So I guess I forgot something in my State of Justine Address from yesterday. Something anyone who has ever taken the plunge would probably admit can be a kind of major thing.

I got bangs.

Just so we’re all on the same page, here’s what that means visually:

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Ok? We see the difference?

Even though I got them cut on Saturday, I held off posting about it because, well, partly because it’s sort of awkward to talk about your looks. I try to tackle that subject from time to time because I feel like this blog is a place of honest self-assessment on all fronts, and I’ve experienced first-hand how our own assessments of our looks can affect every other part of our lives.

I also didn’t post about it earlier because, quite frankly, I wasn’t sure how I felt.

At first, I was a little freaked out when my stylist made the first serious cut.

I mean, I was excited about getting my hair cut. (Just ask the girl who sits next to me at work and who had to hear about my impending trip all week.) and I’ve had bangs for most of my life.

See?

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{Ohh those sexy middle school years. Why yes, that is a flute in my hand. And yes, I am at a solo competition. Thank you for noticing. But sorry, no, that skirt is no longer available. I know, you’re devastated.}

In fact, not having bangs anymore was sort of a spontaneous decision (that took a year to carry out…). And I’ve always sort of felt like my face needs bangs. I mean, I have a big head (thanks, Dad), which, especially in photos, can translate to a big face. It’s a lot of flesh, and a little hair curtain over a quarter of it doesn’t hurt anything.

The point is, bangs should not have been a shocking change.

Except, when the stylist finished blowing out my hair and a took my first look in the mirror, a was a bit taken aback. Because there, staring back at me, was myself in high school.

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{Actual me in high school. I’m using a picture of me and my high school (and middle school, really) friend Joe because he is kind enough to read my blog fairly regularly and I know this type of post really doesn’t interest him that much. So, in return, I give you pseudo fame on the blog. (I know, not much, but admit it: You’re a little more interested in this post now.)}

In the weirdest way, I suddenly felt seventeen and wracked with a 17-year-old’s insecurities. Did this hairstyle make my face look fat? Did it make me look like a baby? Did it remove any sex appeal I had managed to garner (by the skin of my teeth, folks) in the last eight years, replacing it instead with that (at times) back-handed adjective “cute”?

It was a moment wracked with emotions.

So, I did what any other insecurity-ridden girl would do and posted a photo to Instagram to get everyone’s assessment of me.

As predicted, I was cute. And the next day, someone else pronounced how young I looked. And therein lies the crux of my concern.

My mind flitted back longingly to the inches of blonde hair wafting to the salon floor. I swallowed hair and fiddled with my hair some more, hoping that simply shifting its position could somehow make it look like it had before I’d cut it.

I know this sounds like the ultimate #humblebrag to whine about being described as “cute”, but I swear, I’m being serious. Not everyone will get it, but any girl who has been “cute” for most of her life (and I say “most” because we all saw that flute picture) has grown weary of the term at some point. I mean, we’d rather be cute than nothing at all, but sometimes you just want a more grown-up descriptor. We want to be sexy. We want to be hot. We want to be stunning. Just once. (Which isn’t to say I don’t appreciate those of you who called my haircut cute. I know you had good intentions!)

Anyway, I wasn’t completely decided that I didn’t like the bangs. For the most part, everyone was being complimentary in their commentary. My parents (while, admittedly, not the most objective source) loved them. My husband has always liked me with bangs. (He has a theory that they give a girl a sense if mystery.)(He’s weird.) And, honestly, I never had that much sex appeal anyway, so I was willing to embrace the mantle of “cute” for the rest of my life if necessary. (Poor me, right?)

But yesterday at work, something was different. I don’t know if my hair just fell in a different way or I just got better at styling it or I just decided to embrace my face and my hair no matter what they looked like, but my bangs started to look a little less school-girl, a bit more, I don’t know, intentional. I felt a bit more grown-up. And while, sure, a few people called them cute, one of my coworkers stopped me in the hall and said, “Your hair is looking foxy today; did you do something different with it?”

Side note: “foxy” is now my new favorite adjective from now until the end if time. We’re bringing it back, folks.

The point is, I think I finally got to the point where I’m wearing the hair instead of vice-versa. I’ve said a million times that your hair has an emotional effect on your outlook, and I like to think it’s a sign of self-assuredness that I’m slowly getting over that. (Slowly. Ever so slowly.)

So when my friend Madison asked me for a post about the new hair over Twitter yesterday, I finally felt ready to talk about it.

And you know what? I feel good about this. I feel like I actually look like I have a hairstyle instead of the hair just sitting there in my head, and I think once the bangs grow out a bit, I’ll feel even less like my high school self.

And just because Madison also requested lots of photos, here’s one more for ya. I mean, at the very least we can say I’ve improved from the flute days, right?

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11 Responses to Got a brand-new bang.

  • As a girl whose guy friends always called her “hot” or “sexy” in that same high school, I think “cute” is much preferable… but that’s me. :P I felt very objectified by the sex appeal thing. I always thought you were gorgeous though. And not that it really matters, but I love the bangs. I have some serious hair envy going on. <3

    • Justine Lorelle says:

      I’m so glad you commented! It’s easy to forget that girls on the other side of the spectrum probably have the same issues with labels about looks. And thanks for the compliments, you’re too sweet!

  • Madison says:

    I love the bangs, especially in the last photo. When you first posted the photo on Instagram, I asked my Joe what he thought of them. He said that he liked your “after” picture better, for what it’s worth. And so do I! You’re making me want bangs now, too, but I think my hair needs to be longer.
    Madison recently posted..Roasted Brussels SproutsMy Profile

  • Joe T. says:

    Yeah, not gonna lie. You were starting to lose me with recent subject matter. Way to appeal to my vanity. If only more online media catered directly to me as well as you do. Also the bangs are better.

    PS-Maybe someday you’ll post a picture of me on this blog in which I have my shirt on AND I am not drunk.

  • Melanie says:

    I love the bangs. As someone who has also been called “cute” for the majority of time, I understand the need to feel foxy. You got it going on! It’s the reason I chop all my hair off–I feel more edgy with short hair.

    Also, your middle school pictures and my middle school pictures could be best friends–complete with matching flutes and solo competitions. I no longer find it strange that we had the same wedding dress.
    Melanie recently posted..Sperm in a Coffee MugMy Profile

    • Justine Lorelle says:

      Haha love it! #flutesoulsisters4life

      Also, I totally admire how much you rock that short hair. I feel like if it were me, I would just look like a boy, but you look incredible!

  • Susan says:

    I like them! I’m growing my bangs out (although full disclosure, I just haven’t cut my hair for four months, and so I’m attempting to justify this laziness by saying I’m growing my bangs out), but now that they’re long enough for me to pin back, I keep seeing pictures of myself with bangs and think “oh shoot, I should cut them!” Especially with side-swept bangs, you can’t really go wrong. If you don’t like them, they’ll be grown out in a few months without much trouble or awkwardness. I think they look sophisticated!
    Susan recently posted..RIP Newsweek, 1933-2012My Profile

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