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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
Thinky thoughts about me and my hair 
2nd-Nov-2009 01:05 pm
Hearth
Because now I'm preoccupied and won't be able to focus on other stuff til I type this up.


Hi, I'm 'song, and this is my hair. This is the most recent pic of my hair, and is what it looks like most days. Sometimes it is curlier.

My Hair and Childhood
I grew up with long blonde hair that I loved. Then my mother had it all cut off. Full-on Dorothy Hamill cut. That was the same summer I got (big clunky) glasses, and also the summer that a lot of other childhood stuff went south. That was the first big hit to my self-esteem, and also very much a loss of control. For the first time, my physical self did not match what I looked like to myself. Very jarring.

To this day, my mother bugs me about my hair and how much better I look with short hair. Short hair is my mother's ideal of me.

My Hair and my Adolescence
I grew it back as soon as I could.

Here's something some of you may never have thought of: long hair can be used against you. In a fight, I mean. When you're trying to get away from the Bad Boyfriend. That hair is another thing to grab you by and control you with.

I'm just saying.

I cut my hair off again in high school.

My Hair and my Early Twenties
I grew it back as soon as I could.

Why, given all that? Because I love it long. Because the me in my head has long hair.

Because no one else should get to decide things about my body, and I should not have to look a way I don't want to look in order to defend myself better against a hypothetical attacker. Any more than I should stop walking home at night or stop wearing jeans that my ass looks good in or stop talking to strangers.

My Hair as an Act of Defiance
I will not look like my mother wants me to look; I will look how I want to look.
I will not structure my life around theoretical and futile "prevention" measures.
I will not let things that happened decades ago control me.
I will embrace my hair, even if it gets stuck under my purse strap and takes four hours to dry.
Because I love my hair long, and it is one of my favorite parts of me.

I have not cut my hair short since Elayna was an infant.

My Hair and my Boundaries
You probably do not get to touch my hair, and you need to be okay with that. Like I said in my earlier post, I'm not okay with people I'm not intimate with touching my hair. Partly because being surprised by anyone unexpectedly touching me in any way can be unpleasant. Partly because some ways in which people touch my hair can be erotic, and I'd really rather not get turned on in the coffeehouse, thanks.

Partly because it's my body and these are my boundaries and that's that. And if you think you have a right to get all grabbyhands on any part of a person that you find attractive, whether that's okay with the person or not - we've got a problem, y0.

My Hair and my Religion
Many conservative and Orthodox Jewish women cover their hair. I don't; I'm not that religious. Were I to call myself anything on the Jewish spectrum, I'd be reform.

But as someone who lives very publicly and feels the need to mark boundaries, the need to say "Yes, world, you have most of me, but this part I reserve" - there is something that appeals to me in my hair being reserved for my husband and others with whom I am intimate. Not even just sexually intimate. Emotionally intimate. Not just partners; very close friends. No, I don't cover it. I dye streaks of red into it, I let it flow, I show it off. But the touching is reserved.

So that is a little about me and my hair.
Comments 
2nd-Nov-2009 06:31 pm (UTC)
Like I said that one night, you have beautiful hair. Thank you for sharing your hair with the world, and thank you for sharing this.
2nd-Nov-2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Like I said that one night, you have beautiful hair.

So do you. :)
2nd-Nov-2009 06:46 pm (UTC) - Don't take this the wrong way...
Your hair is as much to watch as you walking away.

It has a life of it's own and color shines through in the darkest rooms.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Nov-2009 06:54 pm (UTC) - Curse of the 80s
I also have long hair because of Dorothy Hamill and clunky glasses. I was 5.
3rd-Nov-2009 04:14 am (UTC) - Re: Curse of the 80s
You know, I bet there's a support group out there for that.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:03 pm (UTC)
This.

Also, it infuriates me that people think its "cute" to tug on your ponytail/braid. Even when informed that one has a severe neck injury and that "playful" pull FUCKING HURTS.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:18 pm (UTC)
This happened to me in the local Quiznos. A complete stranger tugged on my ponytail while I was ordering at the counter. I thought it was one of the friends I was with, but they were already sitting at a table.

I turned around and found a middle-aged lady looking up at me and smiling. I asked "Do I know you?" She replied "I don't think so."

My friends were staring at me like they couldn't believe it happened. Even the girl working the counter had a 'WTF?' look on her face.

That and one other incident at the same place has made "The Quiznos of Surreal Experience" a place to avoid.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:11 pm (UTC)
Long hair is cool. I enjoy having it, and the world's opinion can go hang...

And yes, hair is personal space and it really annoys me when people cross that boundary.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:26 pm (UTC)
I think your hair is lovely long.

I've never understood people touching hair without permission, or thinking of hair as - what? - publically accessible? I would be as likely to do that as reach out and honk a breast uninvited.

But, of course, some people have no problem with that.
2nd-Nov-2009 08:49 pm (UTC)
I did get in the habit of playing with hair when I worked in a day care center, largely because of the many, many smalls who would plop themselves on my lap and say, "Miss Jenny, can you play / braid my hair?"

Fortunately for helping me break the habit, not many adults sit in my lap!
2nd-Nov-2009 07:39 pm (UTC)
I read this whole thing.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
As did I.
2nd-Nov-2009 07:47 pm (UTC)
This is a great post.
2nd-Nov-2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
My long hair was used as a tool to discipline me when I was a teenager. I cut it off. I didn't start growing it back until I had been living independently for a while. Then I grew it longer than I wanted it, just because I could.
2nd-Nov-2009 08:19 pm (UTC)
I can't imagine not ASKING someone if its ok to do something like that. And by all means, if they say "no, I'd rather you didn't touch my hair", I would totally understand.
2nd-Nov-2009 08:28 pm (UTC)
Yes.

It drives me insane when people try to tell me how I should cut my hair- coworkers, parents, anyone. It is my hair. I don't want to look like someone else's idealized image of me. I want to look like how I see myself at that point in time (and with me it changes, I'm changing as the years go by). If they can't accept my hair, well they can't really accept me.

Oh and the list of people who get to touch my hair- much, much shorter now that I have short hair (between chin and jaw bone length throughout the year). Because touching my hair likely means touching my face or neck. And no. That's NOT okay for most people unless I let you know it is (especially my neck). When my hair was longer I gave permission to more people since they could touch my hair without touching my body proper, but not now. And if my hair was longer again I probably wouldn't go back to being so open about it.
(Deleted comment)
2nd-Nov-2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
My mother used to give me a 'bowl' cut as a kid, that plus clunky glasses and dorky clothes.

I wear my hair down to my waist now, haven't cut in...years, so long that I cannot even remember. I wear black jeans or sweats and t-shits that are frankly, off the wall.

I *get* long hair as a form of defiance, as being a central part of one's self-image.

I can dig also not wanting people to mess with it... it's like being a cat, and your hair is your tail...touch it and die!
2nd-Nov-2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
I have my hair long because my mom used to threaten to cut it if I misbehaved.

There is more to this that I'll tell you elsewhere; it's triggery.
2nd-Nov-2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
My mom used to do that when I was little. Then the summer before fourth grade I told the hair dresser to give me a super short hair cut- and she did. (And I mean super short, like almost a crew cut. It was very punk- I would go around with my short hair and one long pink feather earring.) Mom was angry, but she couldn't put my hair back AND she couldn't threaten me anymore with my hair.

I've had other triggery hair things which also make me very defiant about me having 100% say over my hair length and style (my husband gets no say in it, it is just one of those things- and he accepts that).

But, yeah, the hair threat from my mom was a big thing for years.

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