Truthfully, I don’t know yet. I can definitely see myself growing it long and shaving it for charity for the rest of my life, but whether I’m going to keep it short for a while now, I haven’t decided yet. I’m just going to roll with it for a bit.
What I love now though, is that when I look in the mirror, I see so much more than what is there staring back at me. I don’t just see a reflection like Mulan, because I know that the way I look is not who I am. Now, when I look in the mirror, I see someone whose confidence and ability to love has grown exponentially over the last few weeks. I see someone who has started questioning why we think in the way that we do, and looking into why these thought processes need to be changed. I see someone who is free, and pursuing a life where she tries not judge others and tries not to mind when others judge her. I see someone who is working towards total contentment. I see a feminine young woman. I see more of myself than I have ever seen before.
I’ve learnt to accept compliments, and ignore insults, but to not put too much weight into either because ultimately the way that we look genuinely does not matter. The way we feel affects the way we look, and the way that we feel is just so much more important. And right now, I can honestly say that I have never felt more comfortable in my own skin.
I shaved my head for me. I shaved my head so that I could learn about where my self-worth lies and how I define myself. I shaved my head so that I could learn to depend on God. Today, right now, I feel that I have definitely been successful in all of these things, and at the moment I love my shaved head because it reminds me of this every single day.
I’ve realised that rather than looking at my haircut as just a haircut, I’ve been looking at it as different. In treating my own short hair as “other”, I’m maintaining the negative stereotypes and assumptions that are associated with it. I’m also still seeing my hair as an extension of me, as part of what makes me, me. It’s not. I think that’s why feeling upset the other day threw me for such a loop. It’s so unlike me. And feeling like that made me angry at society for “judging me”. Even though they definitely weren’t.
I think that’s why I don’t see myself as brave for cutting my hair. I understand that I could be seen as brave in a sense for trying to opt out of the status that is associated with hair and the identity that I associated with my hair. But I think that focusing on that simply perpetuates the “otherness” of women with short hair. And that’s what I’m trying to stop. I need to stop thinking about what I’m going to do with my hair, or whether I’m going to grow it again, because that simply turns my hair into an idol again. I need to see myself as a woman fullstop, not a woman with short hair.
I did have my first “negative” interactions about about my hair this week. Granted, it was people joking about me being “butch” and questioning my sexuality over drinks, but it was my first actual interaction with what I had been feeling in my head. Had they not been joking, I think that I would have been really angry that they made those assumptions of me. But, I need to be careful not to become overly confrontational on the days when I’m feeling judged or down, because otherwise I might further other peoples’ negative associations of women with short hair. I need to be able to lovingly talk to people, in order to help deconstruct these views, just like I’m learning to lovingly talk to myself to deconstruct my own views.