By Bridget Brown.
At least once a week, a man tells me that men don’t like short hair.
Until recently, I had long, long hair.
Well, I did and I didn’t. I used to be a news reporter; like virtually everyone else on television, I had medium-length hair which I augmented with extensions made out of someone else’s long, long hair.
Then I quit my job. For the first time in 15 years, I didn’t have to ask for permission to get a haircut, so I chopped it all off. Oh, and I bleached it — from very dark to bright white. This was against the advice of everyone I had asked, all of whom told me to start with something less drastic to make sure I didn’t freak out. (Watch: Our favourite short hair inspiration. Post continues after video.)
This cautionary caveat was almost always immediately followed by, “What is your husband going to think?”
After surveying my surroundings to determine that, no, I didn’t quit my job and also take a time machine back to colonial times, it occurred to me that getting rid of all my hair wasn’t going to be something I could do without comment.
Nearly every day since I’ve cut it, people talk about it. It is a wholly unexpected phenomenon that has taught me a couple of things about the role of my hair in my life — and, apparently, the role of my hair in other’s people’s lives.
Here’s what I’ve learned:
1. A shocking number of seemingly “normal” men think their opinions on women’s hair matters.
At least once a week, a man tells me that men don’t like short hair. Sometimes this is phrased in a lovely, backhanded way: “Normally I don’t like women with short hair, but you look good.” Sometimes it’s straightforwardly insulting: “You would be so pretty… with longer hair.”
Hey, man, I get it. The heart wants what it wants. I’m not offended if short-haired bitches just don’t do it for you. In fact, it probably makes a lot of sense, given the whole long-hair-fertility-youth link society advertising perpetuates.
What does bother me is the sheer number of strange men who think it’s their God-given duty to inform me that cutting my hair was a huge mistake, because now, they personally could never find me attractive.