A story by Kristin Green
noun the throwing back by a body or surface of light, heat, or sound without absorbing it.
What if we were not able to see ourselves?
No mirrors, no selfies, no pictures.
How would we feel? How much would we be concerned with our appearance?
The first mirror was invented only 200 years ago so was photography. How did people see themselves before that? Maybe a pond or puddle or possibly a bowl or pot made by hand.
Today we have the ability to see ourselves, the selves we want to see and the selves we don’t.
As a hairstylist my humble beginnings began as a child who saw the world so colorful and innocent. My brother was my best friend and we played and laughed the way a child should. As I grew older the Tom boy in me discovered that I was supposed to be pretty and wear dresses and so it began.
Images of Seventeen magazine as my wallpaper I thought that was beauty. But as my boyish ways got buried I developed curves and I hated it. Clothes didn’t fit me the way they did my friends and the only way I knew was to get skinny. My foundation of my family was crumbling as my parents marriage was failing. I had one silent voice. My body and the control I had over it. It started with diet and exercise- then to the gripping fear of dying as I only weighed 69 pounds in 10 th grade. I had a severe case of anorexia. Not too popular in 1985. No one knew what to do. The mirror told me I was still fat. But one day, with my body growing hair on it to keep me warm, I felt my heart slowing down, like I was dying. That dreaded mirror told me you have to survive. I was seeing a few docs but there was a nutritionist that understood and she helped me to start eating. After that developed bulimia and obsessive exercise that lasted until I met my now husband. I knew he would never understand this dark secret I kept. I stopped. Although the disease will always be under my skin, my children changed me into who I am today. They showed me what unconditional love truly is. I took my self out of the equation.
My passion of making others feel beautiful was innocent and lovely. I could make so many people feel good about themselves and hair was my art. It came so naturally that I couldn’t imagine doing anything else in this world. 32 years later I still feel the same way. Sometimes hairstylists refer to themselves as doctors. I never did. I don’t have a higher education like they do. But I do have one thing, the ability to reflect someone’s inner beauty on the outside. That mirror I once dreaded, now is something I stand in front of to help people. That’s power ! I’ve seen that teenage smile, you know, the real one, when they feel beautiful. I’ve shaved heads when someone had cancer, I’ve walked through lives of my clients and know more about them than their own families. I am blessed. That reflection, that mirror, that picture may feel a little better to someone.
That is my superpower what is yours?
My goal on this earth is to reflect not an image but an awareness. To be aware of how beauty is not only on the outside but it is what makes up who we are on the inside. Strong, smart, kind and helpful.
I had a thought of buying my sweet granddaughter a play beauty salon for Christmas, instead, my smile was brought on by the happiness she had over the new basketball I got her.
Love is beauty.
And beauty is love.