The full moon is coming and it’s almost that time again. I’m getting a little twitchy.
I have to admit it: I’m addicted to haircuts.
Like many women, I have always have been overly interested in my own hair, and through the years I’ve had long hair, short hair, curly hair, straight hair, Bettie Page bangs, spike-y layers… almost anything you can think of. I’ve also been many shades of brown and red, both single-step and highlighted. I’ve briefly veered toward blonde. I don’t want to think about the total lifetime cost of my hair. I’m sure it would look like the gross national product of an emerging nation.
Anyone who has met me in the past 5 years would find this funny, I think. Because for a long time now, my hair has been its natural salt-and-pepper (like me, getting saltier by the day), and cut very close to my head.
While my head isn’t exactly shaved, on any given day, my hair is still shorter than any of the guys who went out for basketball at my high school.
And I love the feeling of it freshly cut. I love the velvety feeling of the back and sides.
I don’t have to tell you, hair has strong gender association in our society.
Ask any kid under six years old and they’ll tell you “girls have long hair and boys have short.” Or as my son once said, swooning over a girl in his elementary school class: “She has long hair – like a princess, Mom.”
I originally cut mine short out of practicality. It stays out of the way during my yoga practice, looks the same in any weather, requires no “product” to hold its style, and takes no time at all
But, I also like the fact it’s a little extreme and messes with perception of my gender identity.
In fact, the lesbian community may hold to hair stereotypes more strongly than six-year-olds. Butch women are supposed to have short hair, and femmes are supposed to nuture and primp their long locks, right?
I’ve dated a few butch women who were freaked out by my hair, assuming they were somehow less butch in my presence. Some felt challenged and cut their hair shorter than mine. At least one really liked it, but I could almost see the wheels turning as she wondered “OMG. Does this make me gay?”
(I’m only joking and I’m sure you’re just as butch as you were before you ran your hands over my hair, I promise.)
I’m one of those women who never looks like a guy, even devoid of hair, mascara, and my favorite lip gloss. And ironically, I feel the most feminine with my hair shorn.
In fact, when I look back at old photos of myself with long, tended ‘dos, I feel like I’m looking at myself in drag. And I’ve never liked obvious hair products on anyone. Nothing looks less sensual and less appealing than artfully mussed hair that is gelled, sticky, and so stiff it looks like you would risking scratching your cornea in an embrace.
Over the years, I’ve come to the conclusion that many, if not most, women look better without their hair.
I wouldn’t say I’ve developed this into a fetish, but I definitely sit up and take notice when there’s another woman around with buzzed hair. And I thrill to the tips of my toes (and other places) when an actress shaves her head on screen.
Recent years have provided a flood of actresses without their hair, and most look better than they did with it.
Really. Natalie Portman in V for Vendetta, anyone?
I even think Britney looked better when she was briefly bald.
While I appreciate the tough circumstances that made Melissa Etheridge lose her hair, I think she looked stronger and more vibrant without her hair than she looks with it. Her hair is usually sort of wishy-washy and without much style. Cut it all off, Melissa!
Here’s a little gallery of women I think look incredibly hot without their hair. If only they were all lesbians… sigh.