Head of Lies

After I cut my hair off for the first time, I wrote a story about how my new cut wasn’t a political statement. It wasn’t a post-breakup rebellion. It was just a haircut. I posted it on this blog because I was proud of it. I thought it was a fresh way of looking at self-worth and identity, which I struggle with constantly.

Doesn’t that sound smug? How cool I thought I was because I was flippant about the whole thing. Aloof and blase about my big chop. Look at me you plebs, intellectually above it all. At the moment, I think a little bit of me was, to give past me the benefit of the doubt.

Now, I think I truly understand why I did it.

A lot of my life has been dedicated to men: the way I look, my heart, my feelings, the way I view myself. It’s all been for men.

When I became aware of my sexual objectification (because let’s face it, I was in the dark for a long time. I mean, I was only what? 13 when it first started?) I never knew how to handle it. People told me to enjoy it, attention is fun and flirty. Smile back, there are ugly people who don’t get the time of day from men. Making a fuss means you’re no fun.

This is the point where I want to say I didn’t believe them, and that I rejected these toxic notions.

I didn’t. I absorbed them and modified. Became more feminine, dated guys who were dirtbags because they liked me. Didn’t tell off guys who were my “friends” and objectifying me because I didn’t want the brand tease. Years of this behavior slid past my defenses until I looked around and realized that I was tired of being a well for men to dip their buckets into.

I was exhausted and frankly pissed. Pissed that I let myself become this shell of a woman, feeding on catcalls and “wyd?”. The only way I knew to stop this cycle of bad habits was to change what I could. I became crass and opinionated.

More importantly, I cut all my hair off.

Wow. What a freakish difference my hair made. All of a sudden I was off the map, invisible to men because they couldn’t immediately categorize me into a conquest. Was I gay? Or was I just strange? Who knew! Men didn’t want to take the energy to find out! Huzzah!

But I was free, and I continue to be free. My hair means a lot to me now. If a man wants my time, he has to earn it. Make it past my new helmet into my squishy brain why don’t you. But you have to try now, you don’t get this for free anymore.