Tuesday, December 13, 2011

concerning the hair

"When I cut my hair, the whole sound changed, my style changed"
--- Rihanna

When I was little, around 3 and 4 years old, my mother kept my hair short.  "Pixie cut", it was known as, but bottom line, I looked like a boy.

<----Short-haired and girlie looking in a pink dress.  I don't actually remember ever wearing a pink dress.  Same goes for today.

I really didn't think much about it - I was a toddler/preschooler - until a stranger like a waitress or such would indicate she thought I was a boy.  When that would happen,  I often felt surprise and then embarrassment bordering on humiliation.

Surprise, because I was a girl.  I didn't think much about my appearance, but on the inside I was a girl, I had been one for my entire 4 years of life! 

Once I was older and more assertive (kindergarten), I let my mom know that I wanted "girl hair".  It wasn't about my looks or personality preference, it was all about the being-mistaken-for-a-boy thing.  And actually, growing up, I was quite a tomboy.  My neighborhood was full of boys, so my socializing consisted of playing sports with them and listening to their crude jokes. 

But it's one thing to be a tomboy and another to look like a boy.  The hair was never allowed to get too short.

Eventually, my not-too-short hair and I grew up, and Magnum and I moved to Rochester, NY.  It's very humid in Rochester, NY.   Combine my longish hair and NY humidity and  strange things happen.  My hair got HUGE.

I put up with it for the first few years - battening it down with barretts and scrunchies (remember the 90's??).  Then the kids came along, I "retired" to be a stay-at-home-mom, and the hair fights had to go.   I cut it.  I cut it like it had never been cut.  I cut it and cut it.

It was a bit of a shock.  It's interesting to me how much of "us" is in our hair - especially us women.  I was never one to put a lot of fussing into my hair, and yet I felt really different after I cut it.  I felt good actually, after all that heat and humidity hair I'd been smothered under.  I felt somehow better and actually felt smarter because of a haircut!

Taking bicycler novice Chaco for a "short" ride ---->

We eventually moved back to drier climes, and I no longer liked the short hair.  As the humidity went down, so did the hair.

Yesterday, I read a blog entry about women and short hair, and what the short hair indicates about them - whether it's true or not.  Look at models, and most all of them have long hair.  What perceptions do you have based on a woman's hair length?

I remember a few years ago, I was at the veterinarian's with one of our dogs.  A friendly woman with a friendly dog about the same size as mine walked in, and our two dogs soon became happy friends in the waiting area.

This woman was also a friendly dog lover, and as our canines enjoyed some social time, she and I did too.  But I confess, that during this little assemblage, in the back of my mind, I was wondering if she was just a friendly person, or if she "liked me" liked me. 

All because she had a buzz cut.  Not full-on G.I. Jane, but close to it. 

I don't recall her acting particularly "butchy", nor was she dressed like a lumberjack.  My perception was all about the hair.  What is it about a woman with a buzz cut that says "lesbian"?  And in the end, does it even matter? 

Have you ever made drastic changes to your hair - particularly its length?  Why?  Do you have preconceived notions based on women's hairstyles?


terri said...

I had a pixie cut. I was in first grade. My mom said, "Do you want a pixie?" And I said, "YES!"

I had no idea she was talking about a hair cut. If I showed you my first grade class picture, you wouldn't be able to figure out which "boy" is me.

Funny you bring up this topic. My hair almost always hovers in the longish range. Not really long, but by no means short.

I have been contemplating going short, but haven't been able to bring myself to do it. I keep telling myself that I can always grow it back out... but there are those darn perceptions, whether they are self imposed or not.

"Abby" said...

Terri, that SO made me laugh!

"Do you want a Pixie?"

MissKris said...

I grew up with nothing but brothers. The first day of summer, every year thru my childhood, my mom took me to Sis the Beautician in town and had my hair cut like a boy. Actually, I never minded it...nice and cool and I didn't even have to comb it, haha! Girly-girl was NOT high on my priority list, I was such a tomboy. I've varied the length thru the years but always been a 'wash and wear' kind of hair woman. HATE messing with it. Even at almost 58, I sleek it back in a ponytail or a simple "bun", I guess you'd call it. I never have been able to stand having hair hanging in my face. I graduated in 1972 so was part of the hippie high school I wore pigtails tied with rawhide, ha!

Rock Chef said...

My hair story is far too long for a comment - I will tell it on my blog soon.

I think that hair (on both men and women) has a big effect on first impressions and does lead to a lot of "judgements". Lesbian, gay, thug, hippy... We can't help it!

Rock Chef said...

Just posted my "hair" post.

Guano said...

Entered basic training over 27yrs ago. Haven't had a decent haircut since.

But it's been one less thing to worry about, and that's always liberating.

agg79 said...

The one thing I have always had was a cowlick that everyone just "adored". After sporting a sensible haircut all through my youth, I rebelled and grew my hair way long in high school. Turned out too wavy, too much maintenance.

When I went off to college and joined the corps/army, there went my hairline. Have kept it short pretty much ever since. I've been sporting the burr cut well before Bruce Willis made it look good.

Good theme. I may have to follow your lead.