I wore long hair like an ill-fitting hat — it just sat there, and despite being at the height of fashion, it never really suited me.
When I cut my hair in the first few hours of 2014, it was paired with a decision to cut the crap from my life. A complete departure from who I was, it was the only time that an exterior change accurately mirrored an interior one. Unless you’ve cut your hair short, you won’t understand what it’s like to shed inhibitions and feel completely free.
However, these feelings are lost on scores of men. Evidenced by an infuriating and damning article published on the website Return of Kings titled “Girls with Short Hair are Damaged,” that claims “short hair is a near-guarantee that a girl will be more abrasive, more masculine, and more deranged.”
In other words, we can add short hair to the list of things that men think they know/understand, and have a right to comment on.
“Just because you have enough left-over attractiveness to remain bangable after cutting off your hair doesn’t mean you wouldn’t look better with it back on,” the article reads, engaging in the almost ritualistic practice of shaming women based on their appearance.
While the anonymous author fleshes what is essentially an extreme, but arbitrary opinion, it needles right into a fear that many women are plagued by: the fear of being undesired. Ironically, it’s the very same fear that kept me from cutting my hair months ago.
But guess what? The hair came off, and now the gloves are coming off too. Allow me to lay it on the line for all those people who are adamantly and ignorantly anti-pixie cut.
Women don’t base all of their aesthetic decisions on a man’s approval, especially when those men are stunted, presumptuous, and have complexes about traditional gender roles. They’re perpetrating this closed-minded drivel by telling their wives and girlfriends to keep their hair long, and by writing articles like the one mentioned above.
Men think that cutting hair will impact a woman’s desirability. We’re not living in Biblical times, where hair is the ultimate source of power. Honestly though, if a short haircut is what will maintain a distance between these sexist morons and me, then so be it. Pass the scissors over here.
The notion that the amount of love and affection a woman deserves is directly proportional to the length of her hair is absurd. The idea that women with a shorter crop are “masculine” and unsuitable to date because they’re “damaged” is enraging.
Femininity is not relative to the length of a woman’s hair. Femininity, while considered to be innate, is actually a social construction. We have preconceived ideas of how a woman should present herself aesthetically, socially, and sexually.
Men say they want a woman who is confident, self-assured, and “low maintenance.” Men also expect women to look a particular way or else they’re threatened with a life of loneliness and rejection. Short haired women may seem vulnerable, but they have a hell of a personality and confidence that rivals a man’s. Maybe that’s where the fear lies.
Ideally, the categorical depiction of “femininity” would be expanded. Its existence is what encourages men to criticize and pass judgement on the choices that women make regarding their appearance, especially when those choices subvert the norm.
In the end, looks are paramount, most people are superficial, the world turns and my words of frustration won’t don’t change much in the day to day. All I can do is revel in my short-haired independence, and be thankful that I’m not damn short-sighted.