20210122_DORE_MARK_RYAN_0324

The Covid Chop

2 months ago by

Last night I watched a performance on Hulu called In and Of Itself. I say performance because it is not quite a movie, but rather a recording of a performance by magician Derek DelGaudio. I bring it up here (in a post about cutting my hair) because the theme of the performance revolves around how we ultimately allow others to determine how we see ourselves. And I think our hair is strangely tied to our “false” identity more than any other physical feature.

I have had long hair my whole life except, you know, those first few years.

And when I say long, I mean long. Down to my boobs long. And when a hair dresser cut off a millimeter too much and it felt “short” (it was never short) I was beside myself for weeks on end.

Why was I so attached to my hair?

Because it was how I felt feminine.

I don’t dress overtly feminine and in person I drop a lot of swear words and no one has ever described me as “dainty.” I am classic bull in china shop. And I’m totally okay with that. Except sometimes. Sometimes I want to feel feminine. And when I do, I let my hair down.

I now cringe when I type that for so many reasons.

The Covid Chop

I have been living by myself through lockdown.

The cues I previously received from society confirming or denying my femininity everyday have now been few and far between this past year. If at all.

It has been Zoom calls, and sweats, and low buns, and no make up for the past year. But, surprisingly, I don’t feel any less feminine. Why? Because I haven’t experienced society telling me I’m not feminine.

I have been identifying and proclaiming my femininity wholly to myself for an entire year now and my hair doesn’t factor into it.

So. I wanted to chop it all off and determine once and for all that I am attached to my hair for the right reasons (my own satisfaction) and not the wrong reasons (society’s satisfaction).

(Side note: I’m predicting a lot of “le Covid chops” when summer hits. I see a lot of people wanted to “shed” the past year in some ceremonious way.)

Enter Mark and Ryan of Mark Ryan Salon!

They value connection and conversation to create an environment filled with comfort and love — and it shows the minute you walk into their salon!

Sure enough, they both held my hand oh so graciously as I showed them a folder of images on my phone I’d been collecting for years — we all have this folder, yes?

I was also toning down highlights I threw into my hair in October on a whim to try and cover my grays (a fool’s errand) and then yes, chopping it all (okay, a lot of it) off.

I couldn’t have asked for two better people to guide me through it all.

The Covid Chop
The Covid Chop

We decided on a lob so I could adjust to a shorter hair lifestyle and then chop off more if I wanted. (I love a baby step moment.) And we kept in some of the highlights and color because I have naturally curly hair the color helps the curls.

And. I love it. I feels lighter and fresher and just more me.

But. The thing is. It can definitely still be considered long. Even Garance (the queen of short hair) joked to me yesterday that it looks the same — and she’s not wrong.

BUT. To me, it is short and I can’t wait to go even shorter next time. To see what it feels like to have hair off of your shoulders and still be feminine. Because your femininity is how you define yourself, not how others see you.

P.S. In and Of Itself is 100% worth a watch.

P.P.S. This my new Zoom look.

The Covid Chop

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11 comments

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  • EMILY BIGGINS February, 19 2021, 4:24 / Reply

    I LOVE it! Gorgeous! xoxo

  • Veronica McCarthy February, 24 2021, 8:40

    thanks love! miss you! xx

  • It looks great! I just cut mine this past weekend (myself!) still in lockdown over here in Europe and haven’t gotten my hair cut in over a year, it was time. Love your natural colour also!

  • I LOVE your new hair! It looks GREAT!!!!! I haven’t gotten my haircut since January 2021 and I tried to add some layers to the front sides a few weeks back…very uneven!!! I desperately need a real haircut now!

  • Although my hair was long growing up, I cut it pixie short in my 20’s – think mid 80’s! – and its been various styles of short with brief bouts of attempts to grow it until Covid. It is now almost shoulder length – and I have noticed a different response to me, particularly from men, as its grown longer. (I’m the only woman at my job – the guys definitely respond to me differently, not a thing I was going for. Just couldn’t get a haircut in forever.) For whatever reason it makes them more comfortable with me, as though I’m seen as ‘woman’. I have a slim shape, not alotta boob or butt, and short hair on me, at times, elicited comments of ‘dyke’ or ‘lesbian’ no matter the attire, the thought being only gay women cut their hair so you MUST be gay. Funny thing is, I like my hair short, and I look better with it short. Conundrum – is my longer hair a comfort zone for other people, but not me? Who do we wear our hair for?

  • Veronica, hair IS everything, I kid you not. I have had my hair chopped at my wonderful hairdresser’s who got a tad too inspired and I left with chop much shorter than expected (also, I am short-sighted so I can’t control myself in the mirror really). And I cried. A lot. And googled. Also a lot. Hair is so profoundly important to our self-image and self-confidence that I see no reason to not admit it.

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira February, 22 2021, 8:17 / Reply

    Naaah , i didn’t like your haircut , I Love it !!! You look Beautiful , Ms. Veronica McCarthy !!! As Always may i add !!! «Você é uma Gata» as the brazilians often say and …Great job from these two Gentleman !!! I’ll bet Mark Ryan Salon will become your place to be/go , Hairwise !!!
    And , how’s you Dog ? ( i remember him in the back once or twice in the Pocket PMF- Quarantine idition! )

    Have a Great Week !!!

    J

  • Veronica McCarthy February, 24 2021, 8:40

    hahaha thank you Jorge! So nice to hear from you. BIG HUG. xx

  • I think the comment about how men have treated the reader differently since her grew is so interesting. I cut my waist length hair to above shoulder length when our lockdown ended last year and a man who I barely knew suggested I shouldn’t go any shorter « because men don’t like it. » And so ensued a conversation about how femininity isn’t defined by hair, how society needs to fit us into boxes and the male gaze, as though it’s the only thing that matters to us. Never once thought that it was inappropriate, maybe I didn’t care, and that maybe feeling feminine wasn’t my only aim in life!! But it’s just hair they said ?

  • Hi Al!
    Compelling response! That is the question – its just hair – or, is it? There’s more to it than that, if for no other reason than we always want the hair we don’t have. You had a conversation with someone who barely knew you, over what? A few inches lopped off? Isn’t that just a little nuts? Who asked for his opinion?
    Which is why I posed the question ‘who do we wear our hair for?’
    I feel great with short hair yet I become soooo tired of a man’s observation of what I should look like; and as you’ve experienced, they do not hesitate to let us know how they feel about it. I also experience, as frequently, women complementing my hair, along with comments such as ‘I wish I could wear it like that’ or ‘I wouldn’t look good with short hair.’ And its usually a woman who, in my eyes, has beautiful hair that I wish I had! Also – I live in the South, a Southerner by birth, and there are cultural definitions/expectations of what a woman should look like that presents a unique point of view over the hair issue. Femininity is overtly over the top, hair especially. Not for nothing is ‘the higher the hair, the closer to God’ a classic Southern phrase.
    Hair is emotional (one reader was in tears when her cut went wrong – been there!), sexual, sensual, feminine, androgynous, girlish, tomboy-ish, controversial, tells the world how we want to be seen or how we see ourselves. If we’re in control of our hair, we feel in control of who we are in that moment.
    Tan France without his swoosh hairstyle? Can’t picture it. Britney giving the press her own f*you by buzzing her own hair? Absolutely! Dolly Parton without her wigs? She gives us life with her hair!
    So, maybe, its more than just hair.

    Thanks for seeing a different point of view!

  • Je me permets d’apporter mon point de vue en tant que coiffeuse expérimentée mais surtout en tant que femme. Au préalable, je vais me présenter et essayer d’enrichir le sujet en tant que professionnelle de la coiffure. Je m’appelle Brigitte et j’ai commencé dans le monde de la coiffure en tant qu’apprentie à l’âge de 14 ans. J’ai appris mon métier dans différents salons de coiffure et au travers de nombreuses formations. J’ai progressé et gravie les échelons dans la profession pour l’amour du métier. J’ai eu plusieurs établissements de coiffure dont le dernier se situe à Aix en Provence dans le Sud de la France “Alchimie Coiffure”.
    Ceci étant fait, la première des choses que je tiens à souligner c’est l’excellent travail au niveau de l’écoute, du conseils et de l’exécution des prestations pour votre nouvelle coiffure. Le vrai travail d’un coiffeur est de vous révéler et ne se mesure certainement pas au nombre de centimètres coupés ! Oui, notre travail ne consiste pas à “justifier” nos tarifs en fonction de la longueur coupée. Notre vocation est avant tout de valoriser votre physique et plus précisément votre visage en fonction de votre personnalité et de votre tempérament. L’archétype des cheveux longs comme référence absolue de la féminité est un non sens à mon avis. Ce qui rend une femme féminine et désirable c’est avant tout son côté resplendissant, son bonheur intérieur et sa confiance en elle. De fait, peu importe la longueur, la couleur, la nuance ou le reflet souhaité, ce qui importe c’est de se sentir bien, à l’aise et en osmose avec sa personnalité ! La vraie force du coiffeur est de vous révéler en fonction de l’état d’esprit du moment. Pour preuve de nombreuses personnalités féminines (actrices, chanteuses, …) n’hésitent pas à couper leurs longueurs de cheveux voire passer par des couleurs plus ou moins flashy sans pour autant “égratigner” leurs féminités et leurs sex-appeal. “la bonne coiffure peut transformer une femme belle en une femme belle et inoubliable” dixit Sophia Loren. Pour les plus jeunes, Sofia Loren était une actrice parmi les plus importantes du cinéma italien mondialement reconnue. Sortons donc des diktats établis, des préjugés, des mœurs ou codifications sociétales établies, la Femme n’a pas à avoir de veto dans son épanouissement, sa liberté de pensée et sa volonté de paraître ! Pour ce faire, elle peut compter sur les conseils avisés de son coiffeur pour atteidre ces objectifs ;D

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