After a long, dark winter, seeing actress and new mom Jennifer Love Hewitt go blonde in order to get her “momjo” back may inspire others to follow her example, which can be more quickly achieved with a spring attitude adjustment that doesn’t come in a bottle.
Ms. Hewitt looks great as a blonde, after welcoming her daughter Autumn in November, when her hair was brunette.
The makeover came about, the actress told People magazine, because, “I was just inside with the baby and I felt like I was ready for a change. As Giuliana Rancic says, I wanted to get my ‘momjo’ back! I got my mojo back, I wanted my ‘momjo.’”
As a mom of four who has had her hair color run through the rainbow over 20 years of motherhood, in search of the pot of happiness at the end, I get it.
However, my youngest son set me straight as he accompanied me on a shopping trip last winter, which had morphed into a spontaneous walk down the hair-color aisle at the store.
“Just smile more,” he suggested as a beauty tip. “You look really pretty when you smile.”
Sensing that I might snap his head off for perhaps implying that I was routinely a frownie-faced troll, he quickly added, “That goes for everyone. Everyone looks better when they’re not frowning.”
I launched into an explanation of gray hair, feeling old, and how lighter colors change the impression people have of your mood.
He gave me the look of one listening to complete and utter nonsense.
“Mom, seriously,” he said. “Frown plus upside-down equals people seeing pretty face. Done.”
This event took place about a month after my husband’s discovery of a large, old, gilded mirror stored behind a dresser that he placed in a totally unavoidable place in the downstairs hallway near my desk.
I began catching glimpses of the face surrounded by curly, messy, brown hair and my knee-jerk reaction was to frown and head for a hair-color change and the gym.
Motherhood over long periods of time can decrease our vanity and perhaps the anxiety over our looks.
While I still cared about my looks, I still found myself checking the mirror less often, until finally I began to avoid facing both the mirror and my worried face, which seemed to show how two decades of motherhood had begun to erode my charms.
Call me Cleopatra, queen of de-Nile.
When I looked in that mirror in the harsh light from the windows and front door, all I saw was how the cares and responsibility of motherhood had caught up with me and landed all over my face in the form of lines.
The person in that mirror didn’t have any “momjo.”
“I’m not crazy M’Lynn,” she says to her neighbor. “I’ve just been in a very bad mood for 40 years!”
In the film, Ouiser gets a makeover in the hair salon.
However, it’s the attitude adjustment, brought about by the ensemble of women in the shop showing her the error of her cranky ways that makes her attractive again.
So I took up the habit of checking my smiling reflection in the gilded mirror, as well as the car rearview mirror, and even my computer screen when turned off.
My son was right. The smile was an instant fix, lifting the lines into pleasant directions, brightening my eyes, and infecting my mood with a reflexive lift.
I decided that in the moments when I am ready to gripe, I will instead smile. For a while, this frightened people until I got the hang of it.
For example, two days ago, one of our cats left a snake on the doorstep while I was gardening.
My husband and older son both poked at it and pronounced it dead on arrival.
However, neither of them was willing to do the snake removal so I picked it up and it writhed to life hissing.
Mr. Snake wrapped himself around my wrist, snapping at my arm as I shrieked and tried to get it off.
I was furious with the men in my house for making me dispose of the snake.
However, when my husband and son came out to see what was going on I stood there with a now truly dead snake at my feet, dirt all over my face, hair wild and I pasted on a smile.
Apparently, by turning a frown upside-down, the laughter finds an escape hatch, because I began laughing so hard I had to sit down.
My youngest came home a few minutes later and looking at my dirty, tear-stained, smiling face as I told him the snake story commented, “Mom, you look so beautiful today.”
If you want to give your look a lift, the attitude adjustment is definitely the way to go.