I was reading an article in the Sunday paper about hair extensions which filled me with such rage which seems somewhat imbalanced for an article on hair vanity. The article implied throughout that long hair was the key to femininity and accompanying that the possession of long hair was the key-no not even the key-the only way that men could possibly find one attractive.
Where do I start on how wrong and offensive this seems? I’ve had short hair my whole life, mainly because quite frankly my hair is of the fine limp sort that resembles rats tails when allowed to grow longer than shoulder length. But even I when debating cutting my hair off to its current ‘pixie cut’ style shortness whether this was a good idea. Why? Because media and society lead us to believe that short hair is unfeminine, that we will automatically look like a boy if we do. But apparently gluing someone else’s hair to your scalp somewhat resembling a dead animal makes you instantly the epitome of femininity and irresistible to all men.
On the other hand I’m led to feel guilty about my girlishness by some. Why should I be ashamed of a love of pink? It doesn’t mean I’m not intelligent; I’m doing a phd for goodness sake! I’m also tough. I grew up mostly outdoors riding horses and working on a farm, I’m not afraid of hard work or getting dirty. If I want a room painting or something fixing I’ll go at it with the hammer and drill first rather than ask for help. No I can’t use technology (seriously I can’t even illegally download films, what kind of 21st Century girl am I?) and I have zero interest in any sports that don’t involve horses. Do any of these really comment on my femininity? Are any of these related to my hair? No, it’s just who I am.
So does that strength translate as imposing? Somehow masculine? I also wondered last week when a scary Personal Trainer type at the gym called me ‘intimidating’ now on one hand don’t get me wrong, that’s a definite win for me, on the other I worry. My mother also has told me multiple times ‘Men are scared of you’ as an explanation as to why nobody asks me out.
So yesterday on (and I hate to evoke the V-word here) that day when all single people are reminded my Hallmark of their tragic status (please not the sarcasm in my typing here) I asked the question of myself: Short hair and cleverness, are these my romantic undoing? If so I am filled with rage at society and conclude that I will remain single. But then I stop and take a look around and I think-I’m a decent person, I’m clever, I’m not unattractive, I like to think I’m fairly amusing, I can hold a conversation. And yet the world is filled with girls unattractive in personality who are paired up and have never questioned any of this.