On Beautification

I've recently received a few comments telling me that I was more attractive with red hair. Similarly, when I cut my hair off a couple of years ago I was told I was more attractive with the longer hair (someone even wrote a blog post about it, it was weird). This isn't a complaint post and I don't need any positive reinforcement on my hair, but rather a gentle reminder that myself and many women out there don't actually change their hair or pick their clothes in order to be more attractive (to anyone). Beauty is subjective anyway and some people will prefer me with long hair and others with short and my boyfriend is a big fan of the blue--in the end those opinions are irrelevant, what matters is how I like my hair. Crazy thought I know.
But even that is an aside from the point which is: I didn't dye my hair to be pretty. When I look in the mirror in the morning it's not like I see my hair and go "oh yes +10 cuteness points for me!" Rather it's more like, "yay, one of my favorite colors is on my head, I get to carry this around with me all day long." Having things I like around me is the goal: I want my bedroom filled with my favorite novels, I want to live around people I love, I want my kitchen filled with delicious food, and I want to wear clothes that I like because of they way they look on their own--some color or pattern that appeals to me. There are a myriad of reasons I choose which clothes to wear and style my hair and it has nothing to do with general curb appeal. It's strange that an argument still needs to be made that women might not alter their appearance in order to look pretty.
This is hardly a new or revolutionary thought. Betsey Johnson is quoted for having said, "if women dressed for men they'd walk around naked at all times." Seems about accurate. If I was dressing to impress other girls it seems like my friends and I would have more similar style, instead we're fairly diverse. In fact, my biggest advice on figuring out personal style is to stop asking, "does this look good on me" to anyone. You can still want to look good and pretty, but try to figure out what you think looks pretty rather than your older sister, best friend, etc. When you do like something and feel good in it, you don't need any positive reinforcement--you're secure in your own opinion. For example my skirt today: I don't know if it does anything for my figure or I look really cute in it; what I do know is that it reminds me of vintage couches, The Sound of Music, and Ernst Haeckel prints. I'm not really concerned if my boyfriend or the random people I pass on the street like it or me in it--I like it. It doesn't have to make me pretty.

Outfit details:
dress worn as top, old
Zara skirt
Topshop sandals (old, similar here)
Rebecca Minkoff backpack (similar here)


Amalia Miller said...

Just a note: On your hair. I started reading your blog when you had short red hair, and I loved it. And now you have short blue hair, and I absolutely love it Oh! And also, will you write who won the contest? I understand they will be emailed, but will you say who it is on you blog, so we can congratulate them, please?

Frannie Pantz said...

I totally agree with your POV. I personally love and commend you on your hair color choice. I've wanted little more than bright pink hair or dark purple hair and if I didn't work in a law office, I would totally do it! Don't worry about what others think--it's not their hair!!!

Nikki Williams said...

you are beautiful! and love that skirt.



Elke said...

Damn straight! I've always been so self-concious of looking unattractive when I show too much leg; it's only this summer I've realised that I'm the only person who decides what I like to wear. And I love that skirt so much I'm just going to head to Zara, find one and feel fabulous, because life is too short to be afraid of your own thighs.

bestie said...


also, i've been waiting for this post (as you hinted on your tumblr) and it did not disappoint. it's exactly how i see things and i do find it funny/ridiculous how people still need to be reminded of this truth.

wandering spirits said...

it seems as if a lot of people don't realize that personal style isn't something that is done to please others. i went through a similar transformation--i had long, curly hair and i cut it short into a pixie. people complained and told me i looked boyish, but who cares? you do whatever you want to make yourself happy, and if people complain, screw 'em!

Pat Palmer said...

Right on, Rebecca!!!!!

MintJulep said...

I have noticed along my life that this is a point that many people do not get through their thick heads, that a woman could sport something - being garment, hairstyle, haircolour - just because she likes the thing in itself and not care if it makes her look good or not. Example: some 9 months ago I went to the hairdressers - I never go! - and asked for a really short bob. The woman looked at me wide eyed, and said it wasn't fashionable. I told her I did not mind that, I wanted a short bob. She proceed to cut my hair at chin height, to which I said she should go even shorter. "But it won't make you look good, you are too fat for such short hair..." she said. And though I kept insisting she was to cut it shorter, she never did cut as short as I wanted and did not understand that I couldn't care less if it looked awfull on me, I wanted THAT haircut, because I like the haircut per se... how sad is that?

Rhiannon Lorenzo said...

you look so adorable! that skirt is so gorgeous.


MarieBayArea said...

Rebecca, IMHO you look awesome with blue hair-Big Fan! That gorgeous skirt looks beautiful on you. You always look amazing. The coolest bit is that you're confident in your own style and beauty choices regardless of what I or anyone else thinks. I think most of us readers give praise because we genuinely appreciate your style.

Lauren said...

Haha my family makes fun of the way I dress all the time (in love, I'm sure), but I'm not dressing for them. I love mixing prints and wearing quirky pieces and that's what makes me feel pretty.

Also I totally love your blue hair! I dyed my hair purple last year and I'm totally going to do it again in about a month, for the same reasons you did it, just because it's fun!

Carley Lee said...

Wise words, Rebecca, thank you for sharing!
And for the record - that skirt is incredible!

Pueblerina Rose said...

Very good Rebecca! this is your wiser post until now. Thats why I love to read you, you are completly honest to yourself and that is the most important.

Love From México

not required note*
I do love ALL your hair colors and yes, you actually look very pretty with all of them.

Trisha Scott said...

You have a beautiful soul and that is all that matters :)

teresinha said...

It's one heck of a skirt.
Also love your shoes and backpack.
And you, you are flawless.

friedenlinde said...

I myself am one that absolutely loved your red pixie cut, it was so cute on you, BUT this new color makes you look like a fairy, and then color changes are never forever, it's good to experiment with clothes and even with hair, now and then! I agree with you, a girl should do and wear what she likes most without even being touched by the thought of being noticed by males (I tell you a secret, most men out there won't notice if your clothes are new or old or in fashion or vintage, or if you hair is blue or green or black or pink... Intelligent men usually notice YOU and the way you are, if that counts).
Who cares of what other people thinks of us, after all? YES, spread this word. Great post. And I love your skirt :D

Sarah said...

You seem to have such a unique look, from your hair to the clothes you wear. I really admire that about you and it always makes me excited to read your posts. I think you're an inspiration and a breath of fresh air.

Bivisyani Questibrilia said...

While all you've said is true, some people (I mean, me) are still too insecure to try and wear something that we like in fear that something would go wrong. Personally, my mind changes like the weather, i could like what I wear one minute and regret it completely the next - not because of people's opinions but merely 'cause of my own. I mean, when you first started being interested in fashion and dressing up, did you ever feel like you should ask confirmation from the people around you on what you wear?


So true. Dressing for oneself and NO ONE else is the only way to really be in touch with your own sense of style. That said, your skirt is to die for. And also, someone wrote a BLOG POST about your haircut? That is frighteningly ridiculous.

Mitzi Cocoa said...

You always get +10 rad points in my book, Rebecca.

Also, that skirt is amazing.

Also also, thank-you for telling the hate crew to step down and personal aesthetics are not about pleasing others. More power to you!

Laura said...

You are soooo right. When I wear something new, I always don't feel 100% comfortable in it until someone says "oh, that's cute." And I shouldn't really feel that way. So, thanks for the reminder.

And I think that skirt is adorable on you!


Lisa Burnett said...

"Being pretty isn't a rent I need to pay in order to occupy this space marked female" I don't remember who said this or where I heard it, but I think it is the best quote/reminder ever. Girls need to remember that we don't owe it to men, or to other women, and certainly not to strangers on the street to look pretty. I think you look pretty freaking darn cute by the way, but I realize this isn't what this post is about.

Madeline Finch said...

I think you're rocking all these different hair colors & styles. And props to you for being confident in your choices.

Love love love your outfit by the way.


Sammi said...

Great post. I can't believe someone (or several someones, for that matter) would have the nerve to write those things! I always thought you looked lovely with red hair, but I think you look awesome with the blue hair, too! I think this is ultimately a larger comment about blogging, in a way; I have style "rules" for myself because I personally like how I look in certain silhouettes, or that novelty prints make me unbelievably happy, or that I share pieces that allow me to live in my own little fantasy world -- and I never want any of these choices to be governed by what other people think is right or what someone doesn't like. I think it's brave of you to start a dialogue about this. I deleted a comment someone made one time, after seeing a photo of my boyfriend, saying that I could "do better." Even though the intention was clearly to pay me a compliment, she insulted my boyfriend of almost 3 years, and basically insulted our relationship. I know it's not a big deal, but I really took it personally, and it was a hard thing for me to think about afterwards (even now). Long story short... I think it's important for us as women to do what makes us happy, and screw the rest.

xox Sammi

Jordyn said...

Amen! and I love the skirt


jessie said...

good on you for putting that opinion out there, sometimes it really does need to be stated again for everyone. :)

and regardless, you *do* look pretty! :)


Monica said...

Not only do I agree with you but I can totally relate to this. And more broadly, this sentiment can be aptly applied to many everyday life decisions. It can make quite a difference - doing something because you really want to and doing it because others think you should. Anyhow, for a long time, I've wanted green hair. I honestly think I could rock green hair the way you do blue- it looks fabulous, by the way! You remind me of a garden fairy! :) I won't do it right now (because of work) but I will one day. Just for kicks. Even if it's just for a short while. Simply because I've always wanted to.

Anna said...

You look so pretty!

Davina said...

Preach it! It takes confidence for a woman to be able to wear something they love and feel comfortable in, even if the world may tell them otherwise. I respect for you voicing that! In a world of fashion bloggers and people looking nearly the same, it's really refreshing to here that.

Holly Picthall said...

I love that skirt, I have it in bag form from a couple of years ago :)

You should never dress for anyone apart from yourself, where is the fun in that?

Macaron said...

This picture make me think of you!


abbycake said...

I had really long, blonde hair and I cut it into a short pixie cut (much like what you did) before I left for Korea. I got a myriad of negative comments such as "what did you DO to your hair?" That was the most common. I kept replying "I cut it." It's amazing that people are so okay with being negative. But I like experimenting with my hair -- so everyone else can suck it.
xx Abby <a href="http://www.ageektragedy.net>a geek tragedy</a>

Folk and Fables said...

I just randomly stumbled across your blog, clicked on this post because I thought your skirt was really cute, but ended up reading a really good post. You're a good writer. And you rock blue hair. Kudos!

folk & fables

Shayo said...

I know this is old but I couldn't read this post and not chime in. I find it irritating that people actually took the time to post that they liked you better with red hair...really? Besides the fact that any changes you make to your appearance are for your own enjoyment and no one else's, I just find that incredibly rude! It's fine to have that opinion (people have different tastes and that's ok) but to go as far as voicing it when unsolicited, as if that opinion carries or should carry any weight, is such poor manners. And I agree that even if you did look better with red hair, why does that matter? As if "looking better" is the ultimate goal; god forbid you make a physical change just because you want to.

I've gone on long enough so I won't even get started on how much this idea rubs me the wrong way...a woman's beauty (of course, only as defined by others) is always paramount, right? /sarcasm This reminds me of that post from ages ago when you talked about why you take issue with the notion of dressing in figure flattering clothes...

You don't need my validation; as evidenced by your response you have a healthy and positive self-image. But I'll say it again...I love the blue hair and think you look fantastic! :)

Ariel Smith said...

This is why I love to shop alone! Because I know when I like something, and no matter what other people try to convince me of, if I like it (even if it's not entirely flattering or whatever) then that is all that matters. The feeling I get whilst wearing the clothes is more important than how beautiful/not other people think I am.

Ultimately, if I look gorgeous in something, but feel uncomfortable in it, I'm not going to wear it, or love it, even if I look great. I'd rather wear something that I love, even if it makes me look a bit frumpy. Because it makes me feel glorious.