Hair Today, Hair Tomorrow.

Yikes, haven't blogged since January. But I assure you I have a good reason for that lapse.

*cricket chirps*

I could talk all about the production I just wrapped, or about, y'know, the EUROPEAN BLAST-TACULAR SISTER-NANZA TRIP OF TWO OH ONE SIX BAYBEEEE that I'm about to go on, or anything pertaining to the broad range of topics I generally find it productive to touch on here...

But no. I must talk about my hair.

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Hi.

I have short hair.

I have had short hair for approximately 3 years, minus a few childhood smatterings of one of my mother's many poor decisions:

Taken straight from the "I Thought You Burned These" photo album.

Taken straight from the "I Thought You Burned These" photo album.

Around 6th grade was when I began deciding my own style: how to dress myself, how to decorate my room, which rhinestone headband to wear to P.E., etc. And my hair began to grow. It grew long and luscious and thick and literally broke a comb once.

Also, braces.

Also, braces.

I loved having long hair. There's so many things you can do with long hair. Buns. Ponytails. Other kinds of buns. This:

But more than that, it made me feel beautiful. To me, long hair was an assurance that I was effeminate. The longer my hair, the better I felt my chances were of getting my crushes to notice me. Not that I had many crushes. Just a few very, very long-term and serious monogamous crushes that were 0% reciprocated.

Since I was always trying fun new colors and bleaches and styles with my hair, a few times I considered cutting my hair short. But every time the feeling that followed was an immense dread. If I didn't have long hair, I might not have enough pretty qualities without it. It might make everyone permanently think I'm ugly and I'll lose my shot at ever having a boyfriend. And what if I turn out looking like a mushroom?

I chilled out in this stable of fear (utterly unconfronted, of course) for a very long time. High school took me down a long road of styles I can now only describe as "turbulent," but no matter what my hair stayed long.

Because as long as I liked my hair, I could find at least one attractive quality about myself. My hair was my safety net, figuratively and sort of literally.

Fast forward to the second half of 2012. I was a senior in college with a double major and an off-the-record double minor. I was an unpaid intern at a low budget gardening show for PBS. I had weight problems, acne problems, and all the emotional problems that accompany those problems. I was either in a relationship or wishing I was in one. I had roommate drama and I wasn't handling it well. I was scared of the future and of failure. I couldn't find one reason to be happy.

I was having what I later found out was a quarter-life crisis. At the time it felt like the end of the dock. But the process of completely bottoming out emotionally and, one might argue, spiritually, set up a profound internal change just waiting to be knocked down. I plummeted down past the point of giving any sort of fuck and burst forth on the other side with new meaning and understanding. I remember it was very quick and very sudden.

By cause or by effect, a few things happened at once: my school situation got easier, I lost some weight, and I realized that I would be okay (even if I wasn't dating someone-- what?!). The world didn't seem so god awful anymore. And so, living up to the cinematic female character cliche, I symbolically cut my hair short to symbolize my internal transformation.

Or maybe it was more like this.

I swear to you, it was like the one thing that had been missing! The short hair-- something about it-- made me feel as though I had finally settled into myself.

Since then I've been on this magical unicorn fart of learning and expressing confidence, self-appreciation, self-love, independence, blah de bloop blop blorp. And I don't think any person can attribute these things solely to their hairstyle

(present company excluded)

(present company excluded)

but it certainly had an impact! Turned out to be that I really, truly love short hair. It's easy to take care of, for one thing. And it makes me feel simultaneously cute, sophisticated, and like I could kick your ass. There's something about it that just fits. I get lots of compliments on my hair nowadays, and I accept them like iTunes terms & conditions. It even gets wrapped up into unimaginative catcalls now and then. ("Hey, I like short hair!" / "Thanks, I like you being on the opposite side of the street!")

This isn't me bragging about my awesome hair or how often bus stop patrons hit on me, by the way. This is me marveling at how much the dead skin growing out of my head has become a part of my identity. After a decade of fearing what short hair would turn me into, I discovered it helped me become more than whom I'd ever known I was. And it proved to me that beauty is a choice. I didn't have to hide behind long hair and "hope" I was "pretty enough;" I could rock whatever I wanted and know in my heart that I was a stone cold fox-tress. Beauty, like hair follicles and indigestion, does come from within.

As a hopefully unnecessary disclaimer, this is specifically about me and about my specific hair; I'm not saying anything about women with long hair. I think it's truly wondrous that everybody has their own style, and it would be a sad world indeed without long, beautiful hair. But for the time being, mine is cut underneath my chin.

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