Thursday, September 3, 2009
It's not like your strength is in your hair, right?
"No, I believe it is in my biceps" (from Angel Season 3, Episode 14 "Couplet)
this is of course a reference to the Samson & Delilah story from the bible where she learns the secret of his power and strength is in his hair and cuts it all off.
It got me to thinking recently about women and their relationship to their own hair and it's associations to femininity (often the "power" of a female to get her way).
and then started to think of perceptions of hair and how it used used in culture:
Hair, power, punishment, and status
Of course I'm thinking about these things because I recently got all my hair chopped off. Luckily I THINK I'm one of those women who can "pull it off" to quote men's perceptions of women with short hair. I generally think that most men prefer women with long hair because it's feminine, they can play with it, smells associated with it, etc.
I started wondering, why do I CARE what men think? Is my vain need to feel desired and attractive really more important than expressing myself? I feel like short hair is like removal of a veil that we women tend to hide behind. It feels naked, raw, brave and bold. I feel stronger now with it gone. Hair is TIME but not only that it's a routine and sometimes expensive beauty regiment.
Often hair is cut in mourning like Yoko did with John (see that link above on hair power, punishment, etc). Since I am going through so many changes and shifts in my life right now, I've decided that I mourned the loss of a less effective and enlightened self and am now redefining me and getting rid routines and old traditions.
Flappers cut their hair in the 20's as a sign of freedom and sexual independence. And the fact that some religions and cultures STILL regulate what women can and can't do with their hair, makes me even more fiercely glad I have the freedom to assert control over my own appearance and sense of self.
The lady who empties the trash in our office told me she would love to cut her hair as short as mine but her husband won't let her (just another bonus to being SINGLE). Of course that brings up another cultural topic I don't want to veer into.
I'm not too worried about my appeal anymore... anyone who found me attractive before still seems to now. My strength isn't in my hair, it's in the character that has formed from life's challenges.