“Hair brings one’s self-image into focus; it is vanity’s proving ground. Hair is terribly personal, a tangle of mysterious prejudices”- Shana Alexander
Nothing is more polarizing than hair for a woman. It is a lifelong battle between the mirror, the hair dryer, the straightener (or curling iron) and the hair.
As little girls we are conditioned to believe that long hair is the beauty ideal. Our first “role models”, Barbie and Disney princesses, wear their cascading hair as badges of female sexuality and beauty. On the playground, androgynous hair styles, boys with long hair or girls with short hair, are met with confused stares, or from the braver children, questions like, “Are you a boy or a girl?”
As we age, the issues with our hair increase. Girls with curly hair iron their tresses into fried submission. Girls with straight hair will undergo stinky, burning perms to encourage their stick-straight locks to curl. The grass is always greener on the other side of the hairbrush it seems. And still the beauty standards remain the same. Long hair is desirable- indicative of its owner’s femininity and fertility. Step into a high school classroom or walk down a crowded hall- the overwhelming majority of girls have adopted the same hair style, long and straight. Twitter is inundated with #LongHairProbz and #LongHairDon’tCare hash tags.
Conformity is key. Don’t rock the boat. Boys will only like you if you have long hair, but girls feel the most pressure from other girls. While individuality is supposed to be ideal, in front of the mirror, sameness rules supreme. Don’t stand out. Remember when teen queen Miley Cyrus cut her hair? When she started twitting pictures of the hair she said made her feel “more me” than anything else in her young life, the public opinion was widely negative and insanely hateful- no man would ever find her attractive again, no woman would ever envy her hair. You would have thought the girl started World War III with this haircut or something.
Dare to break societal conventions and prepare for the backlash. When lovely Emma Watson chopped off her hair after completing filming of the Harry Potter movies she said journalists constantly asked if she was coming out of the closet- so short hair clearly equals lesbian, and the shorter the cut the more “butch” you are- it’s a proven fact, you guys! Anne Hathaway, lost like 15 pounds for her role in the upcoming Les Miserables, but what was worse than losing her feminine curves? Cutting her hair, of course! In an interview she stated that after cutting her hair, she was, “ a mental patient level of crying... inconsolable."
But don’t worry your husband and friends wouldn’t lie to you, right? Wrong. Some crazy, bullshit propaganda website (I refuse to link because I seriously think the guy is legit crazy, but if you really want to know you can email me) teaches women what men “really want” from their marriage. This includes long hair apparently, and he’s pretty passionate about it:
“Long hair is a marker for physical good health, is a feminine appearance marker and the overwhelming majority of men are attracted to long hair. Most husbands react to their wives lopping all their hair into some sort of short pixie cut quite badly. Kinda the same way you would react if he suddenly announced he’d shortened his cock to two inches long. You’re not going to really say anything, just make that strangling sound in your throat and hope that it can eventually grow back.”
Oh, you need to hear more of his marriage advice? OK, that’s cool. Talking about his wife, who had super damaged, bleached blonde hair when they met, he says, “In the middle of last year she actually reverted back to her natural hair color by dying it back that way. She liked it, all her friends and coworkers just loved it, loved it, loved it. Me… “meh whatever”. Jennifer with blonde hair is a solid 9 to me. Jennifer with whatever that crap her natural hair color was is a 7 or maybe 8 to me. I can’t help myself feeling that change in emotion. I’m not going to divorce her for being brunette, I’m just going to be less into her.”
What the actual hell? Is he for real?! He also claims that women encourage other women to cut their hair as a form of sabotage: “Of course all her friends and coworkers just love her new hair style! Of course they would, she just botched her appearance and if she falls off the top of the sexy ladder, everyone else gets to move up a place.”
Other people believe that cutting your hair short is the worldwide indicator that you are no longer interested in sex, and I guess it doesn’t matter if you are or not because no man will ever find you attractive again with your ugly butch haircut anyway:
- Edgy isn't sexy. It's attitudinal and combative, not features I want in a wife.
- Ugh, short lesbotron hairstyles. The horror.
- Men who like that are probably on the gay side of the sexual affinity pendulum.
I’ve never even considered myself a radical feminist, but this crap is enough to make me want to shave my head. In an Elle magazine article, a man interviewed admitted he found woman with short hair less attractive because it showed that they don’t feel like they have to do whatever everyone else is doing. Since when is thinking for yourself a bad thing? While I constantly encourage women to be confident, it doesn’t mean that I don’t struggle or have my own hang-ups. I’m no stranger to short hair. I mean I am the girl whose fifth grade boyfriend dumped her because she got HIS haircut at the salon. In college I rocked super short locks. Before Sean was born, I chopped my hair off. I love short hair.
But am I brave enough to have short hair? Every time I start to seriously consider it, fear gets in my way. I always blame Curtis, claiming that he hates short hair, but in all honesty, he doesn’t . The reason I am afraid to chop it all off is rooted in vanity and all of the ridiculous things I have shared above. I am afraid people –men and women- won’t find me attractive. I am afraid my students will be horrified and consider me uncool and matronly. I’m afraid that I will lose the one thing that makes me pretty despite my bad skin, despite my double chin and muffin top. Like Samson, I will lose my power.
I’ve seen enough makeover episodes of America’s Next Top Model to know that many women have an unnatural attachment to their hair. Hair has become the most important physical feature a woman has. Long hair shows that a woman is feminine and sexy. Short hair? Not so much. Tyra starts demanding short cuts, and the tears flow like rivers. Girls have quit over haircuts. I used to laugh at them and call them dumb, but now I fear I am turning into one of them. Am I defined by my hair? Does a shorter haircut really change who I am?
Guess I will find out----
Guess I will find out----
|More photos on Monday! Have a great weekend!|