Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wayback - Long vs. Short Hair

Another Wayback, this one from the same month as last week, September 2, 2004.

About 18 months ago I cut my hair. Severely. I still have really short hair now, but my profile photos on the dating sites were old. When I joined my current pay site, I used a recent photo and I haven't had any responses. Yesterday I changed the photo to an older one with shoulder length hair to see if that might be why boys aren't a' callin', and I got 2 "waves" in 12 hours. After none for almost a month.

I am not ugly, with short or long hair. I have been called "cute" more times than I can count, which I hate, by the way. I am not a different person with longer hair. I even act the same as I did then, more or less. Why is hair so important to everyone?

When I cut my hair, everyone assumed something was wrong with me. Even a couple of my closest friends got worried, thinking that it was a symptom of a deep depression or something. One of them even took me out to lunch to try to find out what was the matter. Nothing is wrong, I just always wanted to cut my hair and see what it was like. I even made some art about it.

It was interesting to hear the responses from the different people. I got pretty much a gender-standard response. All the girls had to come up and touch my head. They walked around me and looked at it really closely and said, "What did you DO?" All the boys said, "Hunh. You have a really nice-shaped head."

At work everyone assumed that I was ill with something serious, and I hadn't even thought how much some of my students would worry or assume something was wrong. To me it was just hair, not my identity. Apparently I was looking at this all wrong.

Now I am sure that people assume way too much based on the length of a woman's hair. I must be a lesbian, I must be sick, I must be depressed, there has to be something wrong with me. (Okay, just so I don't get hate mail for this, NO, I don't think that there is anything wrong with being a lesbian but that is how many people look at it, unfortunately for lesbians. Except for almost every man who ever lived, but then the only use they have for lesbians is asking them if they can watch.)

Now I wonder what is the problem with a photo of me with short hair. Do the men assume that I am manly, or in the closet? Do they all have to subscribe to the feminine stereotype of long, flowing locks? Most of them don't qualify in that area. Why should I pull a bait and switch just to get the opportunity to meet a guy? If I start e-mailing someone, should I not tell him that my hair is short until I meet him? Why are boys so dumb?* (Don't answer unless you really want to. Most of these are rhetorical.)

*BTW, I am aware that I lapse too often into stereotypes. I apologize, most profusely. I have grown a lot over the past seven years, but didn't want to edit these to make myself seem a better person than I was at the time.

1 comment:

Victoria said...

You should cut or wear your hair anyway you like - and never apologize. Having said that, I do believe that most (not all) but most men are attracted to long, flowing locks. I don't know where this stems from, but in my experience it seems to be the case. And women also judge other women based on hair length. I had some horrible haircuts as a child, and will never again cut my hair - but that is just my personal preference to maintain what I consider beautiful. Hope you are happy with whatever current do' you are rockin' :)