"I wanted to be seen as more than just a head of hair, but I was terrible at setting boundaries and saying no."
I've always dabbled in modelling. I love being a part of the creative process and seeing each person’s skills come to life, and I always feel honoured to have been chosen as their canvas to work with. In 2015 I modelled for a lot of hairdressing events, competitions and campaigns, which meant a new cut and colour on at least a monthly basis! Sounds great, right? Well... it was certainly fun wearing the colours of the rainbow on my head! But all those funky, edgy cuts were just not doing it for me.
I soon realised that being a model, for me, meant being at the mercy of talented but unpredictable artists who would often change plans at the last minute. Walking out of shoots with unexpectedly bold styles and a very tender scalp left me feeling foolish on many occasions, sensing that my willingness to cooperate had been used unappreciatively. I wanted to be seen as more than just a head of hair, but I was terrible at setting boundaries and saying no.
"So, one night while home alone in the bathroom, I picked up the clippers, and watching the hair fall away, I shaved my head."
It dawned on me this issue was presenting itself to me in many aspects of my life, but in this particular situation there was an opportunity for me to take control. I could practice empowered decision making and to do something entirely without the influence of anyone else. So, one night while home alone in the bathroom, I picked up the clippers, and watching the hair fall away, I shaved my head. It was a simple, non-dramatic event. Yet I felt more empowered, more feminine and more ME than any cut or colour previous. It was a symbolic stripping back of layers and masks. For all the times I felt like a mannequin, for all the times I let others opinions shape me, for all the times I presented myself in ways intended to please others. It was a powerful reminder that my body is my own, and a chance to see myself lovingly in precious vulnerability.
"I wanted to be seen with a new light - one that wasn't filtered by societies expectations of beauty."
Not everyone got it understood it. My nan could barely look at me! But that was perfect, too. I didn't want approval or compliments, I wanted to be seen with a new light - one that wasn't filtered by societies expectations of beauty. I have since been in a few more hair shoots, but I no longer fear being taken advantage of because my boundaries feel much stronger. I will always want to work with artists, and I hope there will always be mutual gratitude and admiration. I will also continue to explore my boundaries, to feel into what is or is not right for me, and live more truthfully. For me to honour myself, I need to shed the illusion of needing to please others.