If you’d have asked me at ten years old what a patriarch was I probably would have said a type of exotic bird.
An article with the title Girls with Short Hair are Damaged came to my attention last night and with a groan and an eye roll I clicked to have a read. I’m one of no doubt many women that’s bored of reading other people’s opinions on my own choice with what I do with my body, whether that oft-ill-informed opinion comes from a man or a woman.
I disagree with a lot of contemporary feminist views. I believe in equal rights but I also believe that men and women are different and thus will inevitably always be treated as such, and I’m also of the opinion that this isn’t such a bad thing. So before you make assumptions, this post will not be of the feminist ‘women should be able to do what they want, who gives a fuck about what men think of us’ variety of rant.
I don’t want to sit here and try to speak for all women and girls around the world who have short hair. We all do it for different reasons; some may be damaged, some may be doing it as a political statement but note the word some, not all. But I can give you my reason for having short hair and it goes something like this.
I was ten years old when I cut my hair short. My Aunty is a hairdresser so I would have regular hair cuts for free and with very liberal parents I had the freedom to choose how I wanted to look. I had nice thick, shiny hair that was transitioning from blonde to mousy brown at the time (these days I haven’t seen my natural hair colour for years!) but I never felt like my hair particularly had any kind of relevance to my identity, it just existed, it was long because that’s how girls are supposed to have it right? I can’t remember why I wanted it cut short but it definitely was not because I was ‘damaged’. I was a bit of a tomboy and would always be playing outside with my younger brother, I always leaned more towards dressing like a boy and playing with action men and cars but I turned out alright. The relentless bullying I was to endure throughout my entire time in school didn’t start until after my hair was cut off and I had a very good childhood, so any damage that I may have was caused by people’s nastiness towards my choice to cut my hair short; the haircut was not a result of this so called damage because between the ages of 0-10 life is carefree and fun. My hair cut certainly wasn’t a political statement about patriarchy and feminism either, as Tuthmosis also implies in his article. If you’d have asked me at ten years old what a patriarch was I probably would have said a type of exotic bird.
Nearly eleven years on I still have short hair. I have unsuccessfully tried on several occasions to grow it out, got to chin-length and given up. The most recent attempt was just nine months or so ago. I was a very recent singleton after a four and a half year relationship and I was desperately after a rebound for a good couple of months and I started to notice a scary pattern in the things I would say when meeting a new guy for the first time; one of the first things I’d say was ‘oh by the way I’m growing my hair out’. Even after four and a half years with a great guy who loved me even with short hair, I somehow didn’t believe that any guy would want me if I didn’t have long locks and I honestly thought that growing it out was the only way. I wasn’t feeling myself during that time at all, but as soon as I snapped out of the ‘I need to grow my hair or no guy will like me’ thing and cut it all back off I felt great. I owned me again, I was myself and I was confident and my hair suits me so I looked good too! I soon realised that any guy who would decide whether or not he liked me based on my hair style wasn’t worth my time of day anyway. I met this amazing guy who I’ve now been with for seven months, we are great together, we’re totally in love and guess what? He likes my short hair just the way it is.
So where does that leave ‘Tuthmosis’s’ ill informed opinion (stated in the article as if it were scientifically proven fact)? Well it leaves it in a very distant and irrelevant part of my memory, the same place I store all the memories of getting pushed around at school, the memories of the death threats and the threats to kick my head in, the memories of being told I looked like a man or was fat and ugly or that I was a lesbian. Because articles like this one are no different to bullying.It’s someone’s negative opinion (someone too afraid to use their real name or photo on any of their social media outlets might I add!) that is hurtful, unfair, uncalled for and totally irrelevant. What ever happened to ‘if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all?’
So any ladies out there who read that article and were hurt or angered by it, or started to reconsider your choice of hairstyle just because one little keyboard warrior said he doesn’t find women with short hair attractive, keep your chin up, you’re beautiful just the way you are. Life is far too short to give a toss about what other people think, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. If you’re happy as you are and if having short hair makes you happy then fuck everyone else. And to any guys out there who agree with Tuthmosis’s article, you are entitled to your opinion, if you don’t find women with short hair attractive then, you know, don’t date one! There is no need to label all short haired women as ‘damaged’ or whatever you may think, and there is certainly no need for your opinion to be posted online.