There's always been an assumption that when a woman cuts her hair, it means she's going through a bad break up or a big change. Aaaaand for the most part, that assumption is true.
Who am I kidding, I've been there. Not have I just cut it, but I've dyed it and bleached it too many times to count.
I cut and bleach my own hair to be able to claim it as my own. I know that sounds ridiculous since it's all attached to my own head, but hear me out. Oftentimes men find long hair on women more attractive than short hair. They like the natural look. Natural hair, natural makeup, natural curves, natural waistlines. And I say all of this carefully, obviously everyone has their own preferences, but generally? Men are most often attracted to women with long, silky hair, a clean complexion, a tiny waist, and curves. Curves, curves, curves. I could go on for a whole post about my issues with the public's perception of body image, and perception of a "healthy" body image, but you can read my older post The "Myth" that is Skinny-Shaming if you're interested on hearing my thoughts. Anyway. Back on track!
About five(?) years ago, I chopped my hair off into a pixie cut. I liked it, it was fun and easy to take care of, but I was excited to grow it out again.
So I let it grow for a solid... four, almost five years? And I'd finally achieved the dream "mermaid" hair I'd always wanted. Long, blonde, and wild. I was just starting to get used to the length while I was doing the Disney College Program in Orlando, Florida. I loved how feminine it made me feel (this is something I've always struggled with), I loved all of the different things I could do with it, and not going to lie- I loved the attention it got me. Kids and parents at work would comment on it, referring to me as Elsa or Aurora (I also LOVED this- two of my favorite Disney princesses!). Guys I'd go out with would compliment it and girls I didn't know would talk to me about it. Yeah it was often times messy since I didn't really brush it, but I liked it natural and wild.
Eventually I went through a break-up that (tbh) hit me pretty hard and left me pretty shaken up. This guy had been such a pivotal part of my experience in Orlando and I was feeling a little lost. Luckily, I still had an amazing group of friends around me that was always an anchor, but after having gone through two heavy breakups within a matter of six months (this timeline is a story for another time), I needed to redefine who I was. I'd seen this long haired reflection of myself in his mirrors so often I'd kind of come to associate the two.
So, after straightening my hair and looking at my reflection for a hot second one night around midnight, I frantically searched my room for scissors. "Maggie! Maggie! Find the scissors! Quickly! Before I change my mind!" My roommate and I tore through the room before we found a pair and within seconds, my hair was pulled back into a ponytail, the blades were in her hand and the long forgotten "schhlt, schhlt, schhlt" of the scissors across my hair hissed through my ears. I reclaimed the shears and went to work straightening the cut and making it look somewhat normal.
The next morning I got up for my last shift at work and panicked upon seeing my reflection and remembering the impromptu haircut I'd given myself the night before. But honestly? I'd never felt more refreshed and empowered. My hair was something that I had kept because I felt like I needed it to be beautiful. Sure, the princess names stopped at work and I couldn't do intricate braids anymore, but I'd never felt more like myself. My short hair was for me- I felt like I'd reclaimed something that I was trying to keep up for other people.
I've kept it short since then. In fact it's gotten even shorter- I had to chop more off for the most recent show I was in. But most recently I'd just bleached the hell out of it. I like to say that it was just because my roots were getting bad, but I actually think it's because I'm aware of big changes that are coming my way and I want to keep up with my ever-evolving self and life. I like it short and I like it blonde. I feel like it suits me, and when I imagine myself, I imagine myself as looking so. Yeah I miss seeing it waterfall down my shoulders or over pillows, but I've never felt more comfortable in my own skin than I do now- so I feel like the hair has something to do with it. For all I know, two years from now, long brown hair will feel more fitting, but over the past ten months, it couldn't feel more like myself.