That Hair Post, and the Shear Madness that Followed...
A few days ago, I posted about my frustration regarding a hairy moment on the love-it-yet-hate-it Facebook. The reactions I received were pretty interesting, and I had to actually take a moment to settle down and try and understand the viewpoints of the opposite sex and what they had to say and why. For context, here is the post in its entirety.
Male: "Wish you'd let that hair grow again.🙏🏽"
Female (Moi): 🙄 "How patriarchal of you.
My hair is beautiful however I have it. I wear it for ME and no one else. When someone implies they liked it better long or this way or that way, I wonder why they think I would welcome a clear insult to how I am currently wearing it....
And no, I'm not salty today - I would say this regardless of my mood. Since we're sharing unsolicited wishes, it's every short haired woman's DREAM that people - MEN IN PARTICULAR, would STOP 🚫 telling women they liked their long hair better. No woman asked that question because no woman ever cuts her hair for a man.
PS. Women may have liked YOU better with a fuller head of hair as well. But whatever. Hair is beautiful. Bald is beautiful. So keep your opinions to yourself and don't be ugly.”
OK. Now you hopefully can bear with me whilst I do some woman-splaining. I’ll start by saying that I had some very onboard reactions from mostly females, and of course, my significant other. I also had some negative reactions from a few males. After hearing their reactions sent either by private message or by phone call or by word of mouth, I realized that they missed the entire point of my post.
This led me to want to bear part of the responsibility for that. Initially. I had a helpful conversation with my S/O. He felt it was both disheartening and a sign of very little change that I was actually having to consider blogging about the post to further explain. My argument was that I hadn’t expressed myself eloquently enough, and as a writer, that is worrisome. On the other hand, I wondered about the background of the men who were offended by the post, and thought maybe that came into play, and truly, it was a handful, well, only a handful that expressed their agitation with my post. Who knows how many rolled their eyes and just kept scrolling. In the end, I decided to blog about it anyway because I do like to try and help people understand fully where I’m coming from than having them assume wrongfully.
What is femininity? What does it look like? Well, “In Western cultures, the ideal of feminine appearance has traditionally included long, flowing hair, clear skin, a narrow waist, and little or no body hair or facial hair.” ~ Ferrante, Joan (January 2010). Sociology: A Global Perspective (7th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth. pp. 269–272. Whoa. What a burden to place on the female identifying human. I believe women today are embracing themselves for who they are and not what they look like. Also, those embracing what they look like are just as genuine and deserved as those who are not concerned about it. We need to create a place for all women to feel feminine or super or amazing no matter what angle they are coming from. Women who have thicker middles and shorter hair- these things do not take away from your femininity. Women with long, thick flowing locks with large breasts and tiny waists are no more feminine than women with flat chests and thin hair who choose to grow the hair on their bodies.
Sadly, we live in a world that, although is becoming more body positive, it feels like it’s not happening nearly as fast as it should. This is 2020, not 1920, and although I am running across more men who are accepting and even promoting equal pay for women, women in power and women using their voices, alas, some are still not accepting of women who choose to wear shorter hair. Now, I feel the need to say that preferring long hair is perfectly fine. My argument is more… can we not find women attractive with short hair as well, without hair at all, can we also open our minds and realize that the truest beauty a woman can posses, is her confidence, her brilliant mind, her attention to health, her acceptance of self, her contribution as mother, CEO, server, Engineer, wife, friend, pole dancer, (yes I said what I said) equestrian, vet, soldier, cancer survivor, nanny, stylist, artist, volunteer, etc…
Gentlemen. You are entitled to prefer me with long hair. That is fine, absolutely fine. The problem lies in the idea that your opinion of my hair needs to be heard or expressed without my asking. In doing so, do you realize that first of all, you are making an all too familiar interaction with me; if we are not in a relationship, you don’t get to just volunteer your opinion about my appearance without my prompting. Women are not here for your viewing pleasure. I am not here for your viewing pleasure. The only people that get to tell me they liked my long hair better are my partner (and even he is respectful enough to give his opinion only when I ask) and my dad. Does this mean I cannot accept a compliment? No, not at all. This is where it gets tricky.
Men, you are allowed to compliment a woman respectfully. This is a WHOLE other subject and maybe you should just Google “complimenting a woman respectfully” if you’re actually interested in knowing if you’re doing it right. When your opinion strays away from the compliment, as in “Gee, I liked your hair better long,” this is not an opinion any woman is interested in hearing. I promise you. What are we supposed to say? “Oh dear me oh my! I should have thought about you before I cut it! I should have realized you wouldn’t look at me like the sex object you were envisioning before I went to Aveda and had them lop off my locks! Hang on while I grow it out in a few minutes!!!!” First of all, we aren’t growing it for you. Second, even if we wanted to please your eye, there is nothing we can do in the moment to change this. Third, it’s loud and clear the current look we have going on is what you consider “less than”, and now we are aware. Fourth, maybe, just maybe that day, we felt frumpy, we felt like we needed a pick me up, and the sassy haircut we just got made us feel like a million bucks- and then your comment arrived.
Truthfully, it may surprise you to know that I love my long hair. I even miss it. I think I look good in long hair, and sometimes I do wish it were longer than it is now. That being said, I also have discovered different sides to me with short hair, and I am embracing her and letting her have her time in the sun. Can you please, for the love of God, just keep your opposing opinion to yourself? Maybe compliment my eyes. Or maybe just compliment my writing or photography skills.
When I’m 90 years old, I will want to be with someone who loved me and appreciated me no matter what physical phase I’m going through. If you’re not going to be there when I’m 90, kindly go work on your own physical appearance. Could be that I liked you better without the dad bod. Maybe I thought you were hotter with a thinner face or less wrinkles, I don’t know. By the way, I actually like dad bods, and older men are gorgeous. My point is, know that we all do what we can with what we are given, and we are all striving to be comfortable in the skin we are in. Please contribute positively towards that, and if you cannot, then just remember what your mother taught you:
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
Thank you for listening, my male friends especially. Hopefully you get it now.