beauty

"Why everyone needs to stop freaking out about Kate Mara's short hair."

Image: Getty.

Kate Mara plays one of the leading roles in the new Fantastic Four reboot — a superhero called Susan Storm, no less — but somehow it’s her hair that has the world talking.

Back in June, the 32-year-old actress chopped her mid-length hair into a pixie cut. It looks great. We admired it. We moved on.

During a recent TV appearance promoting the movie, Mara said she was enjoying the convenience of short hair.

“I don’t have to wash it now. I don’t have to brush it. I love it,” she explained.

RELATED: 15 things all women with short hair are sick of hearing.

Really, that should be the end of this story: “woman cuts hair because she is free to do what she wants with it”.

However, because society evidently refuses to accept that women don’t always choose to wear their hair long, the House of Cards star’s new look is stirring up all sorts of ~controversy~.

During a particularly excruciating interview this week, a US radio host called Stephen J Rickman decided to interrogate Mara — incessantly — about the catastrophic decision to lop off her precious lady hair. Because surely a woman wouldn’t choose to do something like that, would she?!

“You’re way, way hot,” he told her. “Why’d you cut the hair? Your hair was beautiful.” (Post continues after gallery.)

“I’m sorry. I know you don’t like it. I can tell,” Mara responded, before sarcastically quipping, “This is a great interview.” (I imagine at this very moment Mara was wishing she had Susan Storm’s powers of invisibility.)

RELATED: The 11 stages of short hair acceptance.

Oblivious to the fact he was being an insufferable pest, Rickman continued. “You look great with short hair or long hair, but the long hair was excellent. So, did you cut your hair for this?”

“I cut my hair for a movie I just did,” Mara replied. When her interviewer repeated the question a third time for no apparent reason, she added, “They asked me to. I’m an actress. I have to be a chameleon.”

This face says it all.

Evidently, Stephen J Rickman is not the only human male who refuses to hold back his opinions about Kate Mara's hair — her own father is openly a non-fan.

"I got one sort of negative thing said to me. I text messaged my dad the other day saying 'I miss you' and his response was 'I miss your hair'... So thanks, dad!" she told TV host Kelly Ripa last night.

If you're a woman who's ever had short hair, you probably just rolled your eyes so far back in your head you can see your own brain. As a formerly short-haired woman — who is now sporting a fairly short bob after years of long hair — the response to Mara's pixie cut (and Jennifer Lawrence's haircut, and Rihanna's, and Willow Smith's) feels all too painfully familiar.

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RELATED: “Short hair, don’t care.” Jennifer Lopez goes into Phase Two of her short hair plan.

Though I've never been probed about my decision to have a short style on live television, I've endured my share of well-meaning yet tedious and entirely unnecessary commentary. Back in my short-haired high school days, guys would happily tell me they preferred long hair on a woman. I was constantly asked why I decided to cut my previously long hair (um... because I wanted to?), and when I eventually grew it back out, people would tell me how happy they were that I had done that.

Kahla after her big chop. Image supplied.

I've always wondered why people freak out so much when a woman cuts off her long hair. Is it because we can't move away from the idea that long hair = beauty and femininity? Is it because long hair is synonymous with youth, and therefore sexual allure? Is it because we think men aren't attracted to short hair?

Personally, I think Kate Mara's pixie cut is kick-arse and I'd be thrilled to see it stick around, but here's the thing: it's not my place to tell another woman what to do with her hair. It's nobody else's, either.

Related: "I made art with my vagina and ended up in hospital."

So please: if a woman you know cuts her hair, don't tell her she looked better before or encourage her to grow it back. Compliment her on it if you like the style; otherwise, please just talk about something else altogether.

Have you ever been judged for having short hair?

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