Is this taking it a bit far? I don’t know. I am not sure any more. The above quote is from an article in Salon “Are short-haired women less attractive?” by Mary Elizabeth Williams. I have had awesome short hair for the past 3 years and I really loved it. I never thought I could pull off this look. It was pixie short. It wasn’t by choice, but I am glad what happened led me to chopping off my locks. I felt super confident with my short hair. The way I carried myself was different. I appeared stronger and because of the cool and bold image, it somewhat unleashed the bitchiness within me. It really is fascinating how your appearance can alter your attitude and your perception of yourself.
Though with this new look, it did come with some problems. I was (and still am) single and with this pixie cut, I was not deemed to be desirable by most men because I did not appear to be feminine or girly. The guy’s approach rated dropped significantly. And not just the guys, even the ladies talked to me less. I am not sure why short hair means unfriendly. I got split opinions from my friends where most, if not all the girls, said they loved my new short hair and that I looked really good in it. In their words, I was “rocking it”. Coupled up guys said I looked great with short hair as it brought out my features more and I should keep it short. Compliments that I have gotten from these two groups of people were things that were never mentioned when I had long hair: sophisticated, flattering, sexy, bold, refreshing, cool. Then came the single guy friends, who every single one of them said I should grow out my hair again. And soon.
I was torn. Me loving my short hair but it appears that I would never be able to get a boy friend, let alone score a proper date with this look. Why is it that we are all brought up to believe that girls with long hair are more desired by men? Feminine and sexy women are ‘supposed’ to have silky smooth long hair. Our culture seems to think that women who chop off their hair are either mentally unstable (remember the whole fuss about Britney and Miley not long ago), being a rebel and going against the norm and/or is a lesbian. I was asked by one of my friends if I have turned the ‘other way’. REALLY?
Why is it always almost negative reactions, that if a woman cuts her hair, it means that she is going through a bad experience and that she needs a ‘change’ to get her mind off of things and need a fresh start? Seriously, not all of us are trying to pull a Britney (okay, yes she was undergoing a tremendous amount of stress, I will give you that). Going short does not always (if ever) equal to crying out for help and attention. Look at Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway and Charliez Theron – they are all amazing and successful women who willingly cut their hair/shaved their heads for the love of what they do. When guys have long hair, suddenly the adjectives people use to describe women with short hair such as cool, rebel, rocker and so on all get a positive spin to them. Granted there are also some negative stereotypes such as drug addicts and wanderers associated with these long hair guys, but you would never say that the guy turned gay or is girlie.
You have an article here that tells the story of how this woman who works in fashion always wanted to have short hair and she finally got the pixie and she felt so liberated doing it. She loved it but the cut cost her her relationship. Her boy friend broke it off because he was less attracted to her. She seemed too boyish.
Then you have studies showing that short haired women are taken more seriously than those with long hair. Maybe is all about context. In a professional situation/environment, women with short hair are viewed as more competent, intelligent and professional – hair style is just a detail. Appearance as we all know can matter for first impressions and hair style is part of that impression. Nonetheless it is just part of the overall package. In the case of dating and our love lives, in this context, it is not very welcoming to women with short hair.
I hate to admit it, but I have decided to grow out my hair out. As much as I loved my short hair, I can’t beat the stereotypes out there and at the end of the day, I guess no one can ever have it all.