Multiple Sclerosis, Beauty, and Pink Hair

Jamie Tripp Utitus
Written by
Jamie Tripp Utitus

This post is about why I dyed my hair pink.

Many of the women I know living with multiple sclerosis have reported feeling less than attractive. Unbeautiful. Not enough. I get it, but I can’t say I’ve had the same experience. When I was diagnosed with MS, I started to take better care of myself than ever before. I started to juice. I eliminated certain foods from my diet. I was just trying to live well, but I actually started to look better as a result. Beautiful became the side effect of taking care of myself. Go figure, right?

MS took me on a very spiritual journey as well. My knees were bruised, but my soul was shining. I would glow with joy and faith, despite what was happening in my life. I was forced to find my beauty in new places.

Now I’m not saying that my MS has been all roses and butterflies – that’s far from the truth. I struggle just like everyone else. I noticed in particular that the older I was growing, the more complacent I was becoming.

So I was sitting complacently sipping my safe tea, complacently tucked into my safe chair, complacently reading some safe websites and there was an article on “12 Things That you Should Never Do After the Age of Thirty.” Gasp! One should never dye their hair PINK if they are over thirty.

Growing up I was the one with pink hair and piercings and I owned it – I refused to be anything but myself. But now, in my “geriatric” (according to the author) thirties, I have some stranger (probably a 19 year-old) telling me I can’t dye my hair pink.

So what did I do? I upped, cut my hair off and dyed it pink…I am an artist and I work my arse off to take care of my family, myself and my MS. If I have ever earned the right to dye my hair, I have earned it NOW. I remember walking out of my house, a wee bit shy of the looks I’d get and you know what – I have never gotten so many compliments in my life. And I have never felt more beautiful. “Excuse me, they aren’t your children are they? You look so young!” was my first. I politely smiled and grabbed those babies and said of course they are, but thank you.

So what’s my point? It’s not that you should run out to the salon and get your hair dyed pink (although I’m fully supportive!). It’s to never let yourself get complacent. Fight that frumpy feeling. Do something you always wanted, but never had the courage. Set yourself free. You can. So let this article serve as a reminder to keep living like you. I will keep living like me; pink hair and all!

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