People keep saying that I’m lucky that I have the bone structure to carry this haircut. But the truth is that everyone must be able to carry short hair because it is our natural state! We should all have the confidence to shave our heads and discover our “natural states”. We should all stop judging each other so that we can have the confidence to do it.
Do you know how often articles about celebrities hair is in the media? ALL the time. Like I have never seen the sidebar of shame without an article about someones hair. We are a society obsessed.
My hair has started to do this weird quiff thing that I had no idea it could. I quite like it.
My name (Anna), means grace. When I was younger I thought that this was a cosmic joke, because I am horribly clumsy and aged 7 chose karate over ballet. However, as I’ve grown older I have realised that there are two types of grace- the type that makes you graceful or elegant or dignified which is the one that society often unfortunately focuses on, and the type that makes you gracious or merciful or kind.
Both of these are definitely attractive qualities, but one is related to how we look and one is how we act. In my opinion, my long hair made me look graceful, and therefore feel more feminine since gracefulness is often associated with femininity. I thought that cutting my hair might make me feel less graceful, and thus less feminine. But, because I found out early on that my qualities are not linked to my hair, this hasn’t been the case.
What my haircut has made me realise though, is that being gracious is a lot more important than being graceful. Graciousness is the most beautiful thing that a person can have, and it always stems from love. Being gracious is a choice. I can choose to be gracious and loving, or I can choose to be judgemental and jealous. Sometimes it’s an unconscious choice though, which is why it is important to find the root of jealousy or judgement. Most importantly, having grace means always freely and readily forgiving people no matter what. This is probably the most difficult part of graciousness to live out. I need to work on this because it’s by God’s grace that I am forgiven, so why should I ever withhold forgiveness since I am no better than anyone. It’s through God’s love and grace that I am saved, so its through my own growing love for everyone that I should try to always be gracious.
Everyone deserves comfort in their lives. But there is definitely a difference between having comfort and being comfortable. I think that being too comfortable is when the trouble starts, because it makes me lazy (or indifferent as the Pope put it).
When I’m too comfortable in the house, I don’t mind the dirty plates and dusty carpets, and they are more likely to stay that way. When I’m too comfortable in my prayer, I continue to pray the same mundane things, and thus not actually say or achieve anything new in my relationship with God. When I was too comfortable with my hair, I wasn’t pushing myself to ask why I had certain perceptions or associations, and I certainly wasn’t challenging myself to become less jealous or judgemental.
Mostly, I think that when I get too comfortable, I stop reflecting, and reflection is definitely a key part of personal growth. I stop thinking about others when I’m too comfortable because I’m doing just fine, and so I forget that other people might not be. Reflection isn’t celebrated to the extent that it should be in my society, that’s definitely something that I’ve realised.
Being uncomfortable all of the time, as I was for at least the first two weeks after the chop, really forced me to reflect and think. That’s why I had so much motivation at the start of this blog, when I was so full of new insights and ideas. But that motivation has decreased as I have become more comfortable with my haircut, and thus have reflected less. This isn’t a bad thing, because I am definitely a more loving, less judgemental person now than I was before. But I need to be sure to not get too comfortable, so that I don’t go back to being indifferent in the issues that I have raised and learnt about over the last month.
In order to strive to be the best possible, most loving version of myself, I need to push myself and my boundaries, and make sure that I am not too comfortable . I need to challenge myself, others and society to be as loving as possible, because there is definitely enough hatred in the world already. And on the days when I don’t want to do these things, I need to remember that it’s ok to take a day off, because everything is in God’s hands. But it’s when the days turn into weeks, and the weeks into months, that I need to start to look for, and pray for, ways out of my comfort zone again.
Today I needed to use my passport for something, and the person actually questioned whether it was me in the photograph! I don’t look THAT different do I?!
I’ve been talking about my hair with a lot of people recently, because I have been travelling and meeting people a lot (as well as doing essays but lol YOLO that’s what train journeys are for right?). A lot of these conversations have revolved around the fact that I’m now different because I shaved my head and have done something that some people will never do or experience. Now, I’m “not like other girls.”
And yes, this is true, I am not like other girls because I am not like any girls because I am only like me since there is only one me, right? Which means that everyone is not like other girls.
But it’s not meant like that. It’s meant as a compliment. And I kinda don’t understand why.
This “compliment” puts down other girls, and puts me above them. The sentiment implies that there is something inherently wrong with girls, and that by being different from them I’m better. Choosing to shave my head hasn’t put me above anyone. Nothing I do puts me above people. The same applies for “not like other boys”, “not like other students”, “not like other (insert group stereotype here).” So it’s not a compliment. It’s a backhanded criticism. And it’s a sentiment that has crept into everyday thinking.
I think the idea ultimately stems from wanting to celebrate diversity and being different, which is definitely a good thing. However, this can celebrated without stereotyping everyone else and putting them down, right?
We are all different and that’s the point. No two people on the planet are exactly the same and that’s the beauty of it. We are all human which unites us, and beyond that we are all different. There shouldn’t be any categories, any stereotyping, any assumptions of anyone because if we are all different then none of those categories, stereotypes or assumptions can be true.
We are all the same, in the fact that we are all different. And we are equal in the fact that we will never be the same. Therefore, we are all united.