why i shaved mi head
I've gotten asked this a lot lately. "So why'd you shave your head?"
Some asked with curiosity, some with admiration, and some with complete confusion. But they were all answered the same way. Why the fuck not?
WHY THE FUCK NOT?!
Cause seriously, what is so confusing and shocking about the fact that a girl shaved her head, why have so many people been unable to understand why I did it? Why is it so unfathomable that I might desire to be bald? Why do people look at me funny when I walk down the streets now? And I guess that in itself is why I did this - because when somebody tells me that I can't do something, or society puts expectations on me to act a certain way, I have to do the exact opposite. It's in my blood. I don't know what it is but I can't do what I'm told, I can't do what is expected of me by society just because I was born a girl, and I certainly can't play by the rules. I'm a rebel at heart and always will be. That is the essence of why I shaved my head I guess, and for a variety of other reasons.
Because my mum got diagnosed with cancer last year and it broke my heart to think of her losing her hair, and I knew it broke hers too. Because so many women and girls experience this - this fear - and not of the cancer itself, but of the mere thought of having to lose their hair. That is one of the things women say is the hardest part to go through, and maybe it plays such a huge part to cancer patients because our society doesn't actually show (or even accept) women with anything other than long luscious locks. So for all the women out there that have ever had to lose their hair due to cancer, or will ever lose their hair in the future - I did this for you. So maybe when you walk down the street and see a bald girl smiling and laughing, you won't be crippled by the fear of not having your own hair. I did this for all the women who see losing their hair as losing a part of themselves, because if I can do it, trust me you can too. I know as well that I am super lucky and blessed that I had the choice to do this, I wasn't in a position where I had to, where a sickness in my body forced this. But because I had this choice, I had to choose to do it. To stand with you, to stand next to you and tell you that it is okay, it is okay to not have your hair, it doesn't make you any less of a woman, not by a long shot baby. I will hold your hand instead and shave my hair with you and show you that your beauty is not defined by anything other than who you are, and your beauty is not reduced by the cancer inside you. Your beauty is yours, and yours alone and I hope every woman reading this remembers that, sick or not.
I shaved my head because for women, beauty is defined by some many things. How skinny we are, how perfect and glowy our skin is, how phat our ass is, and how long our hair is. Hair is such a defining factor when it comes to commercialised and socialised beauty. I remember the days of high school where every girl I knew was trying to grow their hair as long as they could, and you would hear comments of "OMG ur hair is soooo long" around every corner and at every party. Having long hair is an idea that is so highly idealised and romanticised that the idea of shaving your head is absurdity to most females. Long hair past your butt is put on a pedestal. You see it on the media everywhere, from movies, to commercials, to music videos. I can picture it now, the slow-motion turn and the flick of luscious hair over a shoulder as the leading lady casts a glance at the camera and the room of males around her swoon as she bats her eyelashes, staring up from the hair cascading over her shoulders and down her back. This idea that to be feminine, to be womanly, you have long hair. The fact that girls with short hair cuts are called "boy cuts" and the fact that I have had countless males tells me "I prefer girls with long hair" *cue puke*. Long hair has been intrinsically tied to the idea of beauty and femininity, it has become a goal for many. But why the fuck am I only feminine because I have long hair, why am I only pretty with long hair? Well I call bull shit. I call major bull shit and say that I can be just as feminine and I can be just as beautiful even when I'm bald.
I suppose it is because long hair can become an identity, it can become something that women hide behind, or use like a safety blanket. Women become known as 'the girl with long hair', we showcase it as an accessory, we wear it like a badge of honour. Long hair becomes utilised, it becomes leveraged. It becomes an identity that we have tied to our own idea of beauty because that is what society has told us. Because for years growing up girls are complimented on their hair, on the pure fact that they were able to grow their hair, and suddenly these repetitive compliments become tied to our sense of beauty. We see ourselves as beautiful only if we have the hair, we use it and flaunt it and it becomes our identity. Because it's easy to grow hair, and it's easy to use our hair as a crutch for our own beauty, and maybe it's even just scary to think of ourselves without it because for so long we were told that that was what was pretty about us. AND THAT IS EXACTLY WHY I SHAVED MY HEAD. Because fuck that. Because for fuck sake I am more than just my ability to grow hair on my head. Because there are so many other things we can compliment young women on. Because I don't what to be identified by my hair, I don't want to be complimented on, or critiqued for anything other than who I am - and I am more than just my hair. And I have definitely used my hair to my advantage in the past; I've had the butt length hair in year 12 (proceeded to then chop it to my shoulders which even then was seen as a bold move), I've dyed it colours to gain attention and to ultimately express myself, but even this expression linked my own identity to my hair. Because I was the wild girl that dyed her hair pink all the time and I liked to be known as that. Now I guess I'm known as the crazy girl who shaved it all off but I'm okay with that, I'm okay with creating a new identity for myself by destroying all others I've ever held and all expectations of what my identity as a woman should even be.
And lastly, I shaved my head because it was a shedding. A shedding of all the identities I have ever been, of all the layers and all the masks that I have ever placed on myself, or ever hidden behind. Because a long time ago I promised a certain someone that I would grow my hair out, but even longer ago I promised myself that one day I would shave it all off. So here I am, choosing the promise I made to myself. There is so much energy and identity that is stored within our hair, it takes up so much space in our lives from how much time we take curating it and looking after it, to how so often our immediate judgement of a person is based on how their hair looks. Now when I think of myself, when I think of my own beauty, I see a blank canvas. I see my own little floating face as the first thing that people see, and the only thing that people can judge me on. It is a reduction of myself to my purest form, to me, myself and I. Not tied to any other meanings, no hair to hide behind, no past lives attached to me anymore. I am literally as me as I can be. I am as naked and bare as I can be. I have removed anything that ties me back or ties me down, that ties me to who I was or who people saw me as, instead I am purely who I am becoming. It is a new phase in my life. A complete shedding and surrender and rebirth. I have stripped myself as bare as I can. I fucking shaved my head off for crying out loud, something that would give younger me an absolute aneurysm. It is the ability to now express myself through only myself. It is the fact that now, if I meet a man, and he falls in love with me, he'll be falling in love with me for me, not for how pretty society might deem me. They will love me exactly as I am, and for everything that I am to become, the phases that are ahead of me, rather than the phases of my past. Those phases are gone, they are literally gone, there is only growth from here on out, there is only the future. It is a representation of who I am, of the fact that I no longer give a shit anymore. The fact that yeh I'm gonna go through that awkward short and cute and fuzzy growing-it-out stage, but that's the stage I'm at in life right now! And if you used to know me, trust me when I say you don't know me now. Shaving my head has left me looking wild and wacky, I'll admit it, but I love it, because it means that those who stick around value me for the real me, not some socialised concept of who I am with a constant assessment and critique of my beauty, of my coolness value. No, there is none of that here. There is only pure human. And I am so here for it. I hope that makes sense and answers your silly why question.