Perfectionism is a self destructive and addictive belief system that fuels this primary thought: If I look perfect, and do everything perfectly, I can avoid or minimize the painful feelings of shame, judgment, and blame.Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection
Yeah, we knew it would happen.
Lots of people had an opinion about my post yesterday explaining my current state of hair mattedness. And some people reached out privately to share them.
They fell into two distinct groups.
The first group of private messages went like this:
My dear friend. I love seeing your face knotted hair and all. If you need a hand to wash and brush I will be there. I could even do it while you lie down. I’m serious and I’m double vaxxed. Jen
That kind of message made me feel so loved, so connected, and so grateful. There is so much goodness and kindness in the world, and I am fortunate to have people like you in my life.
And then there was the second group of messages. They mostly went like this:
Oh girlfriend! Sorry you’ve been unwell AGAIN. Looking pretty witchy there. I have a great cosmetic tattooist who could sort out your patchy eyebrows and she’d also put some filler in the major crease above your nose. Smiling that way doesn’t do your eyes any favours. You could be so beautiful with a little help. Makeup would be a plan, and a colourist to sort out all those greys. Also, I do think you’re ruining your brand by banging on about your health all the time. Someone has to tell you. No-one will want to do business with you soon. Maybe you could get a copywriter to batch some psychic-related posts for you. Get a good business coach to help you streamline things. Maybe even employ a bunch of online psychics and run a live-on-demand psychic readings business, endorsed or trained by you. That’s where the money is. Just focus on that. Get some proper photos done. Get some up to date branding. Employ a stylist and a brand strategist like I did. I think you’d be better off to outsource the whole thing. You’ve got so much capacity. I wish you’d let your friends help you more. Mel
I’m sure they are well-intended, but that’s just not what I’m about. Also, what is success supposed to look like? To me it’s about being true to yourself, and how you treat other people, and how true you are to your art/heart/purpose/dreams – not how many followers or likes you have.
I’m far from perfect.
So are you.
That’s the truth, and that’s okay.
Also, I live with chronic illness every day. That’s my truth. It might be your truth too – now, or into the future.
Here are some statistics for you, to put things in perspective:
15% of the global population lives with some kind of life-limiting disability. That’s around 1 billion people.
50% of adults globally live with some form of chronic health condition. Around 8% of children (aged 5 to 17) globally live with a chronic health condition that limits their capacity to engage in normal daily activities.
Many people who live with illness and disability are also active members of the community, employees, business owners, entrepreneurs, artists, musicians, writers. Our illness or disability may be invisible. We learn to adapt and to work with or despite our conditions.
I’ll keep showing up here, unless I physically can’t, or am on some incredible holiday somewhere. I’ll keep sharing MY life, all the parts, not just the parts that society deems acceptable or worthy.
I am worthy, just as I am. And so are you.
Long live kindness, friendship and being genuine and real.
Lots of love, witchy Nicole who now has two plaits (woohoo to progress!) and a whole bunch of friends ready to help me deknot!
PS – patchy eyebrows? I didn’t know I have patchy eyebrows. A new thing to get insecure over? Nah, I don’t think so. Although after I read Mel’s text I did go check them out in the mirror. They are blonde eyebrows. They look like my eyebrows. I’m okay with that. And if you’re not, well that’s your business.
25 thoughts on “Some responses to yesterday’s hair post”
Your honesty and authenticity is what has kept me here. I feel less alone in my struggles. And you inspire me to take just one step even if it’s all I can do that day. Or leap if that’s where I’m headed. I love that you encourage us to be ourselves while employing things we learn from you. And seeing what other people take away from what you share, opens up even more possibilities for all of us. Even your understanding of where Mel is coming from. You are helping create a more open and accepting world. One post at a time.
I so appreciate your helpful posts. They are often just the thing i needed. So , after the hospital my long curly hair was matted. You have given me a plan on how to sort it out. Wish I could give you a hug, I sometimes forget that there are lots of other people in my boat.
I was so saddened to see such twaddle sent to you in the guise of “being helpful”. I am pretty sure she was just being either mean or is genuinely completely lacking in any social graces. I am aghast at the shallowness of the whole Image/ influencer/product speak about human beings .Imagine this Mel sending this to someone less well grounded. My niece in Uk is currently hospitalised due to body dysmorphia, slowly starving herself to death, supported by a group online. Her parents are beside themselves. She was a clever ,delightful young woman last time I saw her, doing A levels . I know its not all about wanting to look thin/beautiful and she is receiving help now, but so much damage done.
Sending love and light to you, beautiful woman!!
I will include your niece and her family in my evening meditations, and hope she finds her way back to health and balance soon. In Mel’s defence (she knew I posted this and she stands by what she says) she is a very successful businesswoman, and she was genuinely trying to be helpful based on her own experiences and values. All of us are damaged by these expectations based on judging people by their appearances or their conformation to norms, Mel included.
I can’t even find words for this…there is a world of people with disabilities, and hidden illnesses, and those who might care for or quietly support someone….a world of people who are disappointed and distrustful because they were let down or hurt or ignored…..or are totally lost because they have lost someone or are popping into your blog over a coffee in the hospital hallway for moments as they watch and wait with someone sliping away day by day..or who are in financial difficulty worried about how to make one chicken do a weeks family meals without the family noticing that its chicken again..but that its just soup this time.. or peolle who are being controlled to within an inch of their lives…….and we are all beautiful and important in our own way..it doesnt come down to bloomin eyebrows……
Nicole your pics break the stigma ….it’s important to be real..it’s important to be considered by people, to be seen, accepted, respected and if possible loved……we are each meant to be here for what we bring and do every single day…its all important and it matters…you matter…and matted hair that came from hospital, weakness, sweating and pain matters, .. .and to be able to smile, have fun and show yourself matters….it’s funny and brave..and its your right to be your self….your beautiful self…and more of this might be a thing for all of us…..much much love xxx
What a beautiful and thoughtful post, Maria. Thank you for reminding everyone of the daily struggles so many people face bravely, and doing their best. Any one of us could find ourselves there, or have been there already. Much love to you xx
Oh well said Maria !
I couldn’t believe Mels reply ! After such bravery and honesty from you , I find it hard that people can be so judgey ! Bloody bloody cheek . You Nicole , are wonderful and such an example to the rest of us – thank you thank you for sharing yourself with us . I am inspired with every post .
Perhaps it’s judgement, but it’s also Mel’s honest and direct approach. She sees things and looks to fix them based on her values. And many people hold views like hers. I am not a brand, although my business is based upon me. I am a person. And while all of us want to be accepted and seen favourably, if no-one talks about the things we usually hide, then we can never create change. Somewhere along the way we have become really muddled with all of this need to curate our lives for likes and follows. I trust that eventually, if we keep sharing honestly and respectfully, we will find a way forward together.
This message is for the person who wrote that to you.
You clearly have no empathy, kindness or compassion in your heart. Clearly you don’t know what it feels like to live with a chronic illness, to wake up exhausted most days and yet still show up. Nicole has suffered physically for the longest time and yet still chooses to serve others. A life of service and divine work. You, nasty commenter, need to evaluate yourself. How did you get to be this cold, superficial and deplorable? Yeah you’ve pissed be off. Stop this BS of women needing to pass some superficial beauty standards. Instead judge people on how they treat others and navigate this challenging world with grace and kindness.
To Nicole- you’re f&$king rad and I adore you. So much respect for being real and not hiding behind filters.
Hi Bridey. While I am grateful for your support, name calling and degrading Mel isn’t helpful, or compassionate. I can hear your anger, and I understand. Thank you for having my back, and for appreciating how hard it is for myself and so many people who keep showing up and trying their best despite their circumstances. Much love to you xx
I love that you are getting better matted hair or not. Too far away for me to come and help you unmet it but glad you have great support nearby. Keep getting better
I don’t know if it was real, or if you embellished a bit, but I love the Mel text. Too funny. I do hope if it was real that she was kidding. Sounds like something one of my sisters would write to me. 😂
Nup, I posted it as it was sent to me, and she wasn’t kidding. She is genuinely wanting to help, but we are running on two different tracks. The world of hustle and appearances being everything is one I just can’t get behind. It’s exhausting. She also sent me several pics of better eyebrows!
Omg. I am so sorry. Take care and keep living your life on your track. 💞 (I hope she never sees my unibrow 🙄)
One of my best friend’s young daughters has recently gone through a deep love of unibrows, including pencilling the space between her eyebrows to join them together! Celebrate yours 💗
Lol. Something my granddaughters would do, no doubt.
Sharing your life with genuineness is preferred but I can see how the second group of your responders weren’t able to appreciate that. If one isn’t able to live their own life in all its messiness/glory it becomes hard to accept someone who bravely decides to share the unfiltered aspects of their life without apology. To live in one’s truth takes courage and I am grateful to you for sharing your good and bad moments. It’s a different beauty from the polished/perfect filtered ‘influencers’ (not my favourite term but it’s the one most use to describe social media personalities) but it’s a beauty I admire. Thank you.
The older I become, the more I realise how much time, energy and headspace I wasted worrying about superficial stuff. I think we do best when we find the courage to be ourselves. But I can also see Mel’s point, because that’s the world she lives in, and one I did too for a while. My fervent hope is that more and more people stop trying to be perfect and just get comfortable being themselves. Think of all the energy that could then be redirected to much more worthwhile causes!
Your eyebrows are THICC (aka To Die For) thanks to “Mel” for drawing our attention to them.
Just as an FYI – your writing on coping with long-term “invisible” illness and concomitant disabilities is how I found you. All the Mel’s (or Karen’s or Becky’s as we call them in the USA) can suck it.
Nappie Dee, we are a force to be reckoned with, all of us with invisible illness and disabilities, and I am grateful to be a voice for the many people just like us. Much love xx
I think you are brilliant just the way you are . Take gentle care xxx
You definitely say openly what I think. Your platform provides a voice to all of us that putting one foot in front of the other each day. A voice that provides the reality of what many of us with auto-immune diseases and health issues go through. Thank you for your honesty, an insight for those that cannot fathom the reality of others. x
I always think, with those people who judge us, condemn us or simply think that ours is a mental problem and all we have to do is adjust our attitudes, ‘There, but for the Grace of God go I’. If 50% of adults live with a chronic health condition, many people will end up knowing the life we already live. Every day I think of our community of silent warriors and our resilience. We do our best, we mostly cope, and we learn so much about ourselves, and about kindness and compassion. I think that it’s the broken who are truly strong.
Thanks, Virginia 🙏💕