A short eulogy to my hair:
Since the sixth grade, I allowed you to grow uninhibited. Since I was an awkward prepubescent, you have grown alongside me. You came to play such a large role in how I perceived and identified myself and although I appreciate you always being there for me – I also know that it was time to move on. I loved you very much, but am also not sad that I killed you.
I asked my twin sister to deliberately keep her hair short when we were growing up so others would have a clear way to differentiate us (sorry again about that, Laur).
‘The One with Long Hair’ quickly became my identifier, and my source of self-assurance. My hair grew remarkably long, disgustingly long. So long that I was a few inches short of being one of those gross people who can sit on their hair. There is a unique connection for many women between hair and self-image. Long hair is empowering. It inspires a desirability and femininity that short hair does not. Short hair is not often associated with sex-appeal.
I didn’t cry or feel sad when I held the ponytail in my hand that used to be on my head. I felt inexorable. Maybe this is extremely pathetic, but chopping off that ponytail was actually one of the most terrifying and liberating things I have ever done.
It was so empowering to cut it off, and I have a newfound sense of confidence, and blah blah blah – but I’ll probably grow it out again. When I do though, I will know that I am not reliant upon the length of my hair for the magnitude of my self-confidence. I just think long hair is hot.
(Later in the week I will send in these twelve inches or so to Locks of Love in the hopes that it will be used to empower a woman who has faced challenges exponentially greater than my adolescent self ever had to suffer through.)