Growing up, I always looked the same. I had long blonde hair, I wore bright colors and pastels everyday, and I wore super natural makeup. I wasn't allowed to change my look either. My parents thought I was beautiful that way and didn't want me to do anything that could have changed that. I remember when I was 12, begging my mom to let me have a blue streak in my hair, and she almost caved but ultimately I wasn't allowed to.
During high school I was pretty, everyone thought so as well. I was homecoming queen and was voted most likely to be famous in the yearbook. I was what some could say "popular", but I wasn't happy with myself. I never felt like I could express myself. I felt like an imposter almost. I wasn't this normal, plain, blank canvas of a girl as I gave the impression of. I hated it.
I started to notice how badly I hated my appearance when people would compliment me and I wanted to scream. I HATED when people told me things like " oh you are so beautiful " or " you're perfect just the way you are ". I had natural hair, no tattoos, no piercings, and a blank face. It took me awhile to realize I hated it because how I looked didn't reflect me as a person. I was creative, spontaneous, impulsive, and fun; but I looked normal and dull in my eyes. I became shy and unwilling to meet new people. I had always had some mental health issues but ultimately, the way I looked made me depressed.
It wasn't until I turned 18 and moved to college that I decided it was time to make a change. Finally my appearance was in my control. The first chance I got I ran to walmart, grabbed some box dye (which now I don't necessarily recommend) and dyed my hair a deep purple/burgundy color. The next month I got a tattoo and pierced my septum in my nose. Now I know this all sounds crazy and impulsive but it was what I craved. I loved it. I became more outgoing, social, and inviting. I wasn't closed off to new people anymore. I was finally being able to express myself as a person and as an artist. I no longer felt like I was stuck in this cage of a body, but instead for the first time ever, I actually FELT beautiful, and I was happy.
I went home and my parents thought I was crazy. Like they actually thought I as having a mental breakdown, but I explained to them how much happier I was this way. It took them a long time to accept that I was going to look the way I wanted, but they now know it's because it makes me happy. I'm not miserable everytime I look in the mirror, but instead I'm proud. I love seeing myself now and I feel beautiful. Today I have purple hair, I wear fun and sparkly makeup, I still have my nose piercing, I have 4 tattoos, and I couldn't feel more like myself.
So if you want to look a certain way, do it. I promise you that looking on the outside how you feel on the inside can do wonders for your mental health and your self image. Not everyone loves the changes I made, but I didn't do it for them, I did it for me. Other people's opinions can matter at times, but it doesn't mean a thing if you aren't happy and if you don't feel beautiful. Be yourself and don't apologize for that, because no matter what you're perfect in your own way.