I recently got a haircut, going from long hair (mid-back) to quite short (just over the ears). I’d post a pic if I had a good one at hand. Will add one later! 🙂
I’ve done radical cuts like this two times already (there are three ponytails to prove it), one of which was when I was about 8 years old and felt annoyed by the increasing amount of people treating me like a girl and expecting me to act like one all of the time. I rather wanted to be a boy, at least some of the time. As a 9-year-old I was shocked when the girls in my class observed a bring-your-doll-to-school-day. It was a horribly pink day. In my opinion, boys had short hair and could do cool stuff instead. Back then, I may actually have thought it was that easy, I don’t remember.
I do remember hours of debate with my grandma in the following years (she lived with us, so there were plenty occasions) about why I had no interest in knitting, sewing and such things. She refused my honest explanation that I had trouble seeing the threads, and I had no real desire to discuss gender roles with her – her who made her daughters do their own laundry, while she did everything for her sons – so we had that debate over and over again. Oh well. (btw I regret that it was the truth, because it’d be awesome if I could sew costumes!) And while this in itself has nothing to do with my hair, I realized that this grandmother always quietly disapproved of my short hairstyles…
Now, at age 26, my reasons for getting the haircut were a mix of reducing the amount of time I spend fixing my hair in the morning (not a morning person! grrr) and just doing something completely different for a change. But looking at those three ponytails I started wondering about the way people perceive(d) me and what they expect based on it. I’d be really curious about that, but sadly it’s hard to find out.
I also recently read this article on “How to talk to Little Girls“, which advises you to avoid complimenting little girls on their looks in small-talk-like situations and ask about their hobbies instead.
As much as I’m a girly girl – who is thrilled that her hair no longer hides her beloved big dangly earrings – I also have lots of traditionally male interests and opinions. I wonder if I now “look more like the person I am”. I’m not saying we should judge others by their hairstyles – but I do feel like it’s part of our subconscious pattern recognition habit.
In any case, I feel a bit like I’m that kid again who doesn’t want to behave like a girl is supposed to… – at least not all of the time!
2 thoughts on “25cm Closer to Being a Boy (Not the Way You Might Think!)”
Ally I was always told a drastic haircut symbolises a change – in attitude, life or other. Sometimes I think it’s just that we want a physical change as well. Right now my hair is about the longest it’s ever been – am I, according to psychobbable therefore hiding myself? Perhaps so… in fact I believe maybe I am. I have always preferred short hair, and relate better to men as well. It’s an interesting thought, though, and one that doesn’t relate to men so much…although in his mid 40’s my husband grew a long ponytail — which for the nerdy corporate person he is, was quite radical. Look forward to photos and I have been eyeing off the crop hairstyles of others lately so I may be getting ready to shed my outer self. 🙂
Yes I think it has to do with change – much is changing in my life. And I know for a fact that at times I did hide behind my hair, not combing it out of my face… thx for your input Liz! 🙂