Feb 262012

Evoë with very short hairStore clerks seem confused by me. PTA moms radiate disapproval. Small children stare at me with wide eyes. All I did was shave my head. Why is this such a big deal? It is though. My buzz cut seriously messes with people’s perceptions. The belief that females have longer hair is deeply ingrained in our culture. My slightly femme presentation paired with extremely short hair tends to provoke the weirdest responses.

I’ve gotten used to it. It’s been two months since we shaved my head. My hair is an inch long now. I’ve stopped wearing hats everywhere. I’m just me, so it takes me a while to remember why people might look at me funny. And they do! Not everyone, but often enough. Parents are suspicious of me when I drop one of my kids off for a birthday party or play date. Guess I might be “one of those” people.

I think that if I presented more butch, people would be more comfortable. I would fit into a stereotype that makes sense to people, even if it isn’t acceptable to them. I’ll have to try the experiment to see. People just can’t seem wrap their minds around a feminine person wanting really short hair. They tend to assume that I’m fighting cancer or something. I’ve even been mistaken for Joel’s brother in a photo where I was naked. That’s some serious denial!

I love my hair this short! My youngest likes to run her hand over my hair as she falls asleep. It’s sweet. All of my lovers have mentioned how much they adore me like this, although to be fair, they liked my hair long as well. My hair is never in my face and dries very quickly. It’s pretty easy to take care of, but drives me insane because it tweaks in all directions. Who knew that inch-long hair could be so difficult?

It’s hardest to be grey. I’ve been dying my hair for so long that I had no idea just how grey my hair was. I’m too young to be so grey and I want to look as young as I am. I look totally different with my natural color. It makes me feel hard – more butch than just short haired.

It’s an interesting lesson for me. I would have thought that I could have my hair any way I want and people would treat me the same. I didn’t realize how deep and unconscious the stereotypes are.  Still, it doesn’t matter: I’m going to be me. And if I happen to help people challenge some assumptions, so much the better.

  • http://theblackleatherbelt.com/ Lily

    I remember reading your entries about having your head shaved and thinking, “I could never do that.”  I have a real fear of losing my hair, despite the fact that I am pretty butch.  (I like to think of myself as butch in that heavy-metal-hair band kinda way).  

  • LissaB

    They are just staring at you because you are strikingly beautiful. :)
    I’m curious, though, what would happen if your hair was a different color.  Do you think it could be that there is some sort of unwritten rule about women with short hair and their age?  Like, it’s ok to cut your hair that short and be “unconventional” as long as you are under 30?  

    I love your hair, by the way, and was completely honored to run my fingers over it.  :)

  • Hardin Reddy

    I’m wondering (as I always do with appearance) what the big deal is. You’re being who you want to be at this moment. You like it, and you’re not harming anyone. And I like the way you look with grey hair.