October 24, 2013

Shaved Versus Au Naturel?


As a writer, I’ve always been told that a title is the most important part of a piece of work—it’s the hook—and without it, the quality of your piece doesn’t matter because no one will even bother to read it.
I’ve also heard it referred to as a ‘striptease’, which I like much better than ‘hook’, because preforming a striptease is exactly what I do.
With my writing, pervert.
But, while on the subject, I should clarify that this post isn’t going to be about the state of hair on a woman’s hoo-ha. In fact, I’m actually going to talk about heads. (If your mind is still in the gutter, I’m not talking about male banana boats either).
This summer I chopped off all of my hair and donated over a foot to Locks of Love. Event though I was voted ‘best hair’ in high school, I never considered it a defining feature of my identity—including my femininity and sexuality. People would always tell me how much they loved my hair, or wish they had hair as long as mine, or would simply get lost in some Rapunzel tower of their own mind while combing their fingers through it. But then, at the end of last semester, some ignorant bastard told me that the one thing he would change about me (besides my lack of butt—which I love because it allows me to inconspicuously wear leggings as pants) would be my hair. “It doesn’t have enough...life. And besides, I prefer brunettes”.
That’s when it hit me. My hair really didn’t have life, and not because it lacked volume or luster. It was because I honestly didn’t care about it as part of who I was. I realized that my hair was a defining factor in my identity as a female. Simply because it was long I was awarded a ‘tag’ that classified me as feminine.
Hair is a veil for everyone. It provides something to fixate on. And as my girl Hillary Clinton knows “hair is the only part of one’s body that you can change at will”.
What’s worse is that for women having long hair has become expected. If someone doesn’t have a particularly fit body or a stereotypically pretty face, I still so often hear “she has nice hair”. As if that’s the only thing of worth. But you would never hear that if someone’s hair wasn’t long
When I told my mom that I wanted to cut my hair she was appalled. Why? “Because everyone will think you’re a dyke!”
So I did it.
And since then, all I have done is cut it shorter and shorter.
So far I have loved many things about having short hair: 30 second showers, learning crazy gelling techniques, having nothing in my face, and getting to do the ‘JB hair flip’ when come up for air while swimming. And while I sometimes miss having longer hair to play with or make me look less like my mom, I don’t feel any less beautiful or feminine. In fact, the shorter I cut it, the freer I feel. Every fraction of an inch that I can afford to shave off feels like an immense weight off of my shoulders (no pun intended). At this point, I’m considering almost completely shaving my head.
Why?
Because I’m sick of people saying “You look so pretty! Even with short hair”
Because since when did one single physical trait define someone as “feminine” or “masculine”
Because in this day and age hair has no practical function (I’m not trying to display my fertility levels, thank you very much- I have boobs for that anyway)
And
Because then I wouldn’t have a veil anymore. I would have absolutely nothing to hide behind.

-Devyn

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