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Hair & Makeup (And Feminism)

Sometimes I struggle with particular aspects of wedding planning, like whether I should get my hair and makeup done. As we’ve gotten closer to the wedding I’ve realized that I’m not struggling with the question of if I can afford it or not (I’m remarkably resourceful) or if I’m selling out (I think that idea is silly). What I’m struggling with is, “Can I do this without buying into something that I don’t believe in?”

Can I wear a veil and still be a feminist?

Can I get my makeup done and not be a 22 year old sorority girl bride in a ballgown or worse, look like I got let out of the bordello for my wedding day?*

As I was pondering the makeup question, I ended up watching the sideshow (for the millionth time**) of Aly and Elroi’s amazing wedding shot by Our Labor of Love. And I came across these two pictures:

Right.

Maybe it’s because I’m a visual person, or maybe it’s just because I’m a little slow sometimes, but somehow these pictures slammed me over the head with what should have been really obvious: I can do whatever feels right to me to do, and still stay EXACTLY who I am. So, I made a hair appointment this weekend, and I got low-lights on my hair*** to cover up all that pesky white for wedding pictures. And while I was there I made a appointment to get my hair and makeup done for the wedding (the stylist was wearing orange feather earrings when I talked to her, so I immediately felt comfortable).

I don’t know if it was the worlds most feminist thing to do, and I don’t know if it’s going to win me a lifetime membership in the Indie Bride Club, but you know what? I don’t care. My hair looks fantastic, I’m excited about my future wedding stylist, and I feel really good about my decision. And most important: it made me feel like myself. And if I’ve learned one thing from this wedding planning process, I’ve learned that when something makes you feel like yourself, you grab on to that thing for dear life (and to heck with what anyone else thinks).

Photos by Our Labor Of Love

*Ariel wrote really compellingly about this very dilemma in the Offbeat Bride book.
**I told you I revisit my favorite weddings when I’m feeling stressed out.
***Acme Head & Body, San Franciscians. My color/cut stylist is Wes and he’s freaking amazing, good with curly/wavy hair, and actually LISTENS to you (and will remind you a little bit of Adam Lambert).

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