Life’s too short to not enact change when you want change. I am willing to change parts of who I am, knowing I can change it back. Sorry, I understand how ambiguous that sounds, but I am talking about my hair, well my image as a whole but specifically my hair, as that recent change could be seen as… drastic. This entry for me is an explanation of sorts, dealing with my motivations, my concerns, and my resolve. My hair has been this entity of my image that was always integral, but variant. In all of my nineteen years, never has my hair been shorter than my shoulders, pardon my infancy and toddler years. In other words, I had always attached myself to my long hair, in some way. Quite a few people couldn’t picture me without the long hair, until I actually cut it. Then I thought, why not step out of the mold other people created for me?
It was a process filled with all sorts of decisions leading up to the actual cut. First, my motivations. I am so in love with the idea of making other people happy, and would happily shave my head if it meant that someone who’d lost their hair to illness, to whatever really, would be even marignally happier because they could have long hair again. At the end of the day, cutting off about sixteen inches of hair for Wigs for Kids–a non-profit that produces wigs for kids, as the name suggests–that decision was easy. And I’ll do it again in a heartbeat. Or as soon as my hair’s long enough again for donation.
The other half of my motivation was for me. At the end of the day, this should be the central reason for doing anything, for altering any part of yourself. I wanted short hair. There wasn’t a laundry list of reasons other than the most important one: I wanted short hair. I wanted the light, airy flippiness that comes from short hair. I wanted to be struck by my own reflection and smile at how hot I looked. I wanted to see my reflection, myself, and feel the love I have for myself. I wanted to be stopped and forced to recognize my own beauty, my own happiness. Understandably, this shouldn’t all stem from just one hair cut, but it can come from change. By physically changing such a constant in my own image, I would be lured into staring at myself. Think of it this way: a construction worker of traffic officer wears the arguably-obnoxious neon colors for a reason, to get you to look, because it’s hard to avoid. Then you pay attention to what driving directions they give you, and you don’t run them over either. All due to those neon-orange jackets. By altering what the eye is use to seeing, you’re asking it to notice something, anything. By cutting my hair, I would be telling my eyes and my mind to notice myself, to take my own image into account in this world filled with images demanding you look. There’s my motivation, wanting to donate, but also needing to notice myself more often. On some level, I am positive it’s the same reason I dyed the front layers of my hair every shade of red, blue, and purple during my sophomore and junior years of high school. My motivation always being that I would be demanding that my eyes and mind kept myself, my happiness, as the more central image in life.
Now, of course I was concerned about potentially not liking myself with short hair. Let’s say it was snipped away and then I changed my mind? Easy solution: time. If I felt that my long locks were suddenly my only reason for living, the primary aspect of my physical identity, then I clearly place too much weight in the superficial. Hair grows. Quickly, in fact. If all of my hair was gone and I thought that I no longer looked like myself, then I would be placing all of my humanity, my strength, my compassion, my determination, my optimism, my love and my care in something quite stupid, if it can dissolve with the movement of a pair of shears. You could color my skin sapphire and dye my hair salmon and I would still care for the world just as much as I did the day before. If I was concerned that altering the length of my hair would somehow adversely affect my personality, then I have more drastic personal problems than split-ends. My potential concern was more or less easily dismissed with the confirmation that regardless of my external I would still possess the same insides, my heart, my mind and my appetite would still be in the same place as before.
Another concern was that the people in my life wouldn’t see me the same way, that perhaps if I altered such a “vital” aspect of my appearance they wouldn’t treat me the same way, or like me the same way. Well, fuck them. If they weren’t going to like me with short hair, they surely don’t deserve me with long hair. If the people in my life couldn’t see past the strands of keratin hanging from my head, then why would I trust that they would be willing to understand my values and convictions? Not to say anyone in my life openly opposed me getting this drastic hair cut, but it was an internal worry of mine, regardless.
On the matter of sexual attraction, that let’s say some “guys don’t like girls with short hair”–which I am sure is true for some guys–there are also hords of people on this planet who would love me with short hair, especially if they understood how truly happy I am with short hair. As long as I am attracted to myself, I could easily live with other people not being as strongly attracted to me. It’s my hair, my body, not theirs. For as long as I still see and know myself, the rest of the world can figure it out on their own.
Now, my resolve. Clearly, I found resolve in all of this thinking beforehand. When I mentioned my resolve earlier, I planned not of talking about my resolve to cut my hair, but my resolve that this hairstyle was the right cut for me. As soon as Blanca, a family friend and hairstylist, cut the first chunk off, I knew I made the right decision. It hadn’t been styled or shaped, but it looked happy. That was what adjective my friend Kim said when she saw me, saying that my hair looked happy. Sure, I am happy, but even my technically-inanimate hair had a bounce and new life that helped to draw out my own. My hair now reflects my inside, oddly enough, a happy coincidence to be sure. In cutting my hair, I found resolve in myself to continue loving myself, to continue making decisions based on my own wants and desires. My new hairdo reaffirmed my self-rule of deciding with myself in mind, no matter the choice. Life is too short for decisions based on the convictions of other people besides myself. I resolve to live for me, and cut my hair for me and only me.