On Saturday I got my hair cut – I mean, big time cut. I now have a pixie cut – it’s as short as my husband’s – and I’ve gotten a lot of strange, albeit well-meaning, comments. Comments like, “If you were ugly it would it wouldn’t look good, but you’re pretty so it works.” Thanks? Or, “You have a lot of guts! But it looks good” (emphasis on the “but”). Someone said, “It’s so cute; it works because you have a feminine face!” Well, thank you; I’d be a bit worried if my face wasn’t feminine, so I appreciate that. Other comments were very flattering, “You look so sophisticated!” or “You look like Audrey Hepburn!” (I wish, but thank you).
The back-handed compliments made me think about the relationship women have with their hair. Why is long hair deemed sexy, whereas short hair is always “cute”? And why did I get asked – no less than half a dozen times – what my husband, Matt, thought about it? Frankly, honey, I don’t care what he thinks (fine, maybe a smidgen of care, if we’re going to be 100% honest here). And anyway, like a good husband, he’s been trained to say I always look beautiful, so I’m guessing he’s fearful of ever saying anything lukewarm. (On the record, he said he loves it, said I’ve never looked better and seemed very genuine.)
Even I fell into the, “Well, it’s perky and cute but not exactly pretty” trap. Matt said I was being ridiculous, and I hated myself for making that comment, but said it anyway. Now, it’s not like I had lush, long hair before the big cut: I had slightly-below-shoulder-length hair that was baby fine and always (always) pulled back. I put it up in a clip, puffed it at the top (not to the height of the Palin poof, mind you), and thought it looked good pulled back. So, having a cut so short that it’s essentially pulled back isn’t that far out of line. But, yesterday, at the grocery store, I made it a point to seek out short-cropped women. There were three, and two of them were above the age of 60.
I was wearing sweats and sneakers and, again, felt…boyish. Again, I blamed society and not my own insecurities. I went home and looked in the mirror – it’s a big change – but I know a lot of women who use their hair as a security blanket and decided I wouldn’t be one of them (let’s forget I never had fabulous hair). Now, I’m not without hypocrisy: I wear make-up almost daily, and that’s just as much a security blanket. But hair is just silliness. It grows back, and should be fun. Why the, “Oh my god, you chopped off all your hair!” comments?
So, today, I’m rocking it. I have a black headband on and a berry lipstick. My hair took three minutes flat to blow-dry and style. And next week? Maybe next week this 5’10” girl will wear heels…but let’s not push it.