As a girl, I’ve at all times grown up with sure stereotypes. Lengthy hair was one such parameter that women have been anticipated to fulfil. Even at the moment, lengthy black hair is an imprint that lives within the heads of my household. I bear in mind studying a quote by Coco Chanel, “A lady who cuts her hair is about to vary her life,” though I can’t vouch for its accuracy, I really feel prefer it’s a really clichéd manner to take a look at ladies who’re in search of adjustments in life.
For a very long time, I used to assume that it was the necessity for fixed change that made me experiment with my hair. However I bear in mind how, at a really low level in my life, I made a decision to only reduce them off. It was an especially liberating feeling. I used to be not simply letting off my hair – it was a complete bunch of stereotypes, expectations, burdens and decisions falling down the salon chair.
The chair of liberation
It was on the age of sixteen that I first skilled pleasure on the chair of liberation. My first hair stylist gave me a pixie so excellent, that I haven’t actually seen another hair stylist ever obtain that look once more. I sat within the chair on the salon as she went chop chop chop – feeling the lack of weight over my shoulders. Earlier than this, for the reason that age of twelve, I had at all times had shoulder-length hair. This was the primary time that I made a decision to go manner shorter than ever earlier than.
Round this time, my notions of feminism have been nonetheless taking kind. I didn’t study it from books and analysis papers, I used to be absorbing the experiences of all the ladies round me. My mom, her sisters and the tales she would inform me of her mom earlier than her who fought towards all odds to maintain herself in a really tough time. However each time I sat in that chair of liberation, my mom can be horrified on the strands falling down on the tiled ground. They’d later be swept off and thrown right into a dustbin.
The insignificance of the size and elegance of my hair ended on the periphery of what actually made me pleased, on the finish of the day. However that by no means stopped individuals from commenting, assuming and questioning many issues in regards to the pixie/pixies I might sport over time.
The primary query was at all times this – why reduce your stunning hair within the first place? Are you a lesbian? How did your mom enable it? What are you going to put on on the faculty farewell, a saree? All these questions felt so unusual and pointless. They taught me at a really younger age that individuals will at all times add their two cents, whether or not I ask for it or not. Someway, a pixie or a boy reduce, as most individuals typically seek advice from it; is just too masculine for a woman/lady to drag off in a Desi apparel.
Popular culture and mainstream illustration
As a thirteen-year-old, I used to be completely fascinated by Miley Cyrus popping out in her personal true identification, as an alternative of enjoying alongside as Hannah Montana. Most ladies in my class thought her blonde pixie regarded horrendous. However in my head, I had made up a psychological observe to get that very same hair sometime. It was only a younger adolescent’s fantasy that got here true for completely completely different causes.
My mom at all times wished my hair to cowl my again. I, however, began experimenting with hair color on the age of fourteen. My 2017 pixie was the primary, and probably the most rebellious one I ever acquired – I wore a saree at my farewell with a magenta pixie. That’s once I actually realised that to me, my hair is a canvas, not merely for experimentation however to analyse my identification.
The mainstream media, with its illustration virtually at all times misses out on showcasing ladies with pixies in any hue other than that doused in stereotypes. It’s both an uptight, bossy lady, a sportswoman, a insurgent, or a bisexual, homosexual or lesbian character sporting such hair. There are exceptions too, however one can’t deny these components. I bear in mind being taught a poem in my English class, whereby the instructor defined ‘shingled hair,’ as a punishment for ladies who have been rebellious.
In earlier occasions, a girl’s lengthy hair was her greatest treasure. It outlined her feminity, magnificence and vanity that hinged on the societal requirements of magnificence. Even within the widespread present, Sport of Thrones, Cersei Lannister is compelled to lose her golden locks as an indication of punishment for her actions. Whereas navigating my very own identification as a feminist, by way of my hair experiments I’ve learnt a lot in regards to the ladies round me.
My hair, an emblem of feminism or individualism?
Now, I really feel like lowering one’s feminism to a haircut is the very last thing that any particular person, who has actually examine this motion would take pleasure in. But, ladies with a pixie are sometimes assumed to be feminists making an attempt to interrupt the shackles of societal norms. Not that I wish to protest towards that concept, however my feminism by no means grew out of my hair. Sure, slicing them off gave me a way of liberation the primary time I did it, however finally, it turned a comfort.
Girls typically should face foolish questions after they go as quick as a pixie. However feminism can’t be attributed to somebody’s hair. I’d nonetheless be questioning the gender norms, stereotypes and irrelevant societal conventions with out getting a pixie. Nevertheless, the essence of freedom it added to my coronary heart is simple. I had discovered my one true facet of identification, that turned essential to me. I needed to have a pixie to really feel like myself once more.
I might see individuals have a breakdown after the hairstylist would chop off an excessive amount of of their hair within the identify of a trim. It was the other for me. I noticed it as extra of a person option to really feel glad and free, slightly than making an attempt to painting a discourse as huge as feminism. It did add to my female identification, the place I ended up blurring a really apparent line between feminity and masculinity.
Feedback like, now you actually are your guardian’s son turned too widespread among the many relations. I used to be additionally reminded of doomsday and the way ladies with quick hair can be punished in hell. For a young age like mine, this stuff have been lots to absorb. However nothing might come between my chosen type of individuality. I used to be a feminist with lengthy hair, in addition to with no matter hair I acquired over time.
Hair Wars and increasing horizons of feminism
One can’t pin down the hair wars which have prevailed over the centuries. Within the fifties and sixties, it did turn into a daring transfer to chop your hair like a ‘man.’ Western tradition developed its notions of female identification whereas increasing its horizons exponentially.
This enlargement additionally touched on the evolving idea of feminism, because it turned out to be. Gone have been the traditional days when lengthy, wholesome hair was an indication of fertile ladies who would bear the right offspring. Girls have been extra than simply ‘baby-making,’ machines or witches with ‘shingled,’ hair burnt on the stake.
In India, the standard lengthy, black hair, curls, and fringes have been typically experimented with within the older Bollywood scenes. Within the mid-2000s the layered cuts got here to the fore. In actual fact, if you’re indecisive about what you need at an Indian hair salon, you’d virtually at all times find yourself with a layered reduce.
This additionally jogs my memory of the a number of occasions that my hair stylists have felt ‘unhealthy,’ for having to chop such fairly hair. They’d typically inform me to not reduce them, or they might merely refuse to provide me the size I ask for, saying that it could be ‘too quick.’
I failed to understand society’s obsession with dictating the form of hair a girl desires to have. My mom typically tells me that now we have to observe these guidelines to dwell on this society. But when we have been simply anticipated to be the sheep in a herd, why have been we born with a considering thoughts that helps us make selections? A pixie continues to be seen as breaking away from sure norms.
Individuals will at all times learn it as an indication of rebel and bravado. To me, it’s simply a vital a part of my identification. I resonate with a pixie greater than another type – particularly whenever you begin to develop it out. The completely different ranges of progress typically frustrate me, however they at all times go away me with invaluable classes.
Cultivating my hair, choosing the proper hairstylist, feeling glad with my reflection within the mirror and being on the receiving finish of society’s senseless stereotypes – all are analogous to my experiences in life as a feminist. It’s a course of that by no means ends.