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.
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.)
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.
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.