How cutting my hair taught me to embrace my femininity
Firstly some backstory: My hair has been curly since the day I was born. As I grew older the need to manage my hair (aka keep it detangled) grew more and more painful with each brush stroke. Much to my mother's distress I would cry and cry while she painstakingly tried to get out the knots that would encapsulate themselves upon my head. It seemed like there was no solution, until I wanted straight hair!
A lightbulb moment! Giddy as can be, in grade three I had my hair chemically relaxed. I had never felt my hair blow in the wind. Never. Now imagine that. It's something that many of us take for granted. If you ask my parents I'm sure they can relay just how emotional and powerful the simple breeze in my hair was.
Flash forward a few years and with my two-three times a year relaxer appointment my poor hair was taking a beating. If I didn't stop or make a drastic change, then my hair would fall out. Plain and simple. It was over processed and fried.
So I cut it, I cut it short. I remember leaving the salon feeling bad ass, with my new cropped do! But that feeling soon faltered as I left the mall, and even more so as I
got into my car. My hair suddenly prompted insecurity and vulnerability, mostly because of what I thought society would think of me. It made me question my femininity (do I look like a boy now?) , how I looked to the opposite sex (did this still make me sexy?). Most of all, it made me question myself.
I sheepishly drove back to my husbands place (boyfriend at the time) to show off my hair, as I knew he would be anxiously waiting. I remember feeling so conflicted. Do I look like a boy, would he no longer find me attractive? I pulled up with the hood of my hoodie up, and greeted him at the door. He pulled down my hoodie to reveal a huge smile and the words "I love it, you look so beautiful!".I must say a wave of relief washed over me, but I still had more "emotional hurdles" to climb. What about family, friends, coworkers, heck even strangers!?
Everyday was a new "challenge" but surprisingly my hair was fairly positively received (which is hindsight is absolutely insane that we need others to validate ourselves but that's another post for another day perhaps). Many friends and family loved my hair and often said that they themselves wanted short hair but were too scared.
Slowly, with time, I gained a new perspective on society, life and myself. I wouldn't let myself fall victim to vulnerability and uncertainty; my new haircut should be embraced and explored. Hell some of the most beautiful models in the world have short hair (Grace Jone's anyone?)
The idea that women are only beautiful if they have long hair is wrong, and I realized my appearance to men hadn't changed. They didn’t ask questions. Actually, more guys made an effort to flirt with me post big chop. My appearance to women, however, was another story. Some judged, and some pitied me. It made me sad when they'd ask me, “What happened to your beautiful long hair?” or "your hair looked so nice before!" As if my hair defined me. As if I were only attractive with long hair, when ironically, I'd started feeling sexier and more mature with my new cut. Other women however would tell me how empowered I must feel and freeing to have cut my hair.
Sometimes in life you have to do something extreme, in order to find yourself. It sounds silly but it's true! Cutting my hair really opened up a layer of vulnerability and empowerment that I never thought possible. I write this blog a few days post big chop numero 2, and the old waves of insecurity still flushed over, but only momentarily. It's only hair, it grows back. But the feeling of bad-assery lasts way longer!
For those of you wondering who/where I get my hair cut: click here
Oh and on my lips is Kat Von D's Studded Kiss Lipstick in Underage Red