The Covid Chop

5 days ago by

Photos Shana Jade

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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Add yours
  • 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 !!!


  • 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 ?

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