December 16, 2010

a tangle of mysterious prejudices

little me, age 8-ish

When I was young I had very long hair. To my ass long. 

It was the mainstay of my identity: I was the girl with the long red hair. (Also, the freckles.)

Sometime in my early 20s I cut it, and have been in an endlessly repeating cycle of cutting, growing, cutting, growing ever since. Ad fucking nauseum.  

Most recently I spent an entire year growing it out. Then I got a bug up my ass (because "a wild hair" would be too obvious here) and cut it all off. Again. I loved it for about a week. Now I'm growing it out. AGAIN. 

And the reason I want long hair at all? So I can wear it up.

I know. But there it is.

Me, on Berneray, Scotland 2010
 mouse over images for source

Hair brings one's self-image into focus; 
it is vanity's proving ground.  
Hair is terribly personal, 
a tangle of mysterious prejudices.  
~Shana Alexander
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life, in small chunks said...

I do the same thing - in fact amongst my friends I am known as the one who never has her hair the same way for more than a month. Right now my hair is short. I mean SHORT. Think Jamie Lee Curtis short. It's been this short for about 4 or 5 months now and I love it. Never have to blow dry! BUT, sometimes I still think "I wish I had my long hair again...". But in my heart I know my hair looks nothing like any of the photos above (I wish...), and like you, when it's long I can't stand it in my face, so I always wear it up. So - I feel your pain, girl.

Angela Michelle said...

Just had what little hair I had cut off!!! I loved long hair, it just does not look healthy when it gets that long. At least not since I have gotten older.
I was called the girl with the long red hair too!! AND FRECKLES!

Anonymous said...

O.M.G! i think you have just ignited an amazing kinda internal self identity mental battle. The "are we defined by our outsides ie; our hair- or not" !!!! personally i would go with yes for myself, im 39, & ive had long hair ALL my life (yes really!). obviously i had it short as a toddler as mom has control of the scissors, but around the age of 4 i remember requesting to grow my hair long -as thats what ballerinas did,& of course i was going to be one-I was learning at that time .when i went into high school at 12-13, i wanted to (gasp!!!) fit in so i went & got my hair cut from bum length to a sort of 80's layered pixi cut- (even bigger gasp!!)i cried for about 5 days!!!! i just wasnt me! i would have rathered lose an arm- & the weird thing was i chose to do this to me!!! so began the ordeal of growing it out. how excited do you get when you can pull a piece of hair out & down & go "look, it reaches my nose or my shoulers".I was also a rather 'late bloomer' my boobs didnt really arrive till 17 & so did another lot of hormones that made my hair go CURLY! yep!- curly & ive got rather already thick hair so it was wirey! I'd just gotten myself back & there i was changing again! so i decided to grow out the layered bangs & go for all one length- no fringe, do you know how long curly hair takes to grow? crap! its a long time!!! so all of late high school and early 20's (about 4 years!) i spent try to get my hair to how i wanted it-& i became know a "the girl with the long curly hair" it was another strange experience cause people really wana touch ur curly hair! - and they do! completely igoring how either comfortable or uncomfortable you are with it! they like to pull the curls out like a spring & let them go some even make the "boinggg" noise when they do it!??? so this went on all thru my 20's & 30's(AARRGGGHH) till one day at 38 i just woke one & went "im sick of this girl i see in the mirror" & out came the scissors- now i'm not a huge risk taker & just the hint of scissors anywhere near my hair makes my tummy funny so my hair went from being all one length to a few layers & i have bangs again- i was really happy with it at first - but my now more grown up -adult hair wasnt so curly just wavy ( my surge of hormones had died off)& heaps of the volume had gone the thing that was hard to get used to was the lack of attention from people- i didnt use it so much to fuel my ego as i took it as a form of acceptance! weird! and a bit sad! so im at the point of fighting with myself everyday not to trim my fringe as it hangs in my eyes- im trying to grow it out you know- im gona have my hair all one length!!!!! so i get what you mean ,if you have something a bit different- ie; red hair/ or curls you stand out & i think its a way of others identifying you- so then we/you do the same- i wonder how people would react to you if you were blonde & then how you would react to their reactions- its an amazing mind fuck!! in a good way! as for me my hair is definately a huge part of me & my identity & it will be long till the day i leave the planet, but the battle of my bangs continues, i guess taking the scisssors to it makes me feel like i still have some control over this thick wavy mind of its own mess- to cut or not to cut, that is the question! jodi.x

Marsha said...

There was a woman on the plane back to LR today who had beautiful red hair....obviously out of a bottle, but yummy nonetheless. It set me to thinking again about my decision to go au natural. Maybe, just maybe a bit of red would be good...something like strawberry blonde. Any thoughts. (BTW, I recognized the red-haired beauty in front of the hostel.)


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