On feeling feminine, or: An ode to long hair

I’ve stated here and elsewhere at least a hundred thousand times that I don’t feel entirely comfortable in my body. But maybe that’s not quite accurate: I do feel healthy in my own skin, I just don’t think I look attractive in the eyes of others. And that bothers me. [Insert lengthy paragraph about why it shouldn’t.]

I love my hair, though. It’s a chestnutty brown with some natural blonde highlights and some layers; a mix of red, brown and blonde tones in the sunlight, it’s thick and healthy and reaches half-way down my back. It’s naturally straight – though it waves lightly if I don’t blow-dry or straighten it. I love the way it blows in the wind; how smooth it feels after a shower; how I can bunch it up in my neck and let it fall over my shoulders, cascading down with a gentle bounce; how you can grab fistfuls of it and then some; how it makes me feel feminine and sexy.

Long, thick hair also means endless showers – to the point where I’m seriously worried about my water consumption (running has me wash it almost daily) – and even more time spent wasted to get it dry. More often than not, it’s not so much a luxurious, beautiful mane but rather a tangled mess. Much like what you expect a 10-year-old’s hair to look like. For those reasons, and because I need a change to stay sane during this period of unemployment, I want to chop it all off. I’ve done this before and hated it two days later. I felt exposed. I thought I looked like a boy. Almost nothing left to grab, play around with, put up in a bun, curl or straighten, and admire in the mirror. Showers were much shorter, though, and with all that hair a big weight had literally been lifted off my shoulders and that also felt liberating.

I’ve had long hair since I was 12 years old. It suits the shape of my face, it doesn’t require regular visits to the hairdresser, and it has always given me the illusion that all my other physical faults can be hidden (quite literally) behind it. A shorter cut would be a step away from what in many ways has been a very soft and almost childish hair cut towards something more grown-up, fresher, and possibly even sexier – at the expense, I worry, of my feeling feminine. It’s a bit of a paradox, I suppose.

Hair grows back so this shouldn’t even warrant its own post. But cutting off 30 centimeters does change one’s look significantly, and I can’t make out whether I wrongly assume changing my hair will magically change my situation and improve my personality, or if I’m really just tired of 12 years of the same damn hair. In conclusion: stay tuned.


One thought on “On feeling feminine, or: An ode to long hair

  1. All I can say is that I envy you for your hair. Big time. I guess it’ll always grow back if you decide to chop it off. 30cm is a lot though.

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