I finally cut my hair!
All my life, I’ve been “the girl with the really long hair.” All my life.
I came out of the womb with a full mop and throughout most of my childhood my hair weighed more than I did.
My hair was my identifier—and I hated that.
Like, hello!? I’m also “the girl who’s really smart” and “the girl with the great sense of humor” and “the girl who dresses really nice.” (These are just examples, of course.)
I was exotified all throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school, because I was a black girl with long, curly hair. I was a novelty in the eyes of my white suburban classmates. I felt as if my hair not only identified me but defined me, and that should never be the case. As I grew older and more socially aware, I decided I needed to cut all ties to that version of myself, the version that was forced upon me, the version that I coddled because it was familiar. My long hair was my comfort blanket and the idea of letting it go frightened me. But I knew I had to do it.
I knew for a fact I didn’t want to go to college and end up with every new person I met seeing my hair before they saw me as a person. So I cut it…
…and I LOVE it!
Not sure why I didn’t join the short-hair gang earlier. I think I might even go shorter before I go to college in August. Teen Vogue’s Beauty & Health Director, Elaine Welteroth is in one word: badass. I look up to her for breaking glass ceilings in the journalism world and carrying herself with so much intellect and vibrance. She wrote an article a while ago about cutting her hair that motivated me even more to chop mine off.
You can read it here.
As I said before, my long hair was my safety blanket, but it ended up suffocating me more than protecting me. I hid behind it for everything!
Before I cut my hair, I read an article in Harper’s Bazaar that described long locks as “seductive,” and short hair as “fierce” and “sophisticated.” After facing the scissors, I genuinely agree. I encourage every girl who feels that it’s time for a change to cut her hair. It’s the best thing I’ve done in a considerably long time. The shorter the hair, the more free you shall feel.