Finding Your Look: The Ultimate Struggle Part 2
Welcome back to the struggle! Honestly, how many of you can relate to the never ending journey of finding out what look works for you? Some probably have better experiences then myself I will admit. Those who know me, know that I claim to be a tomboy at heart, so hair and make up has never really been my forte. But, I don't think many outside of the entertainment/beauty industries understand just how much work it really is to keep up with a persona.
So, from part one, I mentioned that I started trying a few looks in my later years of college while I auditioned in Atlanta. I have tried styles in red, burgundy, honey blonde, you name it. I don't necessarily think anything motivated me to try this; but one day, I suddenly grew a strong liking to the silver/gray color. I first tried it with braids because I thought it was the safest risk; that way if I hated it, I could just take it out with no regrets. I honestly didn't think it would look that good because of my complexion. My skin is on the darker side of brown tones, and back then I couldn't really visualize myself rocking any bright/blunt colors. But to my surprise, the gray started to grow on me. I started getting a lot of compliments on my hair, and even my father got around to liking it. (Now if you know my father, rocking a bright or unnatural hair color was NOT something he liked, so when he came around to it, that was HUGE).
Next thing you know, I'm headed to one of my first auditions since the hair change. And yes, before you ask, I definitely had another bootleg photoshoot (what can I say, I like to be prepared). This audition was for a dance series/company that is now near and dear to my heart, GuyCode ATL. I really enjoyed that audition, and I felt even better because I thought I looked great. It's something about changing your look that gives you an amount of confidence that you didn't even realize you had! I am honored to say that I was accepted into the dance group, and it immediately felt like being with family while training with some super dope artists. One of the choreographers at the time came up to me and said, "I'm going to call you Stormy because of this hair!" - And little did he know, that was the moment that started it all. I grew curious about what other gray looks I could pull off, and even now I still look for new do's that I can splash with a little bit of Storm.
Soon after that, I fell in love with the idea of being "Stormy". It made perfect sense! As a young dancer in middle school, I was actually given the nick name Smiley because I was always happy and super energetic when I performed. As I grew older however, I've been a little more reserved with how I carry myself; but when I dance, I lose myself and become a whole new person on the floor.
So, in addition to having some resemblance to the legendary Storm from X-Men, I found meaning that resonated with who I am and who I'm becoming. It became less about impressing the next judge or choreographer at an audition and instead, became more about my journey to finding myself. At this point, I've never been so eager to explore all of who Stormy is. Stormy is unpredictable, full of surprises, has powerful and intense moments, but also has moments of weakness; and all of those characteristics are apart of who I am naturally.
I've come to realize that I'm just not made for sticking to the status quo. Even though I have finally found my look, I still have to be me authentically and switch it up sometimes! I love to let my natural hair breathe and be wild and free as much as possible. I honestly have never been interested in wearing wigs or sew ins until college. It is hard work to maintain your look! Unfortunately, most of my friends rather not attempt at taming this mane, so behind closed doors, I'm the one that has to schedule hair appointments or spend an entire day working on my hair. I could go on and on about the true process of getting my hair done; but that's only one percentage of your look. You have to consider your sense of fashion/swag, your make up, and your character or overall presence.
All of these factors help build the "package" of who you are, or in in my case, who Stormy is. As soon as I got comfortable embodying Stormy, another professional in the industry told me personally that they preferred my natural fro over the gray hair (talk about confusion!). So, who was I to listen to now? You can imagine how frustrated I became, because I had invested so much time and money into finding her. But, soon after I walked from under my dark cloud, I realized that the only person I should really be listening to; was me. I am truthfully both Stormy and Jaslyn, so why can't I portray both? As long as I am genuine in who I am while I serve those I am called to serve, my "look" won't ever go unnoticed. It doesn't matter what people think, or how many other people have the same image as I do, All that matters to me, is that I know who I am; whether that's Jaslyn or Stormy, they both live in me, unapologetically. :)
Thank you again so much for reading! Be sure to stay tuned for our next blog series!
Remember: Your audience can't miss you when you're too busy shining from the inside out. Be who you are authentically, and don't be afraid to change. The right person is always watching!