Living in Color


I have a burning desire to be a little wild. If you saw me, you wouldn’t believe it, because it doesn’t even look like I’m even trying to be fashionable or creative when it comes to appearances.

Under this very boring, flat and blah hairdo, unstyled outfit, and cluelessly applied makeup is a mom that would love to BUST OUT. There will always be this huge part of me that wants to do this:

THIS. A girl, er, boring mom can dream, right? Photo Credit:
THIS. A girl, er, boring mom can dream, right? Source:

I love it. I love the colors. I loyally follow this woman’s Instagram account, eating up daring, inspired hairstyles and colors. While we’re at it, I really, really want super short or asymmetrical cut hair. Something cool. I want more tattoos. I’d love to be bold enough for more visible art. I think it can look so pretty and creative. I have a rockabilly girl inside just dying to get out. I’d love to head out the door to work like this – hair, ink, and all.

I mean, come on, really. Look how happy she is. Photo credit:
I mean, come on, now. Look how happy she is. Photo credit:

There are several things that keep me from chucking it all and going for it:
*My job
*My husband
*Everyone at my daughter’s daycare
*Everyone in my town
*And, well, I suppose … ME.

Photo Credit:
Photo Credit:

I genuinely believe that you need the confidence to back it up or it just doesn’t look quite right. And in a world where I would be the only person I know rocking pink and green hair, I definitely wouldn’t have that confidence. Maybe I’m too shy to have people show me that much attention, really. Or maybe I’m too thin skinned to be open to criticism. Maybe I just care too much what people think of me. But should I? I mean, they’re just clothes. I wish I didn’t feel like I had to change careers in order to rock that incredible top from Forever 21 41.

Oh, and it’s not about looking young. Not at all. Because I don’t believe interesting fashion choices make you look young, nor do I necessarily believe that these bold women are trying to look like kids. It’s just about being able to put on something creative and fun, taking a risk. Nothing makes me happier than sporting bright colors or wearing cheap, silly, plastic jewelry. I pile on jelly bracelets fairly often, only to take them off before I leave the house for work, thinking, “Oh, stop it, Tara. You can’t wear this to work.” My three year old daughter is a big fan of my styling choices, however.

I always think, “Well, if I lived in New York City, I would definitely wear what I wanted.” Or, “If I was a hairstylist / artist / fill-in-the-blank-with-someone-artistic-and-cool I could totally pull it off.” But is this true? I have no idea.

But what I do know is that the older I get, the bolder I get. I just wish I could just pull the trigger and make the leap. Speaking of age, I’m so inspired by these women:


I often wonder how many other women there are that are just itching to follow their hearts when it comes to breaking rules and ditching worries about what others may think of them. This doesn’t necessarily need to mean making exciting hair color choices or pairing stripes with dots, either. It could just mean stepping outside of the comfort zone. Something tells me that I’m not alone.


13 comments on “Living in Color”

  1. I had these same thoughts yesterday when I was searching for some new glasses frames. The store I was at had all sorts of bold, colorful frames in funky shapes, a few of which actually looked great on me. But I couldn’t picture wearing them at work or in my PhD classes. However, I did find some lovely frames in flattering colors with a gentle cat’s eye shape. Different but not too funky. I notice you wear glasses, Tara, so maybe you can take baby steps towards the rad look by finding some cool frames.

  2. “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple with a red hat that doesn’t suit me…” Here’s to trying to find that freedom before we are old ladies!

  3. OMG I could have written this post too! I used to do such cool stuff with my hair, even while working in a corporate setting. I had pink streaks, blue streaks, even a faux-hawk. I’ve always been daring with crazy make-up. Most of that went by the wayside after I became a mom and rounded the corner into my forties. Doesn’t that suck?? I like to think I still dress on the funky side, but my inner punk chick is whispering in my ear about hair color and more tattoos. The hubs would F-R-E-A-K though. Oh well, fuck ’em if they take life too seriously, right? What I’m trying to say, is if you feel the need to express yourself…in color of any kind…I’ve got your back. Or I’d love to be sitting right next to you!

  4. I”m so glad to read that I am not the only one who feels this way! I work from home and in a creative field, so I feel I have few excuses to not follow my desires to go bold. However, the PTA meetings, the playdates and the family functions keep reeling me back into boring.

    I tend to sneak in some little twists – skull and crossbones bracelets, studded accents and unusual color combinations just to make life a bit more fun. But oh, how I’d love to go back to the pink hair with purple tips that I had in my 20s. Sigh. I think this is why I dress my 4 and 6 year old girls in rocker clothes and color their hair pink and blue with hair chalk at every opportunity. I live vicariously through them. BTW, love the video you included in your post.

    1. Heather – I do the same thing with “little twists”! And I love dressing my daughter as well. Sometimes I look at outfits on toddlers and realize how lucky they are because: 1. Anything goes. 2. They don’t get hung up on other people’s opinions!

  5. the “boldest” i got was 2 summers ago- i did the ombre highlights a la Lauren Conrad. Hers were this dreamy peach hue, and mine were just blonde. i love loved it so much i went whole hog and did aggressive highlights all over! just do it sister! and as for ink- i have it strategically placed but just because i thought it was a cool spot. which reminds me of the nagging need to get more ink again soon, but somewhere more visible.

  6. I know exactly how you feel! My 13 year old niece just got her ends dip dyed hot pink and purple and she looks amazing! Tomorrow I am finally getting my hair colored after having the baby and I am getting my roots done and caramel (gasp!) highlights…that is if I have enough time 🙂

  7. I rock a full-sleeve tattoo under my business suit in a conservative work atmosphere (legislative office building). They are (mostly) covered up on a daily basis. I also had CRAYOLA red hair for a while.

    You are CERTAINLY right that you need the confidence to back it up. Just wanted to stop in and say LOVED the post. Someties my ink reminds me not to take myself, or life, too seriously and live it up! Especially while in this monkey suit working away on spreadsheets in my cubicle. I do have an art history undergrad degree after all! It’s my form of self-expression, and I guess, of being different.

    I don’t have kids, but if I did, I would encourage them to do the same, as my parents did with me (I had purple “manic panic hair in high school in the early 90’s – it was rad). Sometimes after work, when I finally get a chance to shed the blazer or the cardigan and let loose at CVS, it’s the parents who STARE at me and the kids who shoot a quick glance and then go back to their shopping. Don’t the parents know it’s not polite to STARE at people who are different? It’s certainly an interesting little social experiment walking around with vividly colored skin.

    In summary, it’s fun living life with a little color! Life is short and can be a little mundane at times. Color your world!

      1. I gotta chime in on the Marcy love here, too! Marcy you OWN IT! and i LOVE IT! just as much as i love colored pants friday during session!

    1. Thanks so much, Marcy! I’m going to continue rocking brightly colored clothes and might even think about hair color 🙂 I love that there are women like yourself out there blazing the trail. And shame on those moms … My daughter and I fully support those who live boldly!

  8. YES! I relate to this completely! Like I could have written this exact post, thank you. I use to dye by hair red and I LOVED it. I stopped doing that a while back. I envy people who express themselves in a unique way. I too often times worry about what other people think about me but deep down I have a desire to be more bold. Love, love, love this post.

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