There’s a liberation in…
Knowing life’s exhaustible fragility. Working a job that deals with end of life care has had me rethinking what’s really important. It has awoken a freedom inside of me like I never felt before. Freedom with my life choices, freedom in how I interact with people, and freedom in how I view myself and others. The knowledge that someday (and from what I’ve heard, old age tends to sneak up on oneself quite quickly) I will experience the finite quality of life, gives me this urge to live in a way that’s free from judgement, not only of others, but of myself as well. Some days, I must admit, are better than other days. However, I am trying, and the older I get, the more I feel myself shedding those unnecessary beliefs about what’s right and wrong, what’s cool and not cool.
When I was in high school I had so many ideas about how I should be, especially in terms of looks. I always said I would never cut my hair. I held onto this belief that long hair=Feminine, and short hair=Masculine, except for the few women I deemed pretty enough to pull it off. I would watch the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and would drool with envy over the long, extension-laden, bombshell locks flowing in the artificial wind. Basically, I was a very typical American teenage girl, influenced heavily by the media and trying to fit into the box that it laid out before me.
Over the past year I’ve begun to question those silly and restricting ideas. I met many artistic and lovely people throughout the theatre community that challenged my narrow beliefs of femininity and beauty. I started to see feminine beauty as something more than one’s appearance; it was so much more complex. Confidence, strength, kindness, passion, and thoughtfulness began to be defining features in terms of beauty for me.
It is for this reason that I decided to cut my hair into an undercut pixie. A few mornings ago, when I made the spur of the moment decision to shave off the lower half of my hair, it was also the day that I was going to get my license renewed. It was an exhilarating feeling knowing that my first ever DIY haircut could go one of two ways, and that the end product would be recorded on my license photo for years to come. A year ago I would have never dreamed that I would do something so risky as cutting my own hair on a day like that. But it was freeing knowing that I could fuck up and that that would be ok because it’s just hair, and hair grows back. Seeing the long locks on the floor was like seeing all of those restrictions I had placed on myself for all those years falling away. I now have the choice of going for a more feminine look or a more androgynous look. It has been extremely empowering making the choice to not be enslaved by conventional beauty standards.
Which brings me back to…
When life is so short, why waste it worrying about something so fleeting as looks. By letting go of judgement and ideas about right and wrong, you are able to have fun playing and experimenting with your appearance. Removing all that seriousness with which we view outselves brings about an amazing amount of freedom and serves as a huge confidence boost that we can use in other aspects of our lives. Since cutting my hair, I have felt like the badass button has been switched on. I worry less about what other people think about me, I talk more genuinely with strangers, I feel more compassion towards other people, and I have started to look at life as an adventure rather than a mold that I have to fit into. So go ahead and cut your hair if you want to, quite your job if it doesn’t bring you joy, say hello to the cute person you see at the coffee shop, and take up the hobby you’ve always dreamed of doing but never felt you’d be good at. Because life is short, fleeting and ever-changing.