My Hair

My hair has been one thing that I have liked about my appearance for basically my entire life. That nearly puts it in a category of its own. At times I have disliked other things about my appearance : that mole on my right cheek, my long nose, my wide hips, my small breasts, my big feet, and on and on. But my hair? Hair’s been good to me. I have very fine, very dark brown hair with reddish tints that come out in summer. And I have almost always worn it long. And I have almost never bothered doing a single thing with it, except for washing and throwing it up in a ponytail. I have had long hair for so long that it seemed to become a part of who I am. Even with a short bob, I still “thought” of myself as a “long-haired person,” as if that is a static identity.

Above : a commemorative gallery of me and my hair over the years.

And now, most of it is gone. Because I went and did a crazy thing : I got a pixie cut.

Why did I do this? (I ask myself, laughing weakly.) I did this for a lot of reasons. I did this because my long, straight hair has been a protection of sorts. A protection from thinking about the parts of my appearance that I don’t as easily love and embrace. A neutrality, the opposite of a statement. I did it because I realized that my hairstyle had become a part of my identity, and I wanted to challenge that, to shake it up a bit. I did it because everyone thinks that I am heterosexual. You, dear reader, probably thought so, too.

I know I’m married to a man, but just as being single does not make someone asexual, neither can my marriage make my straight (and thank God for that). I identify as pansexual — and I’ve linked you right to Wikipedia so you needn’t even Google — although I often use the term bisexual because people know that one, and I much prefer the term queer and use that term in my personal life. And although my short hair isn’t going to magically queer me in society’s eyes, it’s a challenge to me to not hide behind the heterosexual privilege I am afforded when I’m in public with my wedding band on and David beside me. It’s a way to maybe influence a few more people to feel, I guess, a little unsure when they see me. And mostly what it comes down to is me, trying on a new way of showing my identity to the world. It comes down to me forcing myself to really grapple with how I feel about my nose and the mole on my cheek and my “fang” tooth — because I can’t hide behind my hair now that most of it is gone.

People assume confidence of women with short hair — I know I do it. Wow, she must have great self-esteem to rock that look, I think, seeing chic, cool women with their short, punky hair. I wonder if being seen that way now will help grow some real confidence in me.

I felt like if I didn’t cut my hair short now, I might never do it. I don’t think I’m going to prefer pixie-cut life to long-hair life — but now I’ve tried it. Plus, I got the haircut for free by being a model for a hairstylist class at an upscale salon that I never would have set foot in otherwise. And now, I can grow it back. (Gulp. Right?)

post-haircut-selfie
the selfie I sent my mom right after The Haircut

 

 

 

6 thoughts on “My Hair

  1. I love the seatbelt selfie (I did the same after the class)! It looks great and I know you’ll rock it and then rock whatever grows in. There’s a freedom to realizing ‘it’s just hair’ and it took me 23 years to figure that out, plus I was a major cheapskate before my husband talked me into valuing my own hair and embracing whatever potential was hidden within it. Girl-next-door hair became ‘safe’ and life’s meant to be filled (or at least dotted) with adventure, so it had to go.
    Now I’m rambling, but I’ll leave you with this: hair is only an accessory to your beauty and accessories are meant to be played with 🙂

    Like

    1. :* Thank you. It’s really hard to find photos of the mole on my cheek because it’s quite far back so you can’t see it in photos from the front. But I found one…but now I can’t figure out if I can embed a photo in a comment. I’m quite fond it if these days. 🙂 Hmm…I’ll tag you in a Facebook photo that features it.

      Like

  2. Hi Laura,

    You look super cute with short hair! I remember having a lot of anxiety when I cut off my hair, but when i did it I really came to love it. It you decide to keep it short or grow it back out, you look great!

    Like

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