Tuesday, October 4, 2016

The great wig debate

I recently finished taking photos without the wig/with my natural hair by choice (the last couple of times I did it for a blog post is out of necessity - not because I thought it would be nice), and I really just hate it.
I'm reviewing the pictures and my face looks big while my head looks too small. My hair is messy with tons of flyaways in every single photo. The limp pieces scream at me and make the whole thing look sloppy as if so little effort was put into it. IF very little effort had been put into it, that would have been fine, but I spend so much time prepping then shooting and then editing and then writing these blog posts that I don't want arguably the most important element (the photos) to portray sloppiness.

There's nothing like this that can really remind you of what you really look like.

It's really funny because when I look in the mirror or in photos from different angles, I really quite like my natural hair in curls. But for photos, it has to be meticulously placed, and I probably only get one or two usable pictures. When I shot for the upcoming blog post with only 2 featured items, I took over 500. I think you can imagine how many I end up taking in a 5+ item order. A lot of that has to do with me just not being confident with how I look in every photo (that if I just take 4 photos, those 4 will all be up to my standards to be posted), plus lighting since having the sun hide behind a cloud for just 1 minute can screw things up for me since I really rely on that. But ideally, I don't want my hair to be the reason I have to take so many since there are already other contributing factors.

I had a really hard time going through the photos I took with my natural hair. Every single photo looked atrocious to me. I had to think about whether I cared more about my face looking more or less decent or the pose being wonky most of the time. I really felt disgusted the more I looked through.

To back track a little, if you haven't seen me post about this on other social media, I received this comment on one of my posts about a week ago -
I really have no ill feelings about the person who left me the comment who told me that the wig ruins my blog posts. That didn't make me feel bad about how I look. It made me feel bad that I was spending so much effort on something that was so visually disgusting that they couldn't bring themselves to view it. Honestly, I'm not unfamiliar with the feeling. There are things that I'm just not fond of looking at and I really don't bother trying and typically avoid it if possible. It's not a big deal. So, really I don't think it's outrageous to dislike the aesthetics of something, but I still wanted feedback, so I could find out if it was that way specifically for my blog photos for a majority of people.

The reason I started and continue to blog is because I want to help other people make informed decisions, especially when it comes to shopping online from an international brand like Liz Lisa. I like to do this by using my own personal photos including outfit/coordinate shots on a "real person" (aka me) which I think are a necessity for making a "review" of the items worthwhile. This usually means taking the time to prep and make myself mostly presentable if I'm posting hundreds of images of myself all over the internet. If I thought I had looked so terrible that I offended people's eyes, I would have made a change. Clearly, I think I look okay. I admit that in some photos, I don't look like 100% but I post anyway because I need something to round out a photoset and I'm usually 80% okay with it and find it forgivable.

But in any case, if the way I look is such a deterrent, I may as well not blog altogether since it serves almost no purpose if people can't view it. While I always thought of this as a "personal blog" first and foremost (because it's about things related to me specifically), I don't really use it as a "lifestyle blog" where I consistently post about my personal life aside from shopping purchases and trips which are also meant to inform. I use Dayre for my day-to-day things - I have never done something consistently like that here on Blogger. This post is the closest thing I've come to doing something along that theme in a while.

When it comes to the wig/my hair in particular, there are several factors at play in my mind:
Why I choose to wear the wig -
1. Well, I mean, I think it looks good or at least OK in photos (this is what I find most important personally)
2. It provides volume that I think complements the himekaji-ish style of the clothes
3. It's reasonably easy and all one color. All I have to do is tuck my real hair under and then bam, curls and bangs are already mostly in place.
4. Related to 2 and 3, I don't have to (heat) curl or tease my real hair which is already quite damaged. I have never been able to achieve non-heat curls that give me the effect I want for my personal hair type.
5. My personal belief is that my real hair looks comparatively bad in blog type photos. I think it looks quite okay in mirror pictures that I post on IG, but I don't think it photographs well with the DSLR, esp my bangs. My "unstyled" hair that Paperdoll mentions has never been posted except maybe on Dayre and I doubt most people have seen it, and I would NEVER consider an option for blog posts.
6. I often take photographs for blog posts for 2-3 hours at a time. Sometimes if I have a lot to photograph, I may shoot over 4-5 hours. My real hair and any sort of volume/curls cannot hold up over that time period in the climate within my small, enclosed, non air conditioned room. The wig can.

Why I wouldn't mind letting it go if that's the consensus -
1. It's in really bad shape because it's a cheapy eBay wig and years old now with no particular care paid to it
2. I've been meaning to get a new one anyway re: 1. Unless the feedback is saying getting rid of any wig completely.
3. My head will be less hot if I don't have to wear the wig lmao. (But it will still be hot so this isn't a particularly compelling factor for me.)
4. I can also just cut off my head in the photos which means I won't have to do my make up OR hair.

I was very surprised to find that those who provided feedback were positive or neutral about my natural hair with a number preferring it to the wig. And my shock mostly comes from how disgusting I thought it (my natural hair) and I looked in the example photo I provided. To be fair, I tried to pick an average looking photo, but I still thought it was terrible and expected responses similar to that. There were a couple people who openly hated the wig if not for how I looked but how the wig specifically looked (since it's bad quality) which is fair, but that was really the only strong opinions I got. I really find it so hard to believe that I'm the only one who feels so negatively about my natural hair lmao. As a result of that, I decided that I owed it to everyone who took the time to respond to me (which I do have a huge appreciation for, seriously thank you) to at least give it another shot which is how I found myself editing a batch of photos and whining over the situation in my head at the beginning of the post.

It may be a matter of just figuring out how to pose differently or style my hair differently since it's already extremely relevant to me that the same poses don't work for both hairstyles or even trying to get the camera to be at a different angle, but I'm not really sure I want to inflict all the damage to my hair and get my face all done to just take pictures for a trial and error thing which would probably have to occur over several weeks. And meanwhile, that would not only mess with the health of my hair which is already in the gutter, but also just throw off my posting schedule.

Another solution might be to cut my head off like I do in my YouTube videos. I don't do that because I think I look ugly or because I don't want feedback on my face. It's actually because there usually isn't enough space in my room comfortably to include from the top of my head to my shoes without rearranging a lot of furniture, so it's a convenience thing. I have done it before but it was a lot of trouble for very little reward. In any case, in some ways, YT videos are easier - I don't have to put on make up, nor do I really have to style my hair. It doesn't usually matter if there's volume as long as it's reasonably there, especially since I rarely do close ups.
But the downside to cutting my head off is that I don't get to use things like hats, barrettes, ribbons, headbands or even earrings to bolster the outfit. And even though I'm not big on accessorizing, I do like to use those things to add a little something every once in a while and to help change things up a bit. So while it would require less effort overall, I don't think it would necessarily be an improvement. Another solution would be to just put a sticker or clip art or something over my face while leaving my hair. I'll think about doing that but honestly I feel like that might be more distracting than I want it to be.

Of course, the best course of action that alleviates both problems (I hate my natural hair and using it causes too much damage and takes too much time AND some people hate my wig) is getting a new, more flattering wig. For the record, I have already tried this and failed. I don't even want to link the blog post in which I tried to use the replacement wig. It's worse than my natural hair by a long shot. There were a few people who liked it but I think they were just being nice. In any case, after burning money on that wig (which was good quality and from a reputable site that I've seen others recommend more than once but just not a good style for me personally), I've been reluctant to just go spending money on another without more thought. There is one from a different reputable seller that I have my eye on, and, believe me, especially after all of this, I do want to buy it, but I also want to shop around, read more reviews and make sure that before I throw away my money, it's for a worthwhile cause. I'm sure that when I finally make a purchase, you'll see it in at least one blog post on a trial basis.

It might seem like I'm "fishing for compliments" at this point since this is like the 4th or 5th time I'm bringing it up if you follow me on most of my other social media accounts, but I realized that I really should let primary blog readers know what's going on if you don't follow me elsewhere. But also I was just SO fucking bothered by my appearance while I was editing the natural hair photos that I really thought I was going to feel sick and I just had to stop and take a break because of how unattractive I found every single shot, and I really just felt like I needed to spill and explain all of this. As overdramatic as that sounds, it's really just how I see myself in the photos and I'm not quite sure how to change that or if I can even be convinced at this point. I've always felt like I had a reasonably healthy self-image and, like I said, I really think what I see in the mirror before taking the photos is quite decent so it's not about "feeling beautiful" or "wearing/doing what makes me happy", but there's just something that translates really poorly in the DSLR photos specifically that I absolutely abhor. I gave it my best shot and I'm trying to be as honest as I can, but I'm just not sure how to proceed. I'm really having a hard time feeling good about things right now. If you see some differences in hair/appearance in the blog posts, feel free to leave your feedback. As long as it's something I can change for relatively little cost, I'm open to giving it a try.

(For the record, I have most of the rest of the posts for this month drafted, and if I do end up making a big change, it won't be reflected for at least a month, if not more, while I continue to figure things out.)

Thank you for your past, continued and future support! ♡


  1. Although I personally don't like the wig and prefer the look of your natural hair, I think it's mostly because that particular wig isn't the most flattering, and it's likely because it's old and cheap. But, I think you style things in a great way, and you clearly know how to make the best out of that wig, so I don't think it makes you look ugly or ruins your coordinates, so it doesn't make me want to not read your posts at all. So personally, whatever you do is fine by me, though I know that's not very helpful. So, I'll give you some hopefully helpful feedback:

    I think you should value your reader's preferences, but I don't think you should force yourself to produce content looking a way you don't like, no matter your reader's opinion. If it really did produce such a strong reaction to see the photos you took of yourself with your natural hair, I wouldn't feel very comfortable reading your blogposts with those types of pictures since I would know that you really dislike how you look in most of the pictures. It's like when your family posts a (what you think is) an unflattering picture of you on their Facebook and you just feel dreadful whenever you see it, which I can definitely sympathize with. I think you should strive for the middle ground.

    I don't think the issue is that wearing a wig is just an automatic turn-off (for most people). If you choose to buy another, higher quality wig, I don't think it'd be an issue, and I definitely understand the pros of using a wig as it keeps your look consistent, it's way easier and less damaging than styling your hair. And, most important, it's more comfortable for you to use it in blog posts, so we'll be able to get content you're happy with, rather than stuff you're unhappy with or worse, nothing at all.

    I really love that you do such in depth reviews and coordinate posts! I love seeing how the clothes look with a full person rather than with your head cut off, so I don't even consider that an option. I hope my two-cents helps a little, and I hope you get this sorted out quickly! So you can get onto the good stuff, like LL's 17th Anniversary pieces and that super cute new floral set up (lol)

    1. Thanks for your feedback! So far I have all currently received purchase posts drafted, so I guess that gives me a little time to think (although most of them were photographed before any of this happened so this situation was the furthest thing from my mind), but hopefully I can figure out something that doesn't offend anyone, myself included. Thanks again!

  2. I am so glad to see this post. I've been following your blog for about three years and always wondered why you didn't show off your natural hair more (although I thought the wig was more for gyaru reasons). Personally, I like your natural hair (especially when it was that pink/brown color!) and going forward I hope that you do come to like your hair in pictures, blog posts or no. (And the wig doesn't ruin the picture for me, I'll look at them regardless because your RL pictures do help me a lot in choosing what to buy and if I still like it when it's not on a model)

    1. I liked my hair a lot when it was that pink/brown color but sadly it hasn't been like that for months and now it has this unintentional ombre effect which I think looks tacky and gross for blog posts but IRL I don't care enough to pay money to fix it and think it looks passable. Quite honestly, I do love how my hair looks curled in every situation except blog posts which really makes me think it's not an issue with my hair or self-image so much as how it photographs. Thanks for your support!

  3. maybe this is because I have an untrained eye, but I didn't even notice you were wearing a wig at all??? like I thought you had just been blessed by the hair gods! haha I think you look stunning regardless and you should do what makes you feel most comfortable! Either way, your outfit will always be on point! <3

  4. Wow, I'm actually kind of surprised anyone has a problem with your wig! I personally love either way and to be honest, I think I would wear a wig to make my hair look more precise also! It's so hard to make hair look perfect! Mine certainly doesn't do what I try to make it do! I love your natural hair and I love your wig, I think that you should just stick to wearing it however you feel the most comfortable!
    (I do love seeing your face in photos though (you're really pretty!) )

    1. Thank you! I have a possible alternate solution in the works currently - we'll see how it turns out <3