I used to be cool. I had no hair and I did not care. I even had a mohawk at one point. It made me feel empowered and badass, yet still feminine and sexy. Most of the time.
A few weeks before my high school graduation, I decided to cut all of my hair off and don a pixie cut. My aunt had very short hair in the 1960s and I kind of looked like her, so I thought I might be able to pull it off. I ended up keeping it short for almost three years.
I loved it from the start. I never had to straighten, blow dry, or really do anything to my short hair. It suited me well and made me feel individual and original. Sure, my sister and her fiancé called me their “little brother,” but they make fun of me no matter what I do.
Once I started school at Pitt, people would actually approach me and tell me they loved my hair and wished they had the courage to cut all theirs off. I always asked them why they could not “just do it,” and I got a variation of the same response every time:
“I’m scared I won’t look like a woman anymore.”
What the what? Nonsense! I do not think having short hair takes away from your femininity. If anything, it highlights other qualities about you and your body that really make you womanly – your figure, the shape of your facial features, anything about your body of which you are particularly proud. And you will look edgy and badass while doing so.
Another great thing about having really short hair is it weeds out most of the truly shallow guys. Caution: there are still shallow men who are particularly attracted to women with pixie cuts. However, the majority of the slime balls at parties will no longer bother you.
This sounds ridiculous, right? At least to me it does. Why does the length of my hair determine how I am judged? Who really cares that much? The conclusion I always come to is that it is all about the aura you give off; having short hair shows you are a powerful woman and you do not care what society says. You are going to have your hair as short as the boys do, damn it!
Now, confidence is obviously all about you – not your hair. It is just the fact that with short hair, it is pretty much all laid out on the table when someone looks at you. This person can immediately tell you are confident and pretty ballsy without further investigation.
The same goes for the way you dress or the way in which you carry yourself. For me, no one would think I had any confidence by looking at my clothing style or the manner I conduct myself. I dress pretty plainly and mix-and-match the same six articles of clothing all the time. (If it works, it works – you know?) When I walk, my head is usually cast down, not out of shyness or lack of self-assurance, but because I am trying not to trip over my own feet. (This happens a lot.) This allowed my hair to speak for what the rest of me never really said: I have self-respect, I love my body, and I do not give a sh*t what you think.
However, just as with anything, it is not all rainbows and sunshine. On days where you are not feeling your best, not having a flowing mane to comfort you probably will not make you feel any better. Sure, I had days where I wanted to stay home and cry and eat Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream all day, but those were few and far between.
One particularly soul-ripping experience I had was the first week I had my new haircut. I went to Rite-Aid, which I do about five times per week, and there was a problem with the item I was trying to buy. The manager came to help the cashier and in a very sincere voice she said, “I’m sorry, sir, we will fix this immediately.” I started tearing up. In Rite-Aid. At the cash register. With people waiting behind me. The manager realized her faux pas quickly and looked ashamed and embarrassed. It was not her fault; she saw the short hair and did not take a second look at me. I knew this, but I could not help but take it personally.
Along with this one bad experience came hundreds of positive ones. I met my boyfriend over two years ago, who said one of the reasons he first approached me was my haircut. It told him I was confident and I did not care what people thought. So no matter what it is – your hair, style, the way you carry yourself, whatever way it is you choose to express your individuality – do what it is that makes you comfortable in your own skin, what it is that when you see yourself you think, that is so very me. Or we could all shave our heads and live happily ever after, but that is just my opinion.
Photo credit: Google Images