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Jul. 24th, 2013 09:44 am
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[personal profile] darren_stranger
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I shaved off my five-week beard on Sunday.

I didn't mind the way it looked, but it just didn't feel like "me", or most versions of "me" that i inhabit over time.  One consistent thought that kept coming up was that it seemed to represent an 'older' look for me, which maybe doesn't correspond to how i see myself yet.  After hanging out at B&D's on Saturday, listening to punk rock and revisiting old times, i found it even harder to remember what mental image i was trying to align myself to with the beard, so off it came.

Once that was done, naturally, it allowed focus to return to other things i'm not happy about with my appearance - particularly my hair.  It's looking very straight-laced and conservative these days, which doesn't fit very well with any of the alternative self-images i might identify with, whether the new age hippy or eccentric elder goth or gypsy pirate punk or whatever.  I'd love to keep on with the semi-mohawk, cropped sides thing i've always liked, but i've had to face the fact that my hairline has receded so much that it just doesn't work any more, and i'm all out of other ideas.  My current direction is letting the sides grow out and slicking them back a la Peter Murphy, though i don't kid myself that i can pull off the receding hairline look as well as he does.  But for the moment it seems very 'normal', and i'm feeling quite ill at ease with the dissonance between the image i have of myself in my head and what i see in the mirror.

What this does highlight to me, though, is that i am still very much attached to my self image, and through it to my body and appearance.  The Buddhists say that attachment to the notion of self and identification with the body are great sources of suffering, especially with the changes that age brings, and this week i can really feel that for myself.  The difficult thing is that i'm not even close to ready to start letting go of all that yet.

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