It can be gloriously liberating parting with those long locks and opting for a short crop, especially when the heat rolls around.
There’s that moment of no return that is crossed when perched on your hairdresser’s throne, fielding awkward small talk whilst the scissors are brushing against your scalp, when you’re engulfed in a quick succession of thoughts of “what have I done”, “did I make a mistake?”, “welp, it’s too late now”, “I guess it’s happening” and “oh GOD I really hope this suits me”.
It was damn sweet relief at the cut’s conclusion when I anxiously peered into the mirror and didn’t have to express faux enthusiasm.
But what surprised me most was the excessive amount of unsolicited comments I received from friends and strangers alike.
Here are just some examples:
Why not? I urge you to come up with a list of other haircuts that anyone is asked to answer for as much as women with short hair. Did ten people ask you why you got a balayage? Or why you got a bob? Were your motives repeatedly questioned when you got blunt bangs? Didn't think so.
2) "It's part of a phase"
There are many ways in which this question presents itself, and they're all equally ridiculous:
"Are you going through an existential crisis?"
"Oh it's just a phase"
"Is this part of your feminist schtick?"
"It's just an experimental phase in your life"
"Is this a political statement?'
It might be surprising to hear that the length of my hair has not affected my ideological leanings, and that my feminism has not informed my hair's temperamental life.
3) "Were you broken up with?"
Sometimes we make conscious decisions to enact change as a reaction to an event, or as part of a desire to signal a new phase. But sometimes we make decisions pertaining to our appearance because we simply want to; no deeper psychoanalytical thoughts required.
4) "What about your boyfriend?"
My least favourite array of questions grinds my gears because they hinge on the partner's feelings, presumptively prioritising their opinion over your own bodily autonomy. If I had a dollar for every time I heard "what does your boyfriend think?", "don't you have a boyfriend though?", "is your boyfriend okay with it?", and "weren't you worried he'd find you less attractive?" I'd have enough cash to fund my emergency-mullet-prevention hair trims for all eternity.
5) Questioning your sexuality
My sexuality is not up for your speculation. It's incredulous how many people will spitefully call you a lesbian as though the word should be an insult, drawing irrelevant conclusions from your new ‘do. Here’s a little PSA: Ellen De Generes jokes and comparisons are entirely unoriginal.