Changing Our Appearance Can Give Us a Lift

Lynne Taetzsch Health Guide
  • I know we aren’t supposed to pay any attention to a book’s cover, just to what’s inside, but let’s be realistic. When we think we look good, we feel better. That’s the way it is. Of course, when we’re feeling up, we think we look better, too, but that’s another story.

    Ever since I was a teenager (and that’s a loooong time ago!), I’ve been trying to brighten my mood by lightening my hair. At seventeen, I got a scholarship to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and I was determined to look and act like a California girl. Since I lived in New Jersey and had light-brownish hair (otherwise known as “dirty blond”), I bought a bottle of peroxide to fix the problem. And when I looked in the mirror, I liked what I saw.
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    Bleaching my hair did not prevent me from falling into a bad depression a month into the school term, but it still made me feel better when I looked into a mirror. And ever since, I’ve been messing with my hair.

    During my beatnik days in art school, I alternately dyed it pitch black and then a few months later, silver blond. I wasn’t really into clothes, make-up or jewelry, but I used my hair to express various versions of myself. Changing the color always gave me a pick-me-up.

    Now that I am old and gray, I still like to bleach my hair blond. This upper has never failed after all these years. I tried leaving it “natural” for periods of time for various reasons, such as a grand-niece saying, “Did you know your hair is three different colors?” It probably would look better if I’d left it alone. But not to me.

    And that’s what counts. Whether it’s a particular hair color, a style of clothing, a haircut, or whatever else makes us look better in the mirror, it’s worth it. That is, as long as our pick-me-up is not dangerous or bad for our health. Starving ourselves or excessive cosmetic surgery fall outside the scope of harmless self-improvement. But using moderation and good judgment, anything goes.

    I plan on starting out 2007 as a blond. What about you?

Published On: January 04, 2007