My hair is short. So is this post.
My hair has really grown a lot since I first head it cut.
I was worried about it making me stick out.
Now it’s the one sticking out, all over the place, untameable. I have even developed a cow lick.
How’s that for irony?
I’ve been feeling fluey over the last few days so I’ve spent a lot of time in bed feeling sorry for myself. No tangles. No snotty hair. No greasy hair. As blissful a flu as I’ve had in ages.
Judgement comes so easily. It’s so much easier to judge someone and move on, than to bother thinking about who that person is and what their story might be. I’ve realised that even assuming that people are judging me, is me judging them for being judgemental. Judgement dehumanises myself and others. It places me on a pedestal, and others below me, leaving me with a warped view of humanity. Judgement based on worthless differences, PARTICULARLY about the way that we look, are the root cause of so many problems in this world.
I have never really felt like I was on the outside of anything. If anything, due to my upbringing, I’ve always been a kind of chameleon who is able to morph until I fit in anywhere. Thus, the feeling that of being an “outsider” because of my “different” hair has been completely new for me (even if it was just a perceived difference and outside-ness). Feeling this has made me realise that it’s just as easy to judge from the outside looking in, as it is from the inside looking out. It’s a lot easier to be defensive when you feel different, ready to pounce on anyone who you have perceived to have judged you. Or in my case, ready to explain that this isn’t really my hair, I don’t usually look like this and hey, it was for a good cause I promise! But people aren’t judging me, and even if they are, does that mean that I should therefore judge them? As the old saying (that my dad was always so fond of telling my brother when we were fighting) goes- two wrongs don’t make a right. The cycle of judgement that I so swiftly created for myself is completely ridiculous.
I realised that rather than being defensive or ready to judge back, I should be focusing on being loving. I don’t need to justify the way I look, because in justifying it I am acknowledging the judgement. I need to focus on being loving and engaging in conversations about how awesome it is that we all look different. Focusing on love automatically makes me less judgemental, and makes me assume the best of people rather than the worst.
I genuinely feel that I’m already less judgemental and more welcoming. I’m more open and attentive to what people have to say, rather than approaching conversations with me pre-conceived judgements. I once read about a person who didn’t overlook the differences in people, but that he just didn’t know that they were there. Imagine what a blessing that is. That’s what I aspire to. To be so incredibly loving, that I don’t even see the differences between people, I just see everyone as another person with whom to share my love.
Since Fuller House gets released on Netflix tomorrow, I recently decided to have a marathon of watching Full House. Full House was on TV ALL the time when I was younger (specifically on the “Series Channel” which only seemed to play Full House, Cheers and Seinfeld, am I right people who grew up with DSTV?).
Since beginning this marathon, I have realised that the DJ Tanner, the oldest daughter of the Tanner bunch, WAS THE BEGINNING OF MY OBSESSION WITH LONG HAIR.
I mean, look at those curls! What 7 year old could resist?!
I distinctly remember being INSANELY jealous of DJ’s hair, and vowing to one day have hair that long. This definitely then led into all of the associations that I made with long hair, and thus all the associations that I made with myself when I finally had long hair.
I once heard that if you want to fix something, you have to take it apart and figure out which bits are important. Over the last 2 weeks, getting rid of my hair has definitely been the start of “fixing” me- my perception of myself and other people, and my relationship with God. Finding where my obsession started definitely feels like a massive step in the right direction of taking myself apart.
It seems a bit silly, being jealous of a TV show character’s hair (ESPECIALLY one thats about 12 years my junior now!). I can finally appreciate DJ for her character- she was the kindest Tanner kid, always willing to help out when possible and always humble about her achievements. DJ was so much more than her hair, and so am I. I’m definitely getting to a place where I appreciate me for me, no matter what my hair looks like.
And that’s exciting.
Why didn’t I cut my hair in the summer? I swear I have spent 2 weeks being cold. I genuinely did not think that hair had this much influence on body temperature.
The funny thing with hair is that what matters more than what it looks like, is where it is.
Armpits? Gender dependant.
That other place? There are some Brazilians who I’m sure would have something to say about it.
Traditionally, the general view in the society that I live is that women shouldn’t be hairy from the eyebrows down otherwise they are masculine, and men should be as hairy as possible from the eyebrows down otherwise they are feminine. Who decided these random associations of certain hairstyles on our heads and of body hair on certain parts of our body? WHO!? And more importantly, why? We already have so much dividing us as a species, why focus on more random things to divide us?
Anyways. Over the last few years I have developed a favourite habit. I grow the hair on my legs super long, and then go running in shorts. It’s honestly the best thing ever. It’s a whole new sensory experience that many people (especially women due to the traditional view of hairy legged women in the society that I live) won’t ever get the opportunity to experience. The feeling of the wind rippling through the hair on my legs is amazing.
The sad part is, that I only free my hairy legs when I’m running. That way I know that I’m moving too fast for anyone to notice. If I was spending the day with my legs exposed, I would definitely wax/shave/epilate/(insert other painful hair removal method here).
Since I cut my hair, there have been days when I have craved having more hair on my head , because my short hair made me feel judged by society. And yet, if I was to venture out to the beach in my bikini with hairy legs, armpits and (heaven forbid!) bikini line, I would feel equally judged and want to get rid of said hair. How totally, utterly, completely and entirely BIZARRE is that!?
Now, I’m not saying that women shouldn’t shave their legs. As much as I love running and feeling the breeze through the forest on my shins, I also love the silky smoothness of bed sheets against my freshly waxed calves. But maybe I need to think about why I’m doing what I’m doing to my body hair as well as the hair on my head? And I need to continue this fight to deconstruct my views which run deeper than I can imagine. Imagine a world where anyone can do anything with any hair on their body, and nobody would bat an eyelid. That’s the world I want to live in.
Basically, what I’m saying is that society’s relationship with hair is beyond strange. It’s downright hil(h)a(i)rious! (ba dum tss).