I used to love my hair, but then I started dating you.
I loved the curls, the dark brown laced with tiny streaks of red. I even loved how it frizzed. But then I met you.
You told me I looked better with straight hair.
We were going to a wedding, and as we left you made a remark about how much better my hair looked straight. I laughed about it then. But every day after you would ask me to straighten my hair
One day I caved, and you told me how beautiful I looked.
You had only said that once before. I kept straightening my hair, hoping to be called beautiful. To be enough in your eyes. But it wasn't enough for you.
Then "You would look beautiful with blond hair"
I caved, and two weeks later I had made an appointment to dye my hair blond.
When I came home another "I knew it would look beautiful"
I realized that I had become addicted to that word, but I didn't care. You had power over me, and in that moment, you knew exactly how much power you had.
Every day the requests would come flooding in.
"You would look beautiful if you lost five pounds." That turned in to ten, then fifteen, then twenty, always just five more pounds. Every time I lost five pounds, "beautiful"
Then I looked at myself in the mirror.
I was a shell of my former self, the me I was before I met you. I was a size 00, and still not skinny enough. My hair was brittle and dry from heat and bleach, and I didn't recognize myself.
I told you I was going to stop dying my hair
You told me I would look like I didn't care, I was going to look ugly, and disgusting, and if I actually went through with it, you would break up with me.
You told me that I would be unloveable
But I had had enough. We broke up, and I gained weight, I let my hair grow with out dying or straightening it. I enjoyed life for the first time in a while.
Looking at the blond in my hair I think of you.
But then I look at the man who loves me for me, and I know that I am capable of being loved, with out having to change who I am.