I get asked this question a lot every time I change my look. I understand why people are curious, because I recognize that we live in a culture where it is often seen as a woman’s responsibility to be attractive either to obtain or keep a man. And I could spend countless hours talking about the Pat Robertson’s of the world who actually blame women “letting themselves go” for the failure of a marriage and how that bullshit makes me stabby. But I’m getting off subject a little bit.
What does John think? Well, John is a feminist. He doesn’t like to use that word because of the negative connotation that people have attached to it, but he believes a woman’s body is her own to do with as she pleases. This includes what she wears or how she cuts her hair. I would not have married a man who tried to tell me how to dress or told me not to get more tattoos because he didn’t like them. John respects me as a person first and not a collection of aesthetics.
When I met John, I dressed horribly and hid any semblance of a figure I may have had. I didn’t know how to apply makeup at all and looked like a ghost. I was still clinging to an extra 15 pounds that made me insecure, so I never felt pretty. The dude still thought I was pretty, but above all, it was the person behind all that he was attracted to. I was smart and funny and sarcastic, and at the end of the day, I believe that’s what makes a person attractive to their partner.
Thing is, there have been many things I have done that he didn’t like. He has walked in to find me nearly bald twice because of botched bleaching attempts and has shared with me his desire that I not do that again. He hates very heavy bangs, and since they’re pretty damn high maintenance anyway, this is a request I can honor. Aside from those two things, it’s always open season on my head. After 13 years of not knowing what he’s going to walk in on, he has come to accept that there’s always a chance I could flip a switch and decide that I suddenly need to look like the band members of KISS. And he will smile, tell me he loves me, and I will know that he hates it. He is not a fan of my new glasses, but they make me giddy, so he is cool with it. That’s just the way it is. If he decided he needed a mohawk or a god-awful tribal armband tattoo, I would deal with it if it made him feel like a sexy beast. I would LOVE if John wore glasses or had oodles of tattoos, but he doesn’t do it because that’s not his style, and I respect that. Mutual respect, folks. That’s how this works.
Truth is, I’m not entirely sure what John would prefer I look like. There are outfits that receive his compliments, and I try to wear those more often when I’m in need of a little attention. I think he prefers my hair red and longer, but what he loves most of all is having a wife who feels confident and beautiful in her own skin. He knows that if I dressed in a manner that would be pleasing to everyone else but me, I would be incredibly uncomfortable and insecure. And as we all know, if Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.
Bottom line is that John loves me and accepts me for the crazy, unpredictable person that I am and not for how pleasing I am to look at. I think he would get just as bored as I would be if I looked the same every day for years. Because he’s the bee’s knees, and this is why I keep him. Now, if we could only get a few more tattoos on that boy. Hubba Hubba.