I dyed my hair brunette for a temporary change a few months ago. It was fun and interesting to see how people acted with me after. It led me to do some research on men’s attraction to different hair colours and why. I found an awesome article on psychology.com. Apparently in a recent article published in the “Scandinavian Journal of Psychology”, Viren Swami and Seishin Barrett conducted two studies in the greater London area. Studies 1 and 2 consisted of 120 and 126 male participants respectively.
1. To determine whether the same woman would be approached by men at one of three nightclubs as a function of whether she was a brunette, blonde or redhead (her hair was manipulated with dye).
2. To gauge whether photos of the same woman sporting the the three hair colors would yield different evaluations by men along the following ten traits: physical attractiveness, sexual promiscuity, intelligence, introversion, neuroticism, approachability, competency, arrogance, neediness and temperamentality.
Brunette: Scored higher than the two other hair colors on physical attraction, intelligence, competence and arrogance. Scored higher than the redhead on approachability.
Blonde: Scored highest on approachability than the two other hair colors, as well as highest on neediness.
Redhead: Scored higher than the two other hair colors on temperamentality and lowest on approachability. This seems to be a manifestation of the “fiery redhead” stereotype.
There were no differences in the findings on impressions of sexual promiscuity, introversion, and neuroticism.
The bottom line
It would appear that blonde women are approached more frequently in a nightclub but are generally judged more harshly along a wide range of traits. This could explain the lower score than the brunette on physical attraction in the photo. It’s logical men subconsciously take into account these traits when making a first impression. Hair colour preference is likely driven by individual idiosyncrasies as well cross-cultural differences (i.e. this is a preference that is rooted in evolutionary principles; that lighter hair is associated with youthfulness, a trait universally fancied by men).
Although originating as a Buddhist belief, I’m Christian and still find energy work with the Chakras useful. With a few stretches, you focus on each of these centers and what they represent. It works for anyone. You always finish feeling energized. Take a few minutes as you concentrate on each energy center and do a yoga pose while you think on what they teach and how it applies to your life.
ROOT CHAKRA / RED
This chakra is based on being physically aware and feeling comfortable in many situations. If opened, you should feel well-balanced and sensible, stable and secure. You don’t distrust people around you for no reason.You feel present in what is happening right now, and very connected to your physical body. Think about:
– Accepting all that has been
– Forgiving yourself and others for mistakes and releasing bad energy
– Holding onto wisdom you’ve learnt
– Remembering where you come from
– Anchoring yourself in all that you are: your history, your culture, your religion, your nationality, your family, your education.
SACRAL CHAKRA / ORANGE
This chakra deals with feeling and sexuality. If open, feelings are released with liberty and are expressed without you being over-emotional. You are open to affinity and can be passionate as well as outgoing. You also have no problems based on sexuality. You are free without comprimising your integrity or health. Think about being open to receive the romantic energy of a partner in your life; the idea of power in collaboration and strength in unity. You feel comfortable in exploring and expressing your sexuality with someone. Work on believing there is a committed, good, loyal person who will compliment you and love you unconditionally.
SOLAR PLEXUS CHAKRA / YELLOW
This chakra encircles confidence, especially when in a group. When open, you should feel in control and have a good feeling of dignity in yourself. This is because you recognize your self-worth and take pride in all the achievements, victories and triumphs you’ve enjoyed in life. Spend time on this chakra honouring yourself and what you’ve built – that which you have created and manifested. It’s important to thank yourself for what you have worked hard to achieve. Think on the opportunities you have taken hold of. It’s about the success of inspired action, progess, reputation and good intentions towards others. Part of your self-worth is standing your ground on your values and moral principles. Through this power chakra, you feel confident in life and embrace the endless possibilities of the future.
HEART CHAKRA / GREEN
This chakra is all about love, caring, and endearment. When open, you seem to be compassionate and friendly, always working in amicable relationships. This chakra is about emotional empowerment, including that which you give yourself and that which you give others. It is nurturing and kind; seeing only the beauty in others. It’s acknowledging all the good people you’ve met along the way. It’s focusing on the abundance of people in the world who are happy in themselves; balanced, supportive and sweet. It’s asking God to send you more of them. It’s agreeing to honour others if they honour you; practicing mutual give and take. It’s caring for the planet and loving your environment unconditionally. The heart chakra sits right in between the three lower chakras and the three upper chakras. The three lower chakras have everything to do with your physical body, while your upper chakras are more about your spirit. It’s a deeply balancing chakra.
THROAT CHAKRA / BLUE
This chakra is based on self-expression and communication. When the chakra is open, expressing yourself is easy. Art seems to be a great way to do this. You express your truth with comfort. You also receive others’ truth well and can assimilate information with clarity and deep understanding. It’s listening and communicating clearly, maturely and equally. It’s knowing what you want out of life and not being afraid to ask for it. It’s focusing on offering creative, helpful advice. It’s receiving the thoughts and opinions of others with humility. It’s taking responsibility for your needs and what you need to say. When it’s open, any blockages in your speech and communication dissipate and the peace of God flows through you. It’s about the nourishment of authentic communication so you can live a happy, enriched life communicating and receiving ideas freely. It’s about the potency of prayer and talking – to yourself, to others and to God.
3rd EYE CHAKRA / INDIGO
Like it’s name, this chakra deals with insight. When open, you have excellent clairvoyance and tend to dream a lot. You are sensitive to your “gut” feelings of intuition and follow its promptings where you can. You know your intuition has your best interests at heart. As a result of work on this chakra, you have a “knowing” of what to do or how to act in any situation. You bring out the best in any person you’re with. You adapt to situations as your intuition tells you to. You sense emotions when you’re with people and change your energy to suit the mood so you leave them feeling good about themselves. You know you can give your peace and love freely because it will flow back to you from God’s limitless fountain. As a result, you enjoy fruitful interactions and productive outcomes. It’s about versatility through higher wisdom. It’s about flexibility in thought and connecting with people in a way that generates the best result. In helping others, you enjoy the mastery that deep spiritual intelligence brings. By the same token, this chakra is about sensing danger and “seeing” ill-intentioned people so you can avoid disaster. It’s your compass to navigate through the world; sticking around the good and steering clear of the bad.
CROWN CHAKRA / VIOLET
This is the seventh and most spiritual chakra. It encompasses a person’s wisdom and being one with the universe. When this chakra is open, prejudice disappears from your “To Do” list, and you seem to become more aware of the world and it’s connection to yourself. You access a higher wisdom; a connection to the Divine. You acknowledge your potential; all that you could be. You welcome God’s plan for your life, knowing it is good. You acknowledge that all manifestations are a result of what you think and believe. It’s about being open and asking for Divine guidance. Subsequently, it’s about receiving messages from God through people and nature. It’s owning that we’re all dreamers with the power of intention within us; creating our own reality via our thought life. We are equal parts of the same whole that is humanity. This chakra is about integration; of us with ourselves and of us with the universe God created. It is connection to lower, middle and higher self. It’s perspective on life and the ability to see the bigger picture. It’s transcendence, spiritual awakening, growth and ascension.
So I’ve just done another shoot with my favourite photographer Sarah Keogh. She is so professional with such a great eye and is very good at what she does!! I had a lot of fun with her on this shoot and also with Nina Thompson at Kinky Curly Straight Hair Designwho did my make-up and hair. Together we shot a stunning editorial with a story about a passionate love. Our protagonist is an old hollywood theatre doyenne and as the story begins, she finds herself in a majestic opera house preparing for her performance in a few hours. She is decked in pearls, lace, fur and diamonds. I liked the symbology of the props we used:
1. Pearls. Pearls symbolize Purity, Spiritual Transformation, Charity,Honesty, Wisdom and Integrity, all the best within us.
2. Gold. As well as being associated with power,strength and wealth, Gold is associated with the wisdom of aging and fruition. The fiftieth wedding anniversary is golden. Our precious latter years are sometimes considered “golden years”. The height of a civilization is referred to as a “golden age”. In the same way, our protagonist feels a connection to gold as she she feels she has grown up beyond her years. Her life has catapulted her into the limelight very quickly and she is experiencing her golden years at a young age. Through this she has attained great power, wealth, strength and influence. However, she has had to sacrifice her youth and naivety. She’s learnt hard life lessons that have pushed her spiritually, emotionally and psychologically beyond the age of her peers. As a result she feels alone in the world, with the red velvet settees her only companions.
3. The Mirror.Reflecting surfaces as well as the natural reflective surface of the water plays an important role in the religious concepts of many people. It is believed that somebody who gazes at his own reflection will lose his soul in the process. Therefore Narcissus, who was in love with his own reflection, was doomed. This was because his soul was ‘captured’. In many customs, in order to bar the dead from staying on earth, people veiled the mirrors in the death chamber (especially true in the Victorian era). This was to ensure that the soul of the departed would not get trapped behind the glass and be prevented from passing to ‘the other side’.
4. The Star. For centuries, the symbol of the star has been used to reference divinity, intuition, the feminine, hope and guidance. Stars offer the unique ability to guide us through the night. They can also refer to one’s need to discover their own inner light. Stars exists above us as well as within us. They encourage us to reach beyond our own egos and trust in something much greater than ourselves. The woman in our story has a star around her neck, representing she has found her inner light and values her intuition to guide her in times of darkness.
5. The Camera.The camera is symbolic of capturing truth.
6. Red.Red is the color of blood, rubies and strawberries. Next to orange at the end of the visible spectrum of light, red is commonly associated with danger, sacrifice, passion, fire, beauty, blood, anger. Red is a very ancient colour, spanning across all cultures. Red was associated with life,health, and victory. But, like many colors, it also had a negative association, with heat,destruction and evil. A prayer in ancient Egypt to god Isis said: “Oh Isis, protect me from all things evil and red.” A red dye called Kermes was made beginning in the Neolithic Period by drying and then crushing the bodies of the females of a tiny scale insect in the genus Kermes, primarily Kermes vermilio. The insects live on the sap of certain trees, especially the Kermes oak tree near the Mediterranean region. Kermes is also mentioned in the Bible. In the Book of Exodus, God instructs Moses to have the Israelites bring him an offering including cloth “of blue, and purple, and scarlet.” In ancient India, the rubia plant has been used to make dye. A piece of cotton dyed with rubia dated to the third millennium BC was found at an archaeological site at Mohenjo-daro. It has been used by Indian monks and hermits for centuries to dye their robes. In Ancient China, artisans were making red and black painted pottery as early as the Yangshao Culture period (5000-3000 BC). A red-painted wooden bowl was found at a Neolithic site in Yuyao, Zhejiang. Other red-painted ceremonial objects have been found at other sites dating to the Spring and Autumn Period (770-221 BC).
7. Hair. The end of this part of the story sees the silhouette of our protagonist looking to the side. This is her side profile; indicative of the moment just before she turns to face the world, when she will put on her ‘game face’ and perform. Hair is very symbolic in many cultures. No other part of the body seems to hold such a variety of symbolic power as the hair. It is both part of our body, and therefore part of our individual identity, and yet at the same time it is changeable. Generally when it is loose it indicates we are relaxed and in our natural state (hence the saying “to let your hair down”). When we put our hair up, it is indicative of composure.
So it’s that time of year again! Top Model is hungry for new models for their 2012 competition. It’s set to take place in London next year. This is how it works: they narrow down contestants from all over the world to just a hopeful few that will take part in a runway show in London next year in March. Their aim is to get a cross-section of applicants from around the globe to take part in the show, where eventually only 1 winner will remain. And for those who make the cut? Video interviews via Skype for the final selection process…nerve-wracking! They’ve narrowed it down to 3 girls from South Africa to choose from for the show, and I’m one of them. See my modelling portfolio here. So after just getting off Skype with them, I found some tips for calming nerves from this awesome website:
1: Melt the frown. Smile and release the worry. It takes lots and lots of energy to hold a tense, tight frown on your forehead. Check in with your forehead now – lose the frown then relax the skin across your forehead. Notice how you release the pressure in your temples as well when you melt the frown. While you are at it, pay close attention to your teeth and jaw. Un-clench your jaw, relax your tongue (very important) and part your teeth slightly. This will help enormously release facial and neck tension. You might even notice your shoulders relaxing and dropping at the same time. Melt the frown, un-clench your jaw and drop your shoulders.
2: Take a chill pill. Close your eyes, cup the palms of your hands over your ears, now listen to the sounds of the ocean playing inside your head. Continue until you feel your nerves a little less frazzled, your thoughts a little calmer and your breathing more relaxed.
3: Turn off the noise: Silence nourishes your body, mind and soul. Silence is very restorative. Toxic urban noise is never ending and can be a constant background stress that you may not be aware of. Tune into your hearing and notice which sounds irritate you. Take a five minute “no noise” break. Alternately turn down or turn off any unnecessary stressful noise.
4: Repeat a calming mantra: Use your thoughts to fuel your body with a constant stream of calming and relaxing thoughts. Mantras work because they take your focus away from the stress and drama (just for a moment) and invite more peace into your life. Here’s a few of my favorites that you might like use.
“I remember to breathe and relax moment by moment”
“Every cell in my body is loved and healthy”.
Breath in “I am calm” breathe out “I smile”
5: Take a mental health break: A less crowded mind means your nervous system is calmer. Take regular breaks from too much thinking and bring your awareness back into your body. Do your best to have an enjoyable morning and afternoon away from your desk in a pleasant environment if you can. Listen to the requests of your body, drink when thirsty, stretch and move when you need to and never skip a meal. An added bonus; A quiet mind has direct access to wisdom and insight.
6: Adjust your breathing: Find some calm: Make your “out” breath twice as long as your “in” breath. This will immediately calm you down. Your breathing directly reflects your stress levels. If you breathing is fast, tight and shallow then I encourage to read my article 12 great reasons to start alternate nostril breathing:
7: Calm your nerves by turning your back to the world: This is in my top 3 all time favorite relaxation postures in the world. It’s such a simple way to calm an overcrowded mind, call back your scattered energies back, calm your breathing and relax. Click here for full details. I promise you’ll love it.
8: Hug well and hug often: Give a hug or receive a hug, either way hug well and hug often. Heh, even give yourself a hug. Hugging and cuddling is therapeutic, healing and calming. According to Virginia Satir a family therapist; we need 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 hugs a day for maintenance and 12 hugs a day for growth. Whats your daily hug quota?
9: Rest your eyes: When you relax your eyes you are inviting your mind and body to follow. Do yourself a favor and grab yourself a yoga eye pillow and enjoy 5 minutes of relaxation.
10: Self massage nourishes your nervous system: Touch is healing and extremely nourishing to your body. Self massage releases happy feelings into your body, improves circulation and supports the removal of toxins from your body. There are simply loads of benefits. Whilst “self massage” might seem like hard work at first, I can guarantee you’ll soon notice a difference.
11: Cancel, clear, delete your energy drains: Notice what zaps your precious energy and reduce your exposure to gossip, shopping centers, busy places, certain friends or family members.
13: Hum your worries away: Time to Hum. Place your hand on top of your head, smile, now start humming. Feel the healing vibration of the hum reach the top of your head. Your clever hum will brush away the cob webs, soothe your mind, relax your face muscles and nourish your nervous system.
14: Sip a calming drink: If all else fails then do what I do; grab for my bottle of chamomile. I know for a fact that the medicinal herb of chamomile calms my energies in an instant. It great for insomnia and nervousness and has a sedative effect on your nervous system. Around one teaspoon sends a warm calming feeling throughout my body.