My Side Part, My Self

For the past several months I’ve been more dissatisfied with the way I look than usual. Sorry to say, but I’ve never been particularly good at practicing radical self-love and acceptance, preferring instead to vacillate between mild self-criticism to severe self-loathing. Of late, that’s been of the physical nature — my body issues are well-documented, but oh my God, lately? I’ve been hating on my face.

My faaaaaaaace. It’s so big! There’s so much cheek! I have a huge blockhead, what the fuck? For the past six months or so, my facial self-criticism has been really especially bad. I’d look in the mirror and have weird moments of disconnection. That’s not my face? Do I really look like that? My face doesn’t make sense in its current configuration. What is that about?

But! This week, I finally solved the Great Face Caper of 2013. It turns out, it wasn’t my face that was at fault. It was my hair.

You see, for the past several months, I’ve been trying out a center part thing, a la Brooklyn’s Lady Mascot Du Jour, Alexa Chung. Witness her center part situation:

my side part myself alexa chung

I mean, it’s perfect, right? Just perfect. And approximately one out of every three women in Brooklyn is trying to pull that haircut off right now. Including me, my friends. Including me.

The trouble is, when it comes down to it, a center part is not my thing. When my hair stylist offered to give me The Chung, I agreed, assuming that having her haircut would somehow grant me her bone structure and quirky genetic combination. I was wrong. I still had my face. And my face did not look right arranged with a center part.

I’ve done the side part thing since, I don’t know, forever. So when I’d look at my face in the mirror, not only did the combination of my features and that hair not look right, it didn’t look like me. No offense to my forehead, but I need a good swoop of hair covering it, not some wispy split bangs. My side part is a part of my style heritage! It was silly to think that I could just shed such a major part of what makes me me and be totally okay with it.

For a while, my bangs were too short to actually side part, they preferred instead to sit lamely on the center of my forehead. But just this week, there’s been a sea change. The bands are long enough. Sure, they’re really not cut to do the side part thing, but I’m faking it. And guess what? I’m 500 percent happier with the way I look now.

I’m glad I tried something new in the hair department. Especially while I’ve been working hard not to chop all of my hair into a pixie cut again (I mean, really, keep the scissors away from me, growing my hair out is a chore). But you can’t mess with a classic. Even if my classic look might not be for everyone.