I’ve been thinking about hair.
I’ve had lots of thoughts about hair. It’s something I struggle with and am still really figuring out how to be okay with in life. Like everything in the arena of body positivity or being more confident in all the things we do, it’s something we work on constantly. Some days it’ll be easier than others.
Recently, I cut my hair. Not the first time and not the shortest it’s ever been in the history of my hair evolution.
I’d gone natural almost 5 years ago and did the big chop. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s where women (typically of color) with a natural curl with a history of chemically straightening their hair, cut most of not all the straightened hair down to the natural portion.
The first time, I cut it pretty short. And frankly, I loved it. It was a quick wash, it was really healthy, and it grew fast.
One unintended thing I didn’t think about, and didn’t remember until I cut it again, was how it made me feel emotionally to have my hair short.
Do I look masculine with my hair this short? Am I less attractive? Less appealing because I don’t have the long hair I had before the chop?
My hair had gotten long in the five years since the last cut. Long and tedious to care for on a weekly basis. But there’s this idea attached to long hair, an almost cultural way of thinking of it as being the crown of a woman’s glory.
My mother cried the first time I cut my hair. There’s a lot tied to that, including her being dramatic, but some of that cultural belief had revealed itself. While I was proud of my hair, and happy about having a new me in the process, I couldn’t get by the idea that somehow I’m less feminine because my hair was short.
I’m confronting that idea and trying to turn it around.
Some of you have met me in person, but most of you have seen my physical body. I’m sure no one would say I look masculine. *note: there is nothing wrong with being or wanting to be more masculine if that is a person’s desire.*
Michael certainly doesn’t mind and he’s one of the few whose opinion matters. He encourages me to do what would make me the happiest especially as I griped on every wash day. Drama.
The bottom line is hair doesn’t make a woman. Less of it certainly doesn’t make me less of a woman.
It’s the reminding myself of that and not letting things convince me otherwise. Especially as I fucking love my hair this short.
I’m quite sure you look just lovely C.
Hair length is something that has changed over history and while womens hair is predominantly longer and mens short, it’s been different the world over – like Sikh men who by religion are not allowed to EVER cut their hair.
And on the flip side, there have been so many women that looked drop dead gorgeous with short hair for ages and ages now.
There are still some with hangups and biases and weird notions (which in a non-religious situation seem downright silly to me) – and there’s also a double standard of sorts because while some make fun, most of the time men can grow out their hair and not be given the emotional angst, teased a little maybe here or there, but never the crying sad thing like with your mom and others.
I agree with Micheal completely: Do what makes you happy. It may be short today, may be long in a year or so. It’s hair, it grows regardless and you can change it almost anytime unlike other aesthetic body changes that are harder to do. 🙂
Working on the doing what makes me happy bit. And being comfortable overall. Hope you’re well, my friend
Wear your hair however you are most comfortable with. It won’t make you look more masculine if you have short (or no) hair. Your femininity explodes from you especially if you feel good about yourself. There is something especially sexy about the contradiction. It’s possible you might confuse a few lesbians but the guys will always find you attractive.
I agree with Michael, do what is important to you. And NO ONE would ever accuse you of being masculine, Cara… I call into evidence, the above photo.
Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the feeling even if it’s isn’t true
I am with Michael on this: you should do what makes YOU happy, and not worry about what the world thinks about it. Wear your new short hair with pride, and I am sure it doesn’t make you masculine at all. I look forward to seeing you with your ‘new’ hair 🙂
It’ll be a bit longer by then (if I don’t cut again!)
Do what makes you feel positive, beautiful, sexy, and sassy! I’ve always loved RuPaul’s saying “what other people think of me is none of my business.” I’m getting so much better at believing that for myself and I hope you can too!!
I’m a recent follower and love your blog!
Great quote by RuPaul and so true. Thank you for stopping in and reading.
Hair… It’s fascinating, from a sociological perspective, how our views on masculinity and femininity are shaped, and the sometimes-strange subconscious responses we have to that socialization.
I have hair issues of my own – more from loss of it than length of it – and while I wouldn’t otherwise consider myself a vain person, I have to say that my overprotectiveness of my regrown hair (and my subsequent refusal/fear to cut it) would perhaps indicate otherwise.
Feminine… For me, no. Length and femininity are not necessarily equated. But a point of contention where (my own view of my own level of) attractiveness? Yes, length is definitely an issue.
And yet when I see other women with short hair, my response is almost always “DAMN, that’s sexy!”
Is that contradictory?