until my twenties to embrace my unique look and I learned how to best enhance my features. While I chose to dress modestly out of respect for my husband and marriage, I always retained my slim figure (even after a few babies), wore make up and made an effort to look and feel feminine and attractive.

After my marriage ended, I once again became very critical of my looks. Ridiculous thoughts went through my head … if only I was thinner or more this or that. I know from meeting many men and women who have been left, that this type of self esteem crash is typical after divorce, which is a very particular life trauma. It’s a time of intense insecurity and brings with it a certain amount of self blame and sadly self loathing. Going from being part of a married couple to suddenly being a single divorced gal (or guy) is like being pushed into the ocean with no life jacket. It’s absolutely terrifying.

I lost a substantial amount of weight when my husband left, because the trauma left me with no appetite and there was very little that I could bring myself to eat. I started to look really unhealthy and no one would have known from my thin body that I had several children and that I had just had a baby. I forced myself to eat small amounts of nutritional food and health shakes but my face was gaunt and my eyes were sad. It’s hard to know what triggered my decision to ‘transform’, but one day (at an extremely low point) I did just that. I decided. I wanted to feel joy again and I wanted my sons and new baby to have a healthy, thriving mom.

I decided to work on myself from the outside in! Starting with my hair!

Why did I choose to change my hair from black to blonde?

Well it was a dramatic expression of self empowerment. It was an ‘up yours’ to the young me that had never felt pretty enough. It may sound nuts or shallow, but for me (the only one that counted in this decision and desire) I decided that there was no reason that I couldn’t be whoever I wanted to be. And I wanted to be blonde!! The married me was gone and I decided to reinvent myself so that the woman who had survived to this point, could emerge and have the appearance that I felt she (I) needed to warrior on. 

Blonde was the obvious choice. I wanted and needed to look drastically different. And I did and I do. I also chopped off my long hair into a bob. It took a few months and lots of patience and love from myself, my family and friends and of course my hairdresser to attain the look I was after. I sold something that I didn’t want anymore to finance the initial process.

I felt so amazing with each golden highlight. They were like streaks of fire that were symbolic of coming out from the hell that I had gone through. The lighter my hair went, the lighter I decided to feel. My energy changed with my ultra feminine look and I started to put on weight and to exercise. I bought new jeans and did any little thing I could to start to grow as a person.

You may be reading this, thinking, this could never be you. You can’t imagine changing your look. You wouldn’t know where to begin and you haven’t got the strength or vision.

I have not shared this with you to encourage you to go blonde, brunette, red or purple. But I am hoping that you will see the value in making an effort to feel beautiful again. It’s more than about your hair. It’s about reclaiming your right to feel beautiful and good again. It’s about the realization that your happiness is in your hands and no one else’s. It’s about a new lipstick ( there are stunning, affordable beauty products out there) and yes why not change your hair and put on some self tan!

Choosing to give yourself an external boost is a powerful first step to the vital inside work that also needs to follow. But never forget the power of looking good. Appearance is an extremely significant factor that permeates your energy. I have proven this to myself time and time and time again! You can too – just notice how you feel in an old tracksuit with no make up, compared to how you feel dressed up with your hair done!!!!

I work on being the best version of me all the time. Every day. It takes effort (I get up well before my kids to do my make up and hair) but it’s worth it. Fear not – I have many pajama days too (also important for the mind, body and soul).

I use my dark moments (I have them like everyone else) to propel myself forward. I have learned that journeys have highs, lows and mediums ( I know now to add extra mascara when I hit the lows).

Making the mental shift to create a good new beginning  is vital and it is for no one else but you! And to quote the famous make up house of L’oreal : ) ‘you’re worth it’

Next week I’m going to share more about my transformation with you and hopefully give you some more food for thought Xxx

 

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