Before I cut my hair off about a month ago, a lot of my friends at law school already knew I was planning to do it. I got asked a lot why I wanted to get a pixie cut. No one asked in a rude way, just with curiosity – like, if my hair looked good at the length it was, why would I want to have short hair? I explained time and time again that I just wanted to.
I felt claustrophobic because my thick, fluffy hair around my face and neck. I missed the freedom of not having to style my hair in some form. I just didn’t feel like myself with my longer hair. I’ve had short hair more often than long in the past five or so years, so it wasn’t a scary decision.
Short hair just seems natural on me. It’s sassy, it’s fearless, it’s low-maintenance, and it’s unapologetic: everything I strive to be.
After I got my hair cut, most reactions were positive. But one guy asked me if my boyfriend supported me cutting my hair off so that guys wouldn’t hit on me as much. I laughed, then I calmly tried to explain that my boyfriend happens to think I have a pretty face, and that it’s easier to see my pretty face when I don’t have so much hair in the way… And that I feel confident that he’s not trying to purposely make me uglier.
This conversation bothered me in the same way that all those articles online from douchey bros, who claim that short-haired women are ruining the fun for men, do - because they all assume one vital falsehood:
That I (and other women) are actively thinking about pleasing men and how all our actions fulfill that goal.
I did not cut my hair for men. I didn’t cut it for my boyfriend, or my father, or my male friends, or the men I pass on the street. I did not keep my hair long for men. I didn’t keep it long for my boyfriend, or my father, or my male friends, or the men I pass on the street.
I grew out my hair because I wanted to. And I cut it off because I really, really wanted to.
If cutting my hair off upsets sexist douchebags and makes me less appealing to random men on the street, that’s actually a plus in my book. It weeds out the kind of guys who will objectify me on first sight, or judge me without getting to know me, or assume that I care about their opinions on the sexual attractiveness of my body.
I wear high-waisted pants because they make me feel fabulous. I have a nose ring because it makes me happy. I have short hair because it makes me feel confident. I wear running leggings as pants sometimes because they’re comfortable and opaque. None of these actions are harmful to other people, and they are deeply and personally satisfying for me.
Women do a lot of things without thinking about the reactions or approval of other people – men and women included.
I want Jake to think I’m beautiful. I want my dad to approve of my choices. I want to make my grandpa proud. But if it comes down to making myself happy and making other people happy, I’m going to go with actions and decisions that make me happy and fulfilled.
Your decision for how to cut and style your hair, what clothes to wear, or how to decorate your body are all personal decisions that only you can make - and these decisions do not make you any less of a woman or deserving of respect.
If you want pink hair down to your waist or no hair at all - have 15 piercings on your face alone or just your ears - two full sleeve tattoos or a butterfly tattoo on your lower back - and those things will fulfill you deep in your soul (or maybe you just really want them), then let your freak flag fly.
No one should be making that decision for you – especially trolls on the internet. If a few less douchetools don’t think you’re sexy for being your most complete, confident, satisfied self, then I’m pretty sure you're the one who lucked out.