by Grace Gulley
Hair is a funny thing. It defines beauty for some. It has the power to transport a look to a whole other level. It can make you an overnight sensation (or at least in the case of celebrities). It is a security blanket of sorts for others. It can change a person; change how they feel about them self.
I never realized the power of hair, or to the extent of which all the previous statements are true, until earlier this week. I have spent years growing my hair. I equated long hair with beauty and femininity, as do the majority of people. I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘pretty’ girl, but I felt that my long hair brought me that much closer to the standard of beauty the fashion world has set for us. I let my hair become who I was.
And then when I had a major life obstacle thrown at me in the midst of a major life transition, everything became a tad too much to bear. I knew something had to change. My hair was four years of baggage and barriers. And right then, in the midst of my panic, I made a decision. It was time. By the end of the day, it was all gone. I had to look at myself in the mirror for the first time in years. There was no curly mess of hair to hide behind. I had to face me. So what did I do? I cried of course.
I greatly admire the ladies who are able to so bravely show the world their face. Audrey Hepburn, Jean Seberg, Mia Farrow, Louise Brooks, Twiggy and Edie to name a few. They boldly defied the long hair standard of beauty. And to this day, they are considered some of the most beautiful woman ever to have lived. They will forever remain fashion icons and role models.
Also, take a look at Emma Watson. We all know her as little Hermione, but it wasn’t until she chopped off all her hair that she started receiving a ton of attention. Or Natalie Portman’s sensation when she shaved her head for V is for Vendetta. We also have some gorgeous and sensationally courageous ladies right here on Chictopia! Manxcat wears an adorable tight, round cut with blunt bangs. Asterisque keeps her crop cut super close, very Seberg! JeanGriege wears her hair blonde and with heavy side-swept fringe. And ninepianos has the most charming pixie cut. And they all do it with their chins up high! All of them deserve admiration for their confidence.
By the time all the tears were gone, I felt lighter. The whole experience suddenly became very cathartic, and I felt revived and ready to move past the obstacles. More importantly than even this was the newfound confidence. There I was, staring back at myself from the mirror. There was no hair to hide behind, no more walls keeping me in. And suddenly I realized, I actually like what I see.
Our world of fashion isn’t about trying to mold us into one pretty shape. It’s celebrating beauty. And each of us—whether we have long hair, short hair, no hair or what have you—deserve to be celebrated for our own individualistic beauty.