"I do wonder how this has changed, fashion in the long term," she said. "Because among everybody I talk to, nobody wants to go back to what they were wearing before."
For Jamie Hurewitz, the pandemic-triggered salon closure last spring finally persuaded her to commit to her natural gray hair.
During the two decades that the Minnetonka lawyer has been dyeing her hair, she often considered giving up the practice. But each time her gray roots started to show, she'd get self-conscious and color it again.
Now Hurewitz plans to stick with her natural look. She's saving time and money and doesn't miss feeling anxious about her roots.
Working remotely at a new job, Hurewitz hasn't felt that her appearance is being scrutinized. But she anticipates that when she resumes meeting new people in person at networking or social events, she may feel more judgment. When she recently picked up her son at day care, a little girl assumed Hurewitz was a grandma.
"It isn't always easy staying natural, and it does impact my self-esteem at times," she admitted. "But I just didn't want to be a slave to the hair dye anymore."
Mattila, the Minneapolis coach, said this is the perfect time for those wanting to establish a more relaxed fashion or beauty routine to ask if they feel pressure to look a certain way or if that's what they want for themselves.
She also recommends using positive peer pressure to your advantage by enlisting the support of a like-minded community (people you know, or an online group) to help encourage your pursuit and collectively keep each other on track.
Mattila said she's seeing signs the pandemic is helping broaden American culture's narrow definition of beauty. As an example of shifting expectations, she noted how Anthropologie store windows are now displaying joggers and sweatshirts that they never would have a year ago.
Mattila said such a shift might free people from putting so much time and effort into what they look like. Perhaps, she said, as we come out of the pandemic we can reinforce the idea that what's on the inside matters most.
"We are not what we appear — it's not about physical appearance," she said. "It's about the human soul in a person." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.