Thursday, April 14, 2011

On Growing My Hair

 "I am NOT my hair"
But my hair is a part of me...


So I decided two days ago that I'm growing my hair back out. I just cut it all back off two weeks ago... Seems kinda indecisive huh? Well, it may be. But I had a bit of an epiphany.




The "Beginning"

I cut my hair for the first time in the 8th grade. I grabbed my hair into a ponytail, then I cut it. Then I left it in the ponytail until we got to church that night, at which point I took my ponytail holder out and revealed to everyone (including my mom) my freshly cut hair. I'll spare the details, but she wasn't happy about it. She felt that as a minor I should have consulted her before cutting my hair. I didn't know it then, but that event would be the start of a long running cycle of "cut-and-grow". I also didn't know then that doing what I wanted with my hair was my way of asserting my control over who I am.

The "Middle"

I've had many, many hair styles. Long and short, Natural and relaxed (mostly natural), Red, Brown, Black, Highlighted, etc. I've gone quite short, but up until last year I had never done a full chop. One day I got the beautifully bright idea to take my clippers and cut my hair down to a low Caesar... I never knew I could feel so sexy with short hair, but I did. I knew I was fierce... But most importantly, I had once again asserted my control. No one could tell me anything. I wanted to cut my hair, so I did. I can't honestly say I had a really good reason for cutting my hair, besides the fact that I wanted to. And that reason is good enough. But what I also wanted was for people to regard me in the same way they did before I cut it... Wait, that's a little vague. I wanted to still be as attractive with a brush fade as people thought I was with long hair. If a man would voice his dislike for women with short hair, I would consider him shallow and narrow-minded. I felt I was still as beautiful without hair as I was without it. I felt that people should acknowledge that and agree. But something about me still felt amazingly confident about my short hair.

The End of the Middle or the Beginning of the End

I got broke and had little time, so I inadvertently began to grow my hair back out. It went through the ugly phase and finally got to a point where I felt fly again. I began to straighten it and wear a cute pixie style. I woke up one day though and decided, it's got to go. I'm cutting it again. This decision was multi-faceted. Part was because of damage, part was because of convenience, and another part was the incessant need to control something in my life.

The End (of the Beginning)

I decided two days ago that I'm growing my hair back out. I just cut it all back off two weeks ago... I keep hearing the men say they don't like women with short hair, but I look good with it. I keep hearing the women compliment me on my hair cut... but somehow I'm not feeling so secure this time. I kind of want to hide. I was rubbing my head the other day when I had an epiphany. There is nothing wrong with a man being attracted to a women with long hair... But more importantly, there is ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with him NOT being attracted to one with short hair. I have a man's haircut. It can't be sexy to rub my head. I'm sure it's very reminiscent of rubbing a man's head. I began to understand why men say what they do. And I began to understand the feeling I have. I don't feel unattractive. I know I'm gorgeous... What I do feel is...

Unfeminine

 I felt some kind of way about growing my hair back out because I don't want to be seen as a conformist or someone who can't think for themselves. But the fact is, I am thinking for myself. I don't like not feeling feminine. There is a connotation attached with women that cut their hair off, and I had been unconsciously embracing that attitude... "It's the don't step to me, I'm the king of my life" attitude. But I'm woman. I'm a queen. I am not a king. And I don't want to be perceived as one. Most importantly, I'm no longer confident with short hair. So... I'm growing my hair back out. But this time, I'm not going to act like I don't care about the opinions of others. I do. I'm just not letting those opinions dictate what I do.

~M~


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