“Dear Children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.”  I John 3:18 (NIV)

 

 

I have hair extensions.  Whew, I said it.  It’s a little scary for me to write this, because I’m admitting out loud to people whom I don’t know (and probably some that I do) that I just don’t feel good enough without them. Yikes, that is a scary statement.

 

I first tried a few pieces in November of 2011, a few weeks before we started filming for Duck Dynasty, thinking maybe they would help my own hair grow longer and look better on TV.  Then during the first few days of filming, one of the producers asked me if I would be open to getting a full set at their expense.  Of course, I agreed.  Even now, after we are finished with the show, I get them at my own expense.  Why?  Because I absolutely love having long hair.  I feel more like Missy with long hair.  I had long hair as a child, through middle school and high school and all the way up until I had my first baby.  Then those hormones started to change things. 

 

When I was pregnant with Mia, things took a huge turn.  After she was born, my hair started falling out in huge amounts and very quickly.  By the time of her first surgery at 3 months old, I felt like I looked completely different.  Maybe it was the stress of having a special needs baby who demanded my time, attention and emotional stability every minute of every day.  My daughter being born with an open cavity as a mouth and nose meant that I had to make sure she kept breathing when she was awake and asleep, eating without choking 8 times a day, not gagging on her own spit-up in between and traveling to/from doctors to learn about her condition and how to care for her, all while recovering from my own Cesarean surgery and trying myself to heal.  It’s a wonder I had any hair left at all. 

 

(the day we brought Mia home from the hospital)   

 

          

(the day before her first surgery - 3 months later)

 

The bigger problem was, even after 8 years of our new normal, my hair had never recovered.  This made me feel inadequate.  It made me feel unpretty.  Why, you ask?  I asked myself the same question for all those years.  I knew in my heart that I was enough, that God made me to be enough.  But when I looked in the mirror or ran a brush through my hair, my head would tell me “you should do something about this”.  So, when a producer from Hollywood offered to pay for them, I quickly agreed.  What did I have to lose?  She obviously saw what I had been seeing for a long time, but that didn’t hurt my feelings.  It actually validated them: I can be prettier with more hair.

 

Is it wrong to want to feel pretty?  I’ve struggled with that question, too.  Shouldn’t I be getting my self-worth from my Creator?  Yes.  Shouldn’t He fill my every desire and need?  Yes.  So why do I want hair?  I kept referring back to how the Bible says that “if a woman has long hair, it is to her glory.” I Corinthians 11:15 (NIV).  I didn’t feel like I had that glory.

 

This past summer I was sitting in the Fox and Friends hair and makeup chair before an on-air interview, and the sweet ladies there were complimenting me, telling me how pretty my eyes were and admiring my dress.  I’ve never taken compliments well (something that drives Jase crazy), and I started feeling very uncomfortable.  I thought, if you only knew what I really looked like under all this.  Then, one of them said, “You have really beautiful hair.”  And there it was.  Hanging out there for everyone in the room to pounce on.  So, I said kind of quietly, “Most of it’s bought.”

 

She quickly responded with, “That’s okay, Hon.  Everybody’s is.”

 

Ha! What? You mean, I’m not the only one?  I’m not even in the minority?  Nope, at least not in the celebrity world. 

 

As a Christian we know the Bible tells us to be truthful and honest.  That’s not just with words but also with our actions.  As women, we are bombarded with images of the perfect people.  Perfect bodies.  Perfect skin with no wrinkles.  Perfect teeth.  Perfect hair.  Have you ever wondered if those perfect bodies we see on social media every day aren’t all that real?  Of course you have.  We all have.  Fake breasts, false teeth, Botox-filled faces, butt-enhancing filters (I just learned about that one.  Why someone wants to fake a bigger backside is a mystery to me!) and hair extensions. 

 

I have hair extensions.  I could tell you that I have them because Jase likes me with them, but that would be false.  He couldn’t care less.  Even while typing this, I’m sitting on my couch in non-matching warm-ups, zero make-up and my hair in what’s left of a ponytail I went to sleep in last night.  I can assure you it’s not my best look, nowhere even close.  Jase just walked in from his morning duck hunt and said, “Hey, Cutie.”  And he’s serious.  He loves the way I look no matter how I look.  While I’ve come to appreciate that about him, I still hold onto my own validation. 

 

Please understand that I am looking neither for sympathy nor admiration by telling you this.  Here is what my purpose is: authenticity.  I have learned more about this subject over the past few years than I ever have before.  This new world of social media, selfies and filters have literally taken the word authenticity completely out of the equation.  What is real and what is fake?  Do we even know anymore?  Do our children and grandchildren know anymore?  Will the next generation EVER know?  My children and I have committed to letting social media take a back seat in our lives for 2018.  Cole said it so perfectly when he was home for Christmas.  He said, “Mom, after not checking Instagram for a while, I got back on it today, and the very first thing that popped up was someone I know bragging about things they’ve been doing.  And I said, ‘nope, I’m out.’  That’s what bothers me about it: you can be whoever you want to be on social media.  It doesn’t even have to be true.”

 

Do you remember the Seinfeld episode where George gets a toupee? He strutted around most of the episode making fun of bald people until finally Elaine had enough.  She questioned George’s behavior and reminded him that he was bald, too.  He said, “No, I WAS bald.  Now I have hair.”  She snatched it off his head, threw it out the window and a truck ran over it.  The audience erupted with cheers and laughter. Not because he lost the toupee but because Elaine quickly reminded him of the obvious.  George became arrogant because of a physical feature and had treated people without hair as suddenly less than him.  That’s a lesson for all of us.  Whether we improve ourselves with other products or we happen to be born with great physical features, the moment we make others feel less important is the moment we damage our own integrity.  Our true authenticity is revealed--the authenticity of our heart.

                                                                         

Today we are bombarded with Fake News from professional media outlets, but they didn’t start the trend.  Even our own government officials say whatever they want to in hopes we’ll believe it’s true.  But we can’t lay the blame on them either.  It may have well started within our own homes and on our own social media accounts.

 

Sooner or later, people will know whether we are authentic or not.  Why is this such a big deal?  Because God tells us that people “will know we are His disciples by our love for one another” (John 13:35 NIV), not by the beautiful pictures we post or the poignant words of wisdom we say on social media. 

 

How do we treat the people around us? 

Do we say the right thing to their face but do what serves us best when they aren’t looking? 

or

Do we show others that we value them, not by what they can add to our lives but by adding to theirs? 

 

If you value your own social status, number of followers and perfect photos, honesty and authenticity will matter very little to you.  However, if you value people and your relationships with them, you will be genuine and authentic, treating them with the same respect that you desire and expect from them.  Those are the actions that will make those relationships stronger and more meaningful.  When our lives on earth are done, I don’t think we’ll be reminiscing about all the admiration we received from our social media posts, blogs or YouTube videos.  We’ll be remembering all the relationships that enhanced our quality of life.  I don’t want people to just know about me.  I want them to know me.  The real me.  My life is beautiful and messy all at the same time.  To portray anything different would be fake.

 

Authentic: (from dictionary.com)

 

  1. not false or copied; genuine; real:
  2. having an origin supported by unquestionable evidence; authenticated; verified:
  3. representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified:
  4. entitled to acceptance or belief because of agreement with known facts or experience; reliable; trustworthy:

 

Read those again. This list of meanings brings a bit of sadness to my heart.  The value put on these words is disappearing.  I feel we’ve already lost so much of this in our culture, and we’re losing more every day.  What can we do to bring these back?  What can we do to turn this trend around?

 

My family has decided to claim the word “Authenticity” for 2018.  Would you like to join us?  It starts by admitting one of your flaws, no matter how substantial or silly it may seem.  Admit it to yourself first.  Then, if you have the guts, admit it to someone else.  Maybe even on social media. 

 

Who knows? We may even start a movement!  Fake News took over 2017. Let’s try to make 2018 the year of authenticity!

 

Do you have the guts?

 

I’ll start. 

 

I have hair extentions. They make me feel prettier.  I wasn’t born with great hair.  I’m afraid you’ll think I’m shallow after reading this.  I’m human.  I’m flawed.  I’m working on things.  Maybe one day I’ll feel comfortable enough to let them go.  But until then, this is me being authentic.

#Authentic18

 

Join the movement.

Comments

Linda Davis:

John 8:32 Tell’ us " You will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free." How true that is, once you receive Christ as your savior the Truth is all that matter’s, you are no longer hidden behind false character’s or stories it’s like a river that has been cut-off by a damn that was built and once the damn is broken down the river just flows freely and that is how I now feel with Christ being the center of my life. What I thought was so important before Christ doesn’t even enter my mind now, and things that I didn’t think were important are the most important things to me now, my faith, my family and my love for my neighbor. We are here to remind each other of the Love God has for us and no matter what you look like or how big your house is or how fancy your car is all of that doesn’t matter, what matter’s is being honest and showing we are deciplies of the One True King, King Jesus !!! I love each and everyone of you and I pray if you do not know Christ, I pray you find him he is all you will ever need !!Amen and God Bless you Missy , stay strong in your faith, the world needs more missy’s !!!

May 07, 2018

Kelly Blade:

Hi Missy,
THANKS for the guts – and everything else – such a blessing : ) I have “frog fuzz” hair and have ALWAYS needed help with it. I’ve tried to do it myself even going so far as to have my fabulous Husband (a Pool & Spa Service Contractor) cut it for me because anyone who can cut PVC pipe can cut a straight line – right? Have colored my hair for so long I’m not even sure what color it is now – but I see gray…a lot of it – so someone else who really knows what they are doing takes care of it for me now…thank you Lord! This reminds me to be thankful for imperfection and the grace that should be shared with others because so much has been given to me throughout my crazy hair stuff and life. Blessings to and your family my dear!

Jan 30, 2018

Janelle:

Hi Missy!
I loved reading your blog. Thank you for opening up and being real. Everyone has something they wish they could change about themselves, that most other people don’t notice. I loved watching Duck Dynasty, and my sister and I would always comment on how beautiful you all are. And you are, you really really are. I know you aren’t looking for sympathy or someone to build you up or really other peoples opinions, but I have to agree with Jase. He sees past your hair extensions, and your makeup. He sees who you truly are. He loves the pony tailed, yoga pant wearing Missy. He sees past the flaws we see outwardly about ourselves. What an awesome husband you have! ?
Thats what I love about my husband, for all the flaws I see in myself, the extra pounds, and love (stretch) marks from my baby girls. The crazy hair in the morning. Even though I think I look like a hot mess, he still thinks I am pretty. Now thats true love… ?
When we feel good about ourselves, thats is important too. Confidence is beautiful too. I say, girl if it makes you feel pretty, you rock that hair. It’s ok to want pretty hair. Just remember, you are beautiful either way though! God made you exactly perfect, in his image. Sending hugs from snowy michiana!

Jan 16, 2018

Jean Thomas:

Hi Missy,

First I want to say I admire you and your family. I’m a 60 year old woman. I have had a weight problem nearly all my life. I have near wore makeup (my dad didn’t like it) and am more homely than pretty. I have never said that out loud before, thank you for your inspiration giving me the courage to be authentic!

Jan 12, 2018

TIFFANY OLSON:

I was lamenting to my mom the other day about my ever thinning hair. She’s not one to take much guff. Her response was, “Sweetie be grateful that breast cancer didn’t take your life. It’s taken your boobs and your hair but you are still here. For this, I am eternally grateful. So get over yourself, go buy some hair, wear it with pride and move on.”

Ha! I didn’t laugh in the moment because I was kind of struggling. But she does have a point.

When chemo was over and I was feeling better but still bald, I had the greatest wig. So great that people stopped me everywhere and complimented me. They asked tons of questions and I discovered very quickly that I have about a 3 question limit. I’m not good at evasive… so after the third question I would pull it off my head, tell them how much it cost and where they could buy it online. ☺

My husband (Mr. Wonderful) would just stand there and shake his head.

Some days I laugh and let everyone laugh with me and some days I struggle.

Right now I am researching toppers and saving pennies to buy me some hair.☺

Have a beautiful day sweet Missy.

Jan 12, 2018

Cynthia:

Firts of all…love you and your family. Thnk you for being authentic, it is something this world could use more of. I am struggling with aging and the whole appearance thing. I am trying hard to let it go. You see I was always the tall skinny girl (5’10" & 125 -130lbs) with a FULL head of long hair. Then I turned 50. A few pounds had crept on in my late 40’s but now big deal, everyone always told me I was too thin. At 50 I suddenly went into menopause and develeoped hypothyroidism (it took several years, finding the right Dr. and my TSH hitting over 15 to diagnose it). I lost TONS hair. I gained 20 lbs and mentally was in a black hole. Now at 60, (I’m still trying to figure out how I got to 60 so quickly) most of that is behind me thanks to my research, a good Dr., natural supplements, and thyroid medicine. My weight and hair remained a struggle. A couple of years ago a friend got me started with essential oils. I have played around with them and have been impressed with some of the results. The most striking results came with my hair. I took my regular shampoo and conditioner (about a 10 oz bottle), added 10 drops each of Lavender, Cedarwood, Ylang Ylang, Rosemary & Clary Sage, 5 drops of Peppermint. With in a month I thought my hair felt thicker but was sure I was imagining it. Now, 4 months later, I KNOW my hair is thicker! What was once a moderate strand of hair being wrapped around a hot curler is now a VERY thick bunch of hair that is actually falling off the sides of the curler. I went for a skin check a few weeks ago and the dermatologist commented that my hair was so thick that she could hardly see my scalp! Maybe the oils would help your hair regrow some.

Don’t beat yourself up, we all want to be the best version of ourselves. Sometimes making ourselves attractive is a way to help other people get to know the real us. People judge and by removing destractions (gray hair, unkept hair, ill fitting clothing) we allow them to focus on our message not our appearance. I am very gray…I color my hair because first, I prefer my hair the color it was before the gray and because people judge. I compete with 30 yr olds for my job and I do NOT want to be preceived as old and incapable. I don’t want to walk into a room and their first thought to be ‘she is old’ and then the fail to recognize that ‘she is capable’. Appearance can hold off the judgement until you have a chance to present YOU! Never feel guilty about being the best you!

Jan 12, 2018

Brenda :

Hi Missy!
First and foremost, THANK YOU for your honesty and willingness to put this ‘out there’. I too struggled with hair issues after menopause so badly that I was pretty depressed over it. See, I was the girl, woman, that was known for ‘her hair’, that is until it started thinning so badly and my naturally curly locks started disappearing ?
But then I was introduced to Monat!!! It was my ‘hair miracle’!!!! After using it for a month I noticed such a HUGE difference that I decided to get involved with the company and sharing with friends and relatives! Would love to share info with you if you decide to do some research into the products!! It was my godsend for sure!! Thank you for being a sister in Christ and sharing your story!

Jan 11, 2018

Traci:

I absolutely loved readying this blog. Thank you for authenticity. I love getting lash extensions. They make me feel pretty and I don’t have to wear mascara. ? I also love coloring my hair and getting my nails done. It really does make me feel better!! ?I know you’ll touch so many lives by writing this just as your family touches so many lives. My boys and I adore each and everyone you and have watched every episode. I honestly don’t mean for this to be salesy but I found the most amazing haircare line called Monat. It’s botanically based , anti-aging, free of harsh chemicals and promotes healthy hair growth!!! I’d love to send you a sample if you’d like and haven’t tried it already or help you get started.

Again, thank you for such an awesome post!! You’re an inspiration!!

Traci
Tbarker915@gmail.com
205-299-2817

Jan 10, 2018

Janet:

Hi Missy,
I have never responded to a blog. This is the first time I have read yours. I so loved this article. I color my hair because I’m not ready to be grey. Fear of looking “old”. Not that all people with grey hair look old, because they don’t. But I fear I will. After having 6 back surgeries, a neck surgery and beating cancer 5 year’s ago. I think keeping that youthful look by coloring my hair is not a lot to ask for. I am thankful I am cancer free. I am thankful I can still walk. But not ready for grey hair. I do believe that the way society projects the way women “should” look and it being all over TV and social media that every women they show is "perfect ". It makes the average women always wanting to be prettier, Skinner, with long hair, perfect teeth etc. More people should be authentic. Thank you. God bless you and your family. I love watching you all on TV.

Jan 09, 2018

Jeanne Killough:

Missy, you and I don’t know each other. I met you and Mia at Heartfelt last year. But, I’ve loved your daddy since the 1980’s and your momma since 2015. My husband went duck hunting with Jase and a Phil twice a few years ago.
And, even though we don’t “know” one another, now, I love you even more. Your honest, sweet heart has always been authentic in my eyes. You are a beautiful lady. My husband felt about me the way Jase does about you.
My confession is that I’m fat. I’ve lost and found thirty pounds for years. Can’t seem to get rid of it. It haunts me, makes me feel less than, makes me feel ugly and inadequate. Yet, I keep letting it win. Pathetic!
My decades old prayer has been for God to release me from this thorn in the flesh. He hasn’t chosen to do so. I am now praying that I will let Him use me in spite of it and not let me continue being a wimp.
Thanks for your authentic, it’s never to late to be real.

Jan 09, 2018

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