Beauty, communication, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women

Reflections of reality

Today’s tale is for all those who are struggling, be it with your finances, your boss, your significant other, your hair or lack there of. Most importantly, for those who are struggling with yourself. If there is one thing you take from today’s tale and keep it in your pocket, it is this – you are not alone and it will get better. Everyone, I mean everyone is struggling with something or someone. Everyone.

Over the past months many of those that I hold dear, clients, friends and family alike have been facing struggles. Struggles with their friends, their loved ones and with themselves. One commonality they all seem to be facing? Judgement and ridicule, and that in itself is the worst part of the struggle. Opening up about your life or asking for help is the most difficult thing to do because of the fear of not being taken seriously. The voice of self doubt can be deafening. Judging someone on what you deem to be a lack of “being able to deal” is cruel, plain and simple. This is their journey, not yours. You see the world one way, they see it another. Here’s the deal, it is their reality, it is real to them, and needs to be honored as such. It is also their story to tell, not yours. Gossip is tacky, and ugly. Nothing good ever comes from it. Ever.

We have all struggled with reflection. For those familiar with my Salon Tales, you are well aware of my past self image issues. The difficulty with dealing with your reflection is that we aren’t just dealing with our reflections in the mirror. We are dealing with the reflections in our mind….and those nasty bastards can be hard to keep quiet. We all have the shoulda, coulda, woulda scenario’s playing and replaying in our minds -and there is nothing worse than when a friend or loved ones points them out for now our reflection has become reality.

To those who are reading this who have been the victim of judgement and ridicule, it’s time to turn those experiences around. Do not feel weak that you opened up. Be proud of yourself, feel heroic even, for you had the courage to open up, to let others know about those things that people don’t talk about at parties. Showing a weakness takes strength. Try not to judge those who judge you – calm down, I’m not gonna bring in J.C. and try to save your soul – I’m saying try not to judge them because 1) why waste your energy on someone who isn’t wasting theirs on you and 2) they need your sympathy and your empathy for they are feeling the same way you do, they just aren’t able to talk about it.

Everyone, I mean everyone at some point has; hated their hair, thought they were ugly, thought they were stupid, felt fat, felt alone, felt inadequate, lost attraction in their spouse, feared their spouse was no longer attracted to them, felt like a bad parent because they needed their child to just shut up for a minute, felt they were a bad friend because they wanted to put their own needs above another’s…the list is endless.

My hope for all who read this today is that you find some peace today, be it for a minute, an hour or more. May  serenity finds it’s way to your door. May the reflections of your reality begin to bring hope, light and love.

Beauty, Business, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, That girl in the red coat, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Arrival

“…and if I had to give you more, It’s only been a year, Now I got my foot through the door, And I ain’t goin nowhere, It took a while to get me here, And I’m gonna take my time, Don’t fight that bullshit in your ear, Now let me blow your mind.” – Let me blow ya mind – Eve featuring Gwen Stefani

Today’s tale is a personal one Beauties…more product reviews and tales of full moon adventures are on their way. Today, I feel this tale must be shared.

On November 10th, 2013, I attended the Contessa’s, the Academy Awards of hair if you will. As I described in my tale The Contessa and the castle,

https://thatgirlintheredcoat.com/2013/11/13/the-contessa-and-the-castle/

it was a night I will always remember, from the gorgeous hair creations and all the beautiful creativity that surrounded me to feeling like I belonged, that people “got me” and appreciated what I had to offer. It wasn’t until a few days later that I realized something else that magical evening had bestowed on yours truly. It was the first time that I can remember I wasn’t worried about what I looked like or how much I weighed. I was truly present in every experience, in every conversation, in every moment.  When I came to this realization, my eyes welled up a bit….thank goodness no one was in the shop. When I got home that night, I went through my photos of that night and I liked every picture of myself. I actually drove down to my parents house and when I was telling them about that evening, my mother told me that I looked like I did when I was a little girl, smiling, eyes shining and having fun without a care in the world. I can hear some of you now “Why is she going on about this?”. Good question. Here’s the answer/reason for the glimpse. There was a time when yours truly wouldn’t go out with her friends because I thought I was too fat. There were party’s I didn’t attend because I didn’t think I was pretty enough to attend. There was a time I thought I was too ugly to go see Phantom of the Opera. My hubby (then my boyfriend…proof it is love) had to drive me to my parents house to calm me down. I got in the car and full on freak out began – my hair was wrong, my dress was wrong, my face was wrong. (yeah, yeah, I know…the phantom was burned and covered with a mask and I thought my face was wrong.). So, not giving my looks and weight a second thought and liking my picture…it’s kind of a big deal.

At first I thought this new found self love was because I am now in my forties. Then I thought it was because I have had a hysterectomy – having the stupid cut out as the women in my clan like to call it. It was driving home from the grocery store, rockin’ along to the song mentioned above that I got it. My new found self love is because I am following my passion. I am being true to myself and in turn, true to everything I do and everyone I love. In less than 2 years, that girl that thought she was too fat and too ugly has a beauty blog following, has been and is being  featured on http://www.salonmagazine.com and is a contributing author to http://www.hairstyle-blog.com., so yeah “I got my foot through the door and I ain’t goin’ nowhere”. Yeah, it took me a while…about 30 years…but I got here. You can get here too.

As women , for some insane reason, we think we can’t be self fulfilled and be a good wife, mother or friend – take your pick. I am here to tell you that you can. Actually, not being fulfilled, not following your passion or your drive is exactly what will have a negative impact on your marriage, your family and your relationships. Now, before you go and pack your bags and tell your family “See ya! the towels are in the dryer!”, calm down. Treat others how you want to be treated – their time is just as important as yours, their dreams and hopes are  just as important as your own.

Find what make you happy. YOU happy – not your mother, your spouse, your partner, your nosey neighbor, YOU. From getting that pixie cut you have always wanted to buying  that flat iron so you can finally have calm to your curls. Becoming the blonde you always felt you were to tinting your eyebrows. Becoming the owner of a shop you have always envisioned in your head and have the sketches of the floor plans tucked away in a box in the attic to becoming more present in your life, in the conversations with your loved ones, in the moments of your day. When you are living the life you are meant to live, slowly but surely, things will fall into place, and it’s gonna blow ya mind.

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

What road are you taking?

Been sitting here staring at the screen, then I begin to type, then I hit delete, then stare at the screen once again. This is what happens to me when I am holding back. When I worry about other’s opinions of what I am about to write. As I was hitting delete for the twentieth time, I had one of my LIGHTBULB! moments.

This is what woman do in the Salon, everyday. We show them the color swatch book, they gaze adoringly at the red hair swatch, they say “Lets do it!”, then they look around at the other women in the Salon and with a shaking hand and voice to match they say “Ummm, ahh, maybe I should take a look again”. We hand the color swatch book back to them, they flip back to the browns, sigh, and then say “better stick to the usual…what would people think?”.

If you are familiar with my blog, you know I am a firm believer of being your own person, doing what you want and the hell with what others think. Yeah, yeah, I know…I started off today’s tale worrying about the thoughts of others. Give a girl a break would ya? I am a work in progress…and see, I am writing about what I want. Now, back to the tale at hand.

As women (sometimes the gents, but mostly it’s the ladies), we worry far too much about other’s opinions of our hair to our child rearing. Everyday I meet a woman who has a hairstyle she didn’t want, thinks she is too fat to go to the gym, has a hair color she detests, or is buying a product that she hates the smell of. The reason? It’s always the same…fear of what people will think. Don’t get me wrong…no judgment here. I have been that woman, and from time to time I have to keep that old girl at bay. I have had haircuts that made me cry. Hell, forget the gym, at one point I thought I was too fat to walk around the block. I have had hair color that, lets just say, was not me. I have used products that reminded me of a skunk in heat. All because of fear of the opinion’s of others, or fear of upsetting the apple cart.

In the big scheme of life and all it’s mysteries I may not know much, but I know this. It isn’t all about you (hardest pill for yours truly to swallow) and all that matters is YOUR OPINION. Oh…and screw them. Yeah, I said it. Now I have the hair style I want, I no longer think I am too fat to walk around the block, hell, I don’t think I am fat at all. I LOVE my hair color…blonde with dark underneath (so when my  roots show it looks like it’s on purpose…smoke and mirrors my friends…smoke and mirrors) and all my hair products remind me of the beach and the spring. Oh, believe me, I am still told that I should change my hairstyle, usually by someone who hated their own hair. I am told that I could still stand to lose a few, usually by someone who is trying to be skinny for their spouse, instead of being healthy and fit and supporting her husband’s dietary restrictions like yours truly. I am told that my blonde looks fake…well duh…my roots are dark… and I am constantly being told there is something else I should be using for my hair, usually by a rep. trying to bring in a new line,(which is excusable…they are just trying to do their job.).

Don’t get me wrong. It’s a tough road. It’s also one hell of a high road most days, so high I need to strap on an oxygen mask, but it is the road I would choose over any other. It is the road to personal redemption, to happiness, to wanting to look in the mirror at your reflection and liking who is looking back at you, the woman with the rockin’ hairstyle and awesome color.

Beauty, communication, Hair Care, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

What is looking for you?

As per usual, I sat down to to tell you all a tale of the newest addition to the Joico family of products, alas, it will have to be a tale for another time. It is Sunday morning in my corner of the world, the sun is shining, tulips from my garden are blooming on my kitchen table, a cool morning breeze is making the steam from my coffee glisten in the morning light and I am happy. I am…two words that I had, in all honesty, never appreciated their importance, until about a month ago.

I was surfing You Tube, after watching all the episodes (for the tenth time) of Comedians in cars getting coffee with Jerry Seinfeld, I started searching all the Oprah’s Master Class episodes and came across her Life Class with Joel Osteen. (Yes, I know it is Sunday, and no I am not gonna ask you if you have found Jesus…first – that is none of my business, and second…I didn’t know he was lost.). Back to the tale at hand. “Whatever follows “I am” will come looking for you”. Can you say “LIGHT BULB!”. (I would say AHA! …but Oprah kinda owns that one.). Something else Joel said was “If you want to know what your life will look like in 5 years…listen to how you are speaking today.”. Yikes…in a good way. In my minds eye I flashed back to 2008, to myself, sitting on my bathroom floor, giving over to whatever forces may be…god, the universe, the smurfs…to help me let go of my fears and my insecurities and get me back to me. Back to present day, I am back in the business I love, I actually believe I am pretty, I no longer feel fat nor base my identity on my looks, I am stronger in all senses of the word, I am a writer, I took the leap and started my blog, I met Tabatha Coffey. I am pretty awesome, if I do say so myself…and I often do.

At the shop and in the Salon, I hear so many women, and men say “I am old”, “I am ugly”, “I am useless” and many other sad, lonely phrases. I never quite paid attention until I heard Joel’s take on the matter. As you know, my tales are about educating and enlightening us all about the world of beauty. My tales may not always be about how to apply Root Boost (before blow drying, separate your hair at the roots, spray the root boost directly at scalp, rub into roots, then blow dry…couldn’t help myself). Some of my tales will be to help you find the beauty within yourself, your family, the world. Beauty is out there, it is right beside you, it is in you, if you choose to see it, hear it, speak it.

Remember …whatever follows “I am” is gonna come looking for you…so the question is this…what is looking for you?

Beauty

Leave the bunnies alone

Today’s tale is a tale I feel I must tell. I work in a Salon, I deal with more women than men on a daily basis and believe me, I hear and see it all. The saddest and most disheartening thing I get to witness is how women will bash other women, or worse, their own daughters. I hear women call other women “sluts” based on their hairstyle, or choice of wardrobe. 

I have confession to make. When I was young girl of the 1970’s I wanted to be a Playboy Bunny. Yes. It’s true. Whenever my parents weren’t looking I would sneak into my Dad’s closet and look at his stash of Playboy’s. …sorry Dad…the jig is up. I thought the women were so beautiful and I couldn’t wait until I looked like them….or if I was really lucky I would have a body like Marilyn Monroe (who as we all know was in Playboy.). I remember when I got my first full slip (I was 8 years old) and I stood in front of my bedroom mirror, brush in hand and sang “Happy Birthday Mr. President”. I couldn’t wait to have curves. I couldn’t wait to be a woman. 

Flash forward to 1987. I was now 15 years old and was getting the curves I so desired. I remember exclaiming in a 15 year old excited shrill to a friend “Look at my hips!”. My celebration was short lived. I was told they made me look fat and I also learned that girls that liked their curves and showed them off were “sluts like the girls in Playboy”. I remember this as clear as day because up until that moment it never occurred to me that the women I thought were so beautiful were anything other than that, beautiful. So, being 15, I traded in my tight jeans for loose cotton pants and regrettably jumped on the bunny banning band wagon.

Flash forward to 2012. On a quiet Saturday morning I am flipping through the movie channels and stumble upon a documentary. “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel”. I highly recommend that every woman watch this. It will shed an entire new light on the man behind Playboy. Sure, Hugh likes the ladies. He likes them so much that he supports women’s rights and a woman’s right to choose. He is a firm supporter of the first amendment – which any feminist out there should be thankful for…yeah, I said it. At the end of the documentary, I sat there for a minute, remembering my 8 year old self in her slip singing into the mirror. I remembered my 15 year old self loving her hips until someone told me not to. I thought of the wasted years (almost 20), listening to other’s opinions and going along with them out of fear of being ridiculed, judging myself because of someone else’s opinion of curves and sexuality. I had been blaming Playboy, the bunnies and Mr. Hefner for my insecurities about my curves and my sexuality and all the while they were the ones celebrating it.

Ladies, we are beautiful. We come in all shapes and sizes. We should celebrate each other, not bash each other. If you think a certain hairstyle is too provocative, then don’t get your hair styled that way – and do not bash the woman who does. Do not assume the woman who is rockin’ the skinny jeans and stiletto’s has had “work done and is showing off.”…deep down, we all know there is a tad of jealousy there. Yeah, I said it. Instead of bashing her and her great ass, get on over to the gym and create your own great ass. Oh, and ladies, say what you want about the bunnies…you know that if you looked like them you would wear that costume to the grocery store…I know I would.

 

 

 

Beauty, communication, health and wellness, Uncategorized, Women, writing

Whatever floats your boat

Something has been playing on my mind as of late, and being me I gotta talk about it, I gotta. Working at a Salon, I hear lots of tales, of happiness, of despair, of births and deaths and everything in between. The tales that I find the most upsetting are those of shame. Grown women being ashamed of their bodies, their body image or lack there of and of their sex life. Unless you were in a convent or in a coma, I am sure you have heard of or read 50 shades of grey.  I know that most of our clientele has read it or heard about it. I read the trilogy.Twice. Yeah…I said it. Some of the women spoke openly about it and we shared some cackles and blushes. Some of the women whispered about it, afraid that if they spoke openly and loudly about their book club choice that they would be judged. Some women hid the fact they were reading it because they didn’t want their husbands or best friends judging them, they didn’t want people thinking they were a slut. One woman I know was ashamed that she liked what she read and this is why I am writing this today.

When we are young, we are always being told to be a “good girl” and “nice girls” don’t behave like that – be it wearing too much lipstick, a low cut blouse, teasing our hair, kicking boys in the shin or kissing them in the back seat. What I have come to realize is this. Grown  women forget that they are grown women now, not little girls under the ever watchful judgmental eye of society. If what you wear or how you choose to live your life makes you happy and is YOUR CHOICE, there is no shame to be had.

Forgive me ladies for what I am about to say. We prejudge our husbands/partners and don’t give them the benefit of the doubt. Yeah…I said it. You know it’s true. We are all guilty of it. So many women I know that read 50 shades said “there is no way I am telling my husband I liked that book! He’ll think I am  a freak!” to which I always answered “He probably will and he will be over the moon!”. Some ladies laughed, others just stared and I could see their wheels of judgement begin to turn, to which I began to sing to myself…Big wheel keep on turnin’, Proud Mary keep on burnin’.

Too many women let the opinions (or what they think are the opinions) of the general public decide their fate. Some things you must realize. There will always be someone who will point a finger in judgement. You know the people I am talking about, the ones who would have judged Christ himself “How could the son of GOD make water into wine?!?!”. Get used to it and try your best not to let it get to you. If you want to wear thigh high boots and mini skirts because it makes you feel beautiful, do it. If having platinum blonde hair extensions makes you feel sexy and attractive, wear them. If you like how your eyes look while wearing false eyelashes, apply them and bat away. If you like to read erotica and it helps you and your better half have a more intimate relationship in and out of the bedroom, read away. If judging others floats your boat, row away. Far, far away.