Confessions of a Chia Pet
Before the start of 7th Grade, my mom and I went school clothes shopping. We did not have to buy much as the private school uniform covered my body for much of the year. As we shopped, we noticed that velour was a material made popular and I came home with a velour outfit in navy blue. I was excited to wear it for Picture Day.
We often wish we had what other people have, right? Well, girls with naturally-curled hair desired my straight hair all while I longed to see a bounce of curl in my head. So for Picture Day, I spent time adding curl to my locks with a curling iron. When I was finished, I thought I looked really nice and was excited to have my 7th Grade picture taken.
Since the whole school was scheduled for pictures in one day, the coordinators started with the younger grades first, as I recall waiting until the afternoon to be photographed. By the time I had my turn in front of the camera, I had gone through two recess periods playing outside. My curled hair went flat due to the damp day we were experiencing.
My 7th Grade picture was a waste of money for my parents. My front cowlick defiantly bent away from its neighboring hairs as if a case of the “cooties” could be caught. My smile was crooked and the navy blue velour outfit did nothing for me. I hated my picture that year and I did not exchange the photo with any of my classmates. Thank God I did not turn into a missing person; the authorities would have used my most recent photo for the milk carton. I thought I was ugly; my mom thought it looked fine and did not let me have a re-take. I cried.
Fast forward to about three weeks ago. I was clothes shopping alone, trying to find a dress that could pull double duty from my closet. I needed an Easter dress as well as a dress to wear to my nephew’s upcoming wedding. It did not take me long to realize that my body is experiencing mid-life changes. As the dresses looked really cute on the hangers, I found myself wishing I was a hanger.
When I try on clothing, my hair often gets a bad case of static. I carry a small purse, by choice, and I am not able to carry with me a brush, comb or Static Guard spray. When I looked in the mirror in the last dimly lit dressing room, all I could see was a middle-aged body with flat and static-filled hair. Of course I marched out of there seeking to control the situation. I found myself at a hair salon that I have never gone to in my life, telling the stylist that I only wanted a little off the bottom to even up the shape.
Little did I know, I put myself in the chair of Edward Scissor-hands’ sister. She chopped my hair off in so many blunt layers; clearly more than the “little off the ends” I was seeking. When I got home, I cried.
I cried each day as I tried to style the styleless. I did not want to go out in public. I tried to think of good excuses to stay home from work, but my mind was not creative as it was too consumed telling me how awful I looked.
As I cried on the shoulder of a dear friend, I told her I wanted to buy pre-natal vitamins as I heard they helped women’s hair and nails grow. She swayed me from the idea and suggested something else, the vitamin Biotin. For me, Biotin turned my head into a human Chia Pet. I was back at my regular stylist last Friday getting my hair evened out, styled and razor-cut for a soft effect. I cried tears of joy.
While I hated my hair for these last few weeks, I cannot believe how traumatized I became over a terrible haircut. The feelings I had from my experience on Picture Day in 7th Grade haunted me and I relived the pain and humility all over again.
I openly confess my problem with vanity. Although God knows how many hairs we have on our head, He let us know this fact so that we can understand how intimately He knows us. He cares about the shape of our heart. He looks at the beauty that comes from within, not the style of our hair! I need to repeat this for myself…Although God knows how many hairs we have on our head, He let us know this fact so that we can understand how intimately He knows us. He cares about the shape of our heart. He looks at the beauty that comes from within, not the style of our hair!
Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.