I remember going to see the movie Tangled when it first came out. Being an avid fairy-tale and Disney lover I was so excited when my step-mother and grandmother took me to see it in theaters. Everyone knows Rapunzel by her signature never-ending blonde locks—she is seen as a beautiful princess. There was a scene in the movie though where Eugene, the "prince" of the story, takes a jagged shard of glass and chops off all of Rapunzel's beautiful hair, leaving her with a short brunette chin-length bob. It was at this point in the movie where two thoughts entered my mind.
- Eugene should be a hair stylist because how did he just cut hair so perfectly with such a horrible styling tool and no previous training?
- Rapunzel's new haircut was a million times more attractive and bad-ass than her long hair.
My obsession with shorter haircuts was definitely enriched by the cinematic experience. When I was in middle school there were many times when I had expressed the idea with close friends and family members, I wanted to chop all my hair off and rock a pixie cut. Keep in mind at this point in time my hair had always been on the longer side ranging from all the way down to my butt to no shorter than my shoulders. Most people's reactions were less than positive or encouraging. Most responses fell along the lines of "but your long hair is so pretty" or "but boys like long hair better."
I spent three years of middle school with long hair that made me feel less than beautiful and confident. The everyday struggle of taming my wavy cowlick ridden hair was exhausting and frustrating. My hair almost always ended up in a signature low ponytail because I had given up trying to do anything else with it, or was used as a veil to cover my face when reading a book or avoiding social interaction.
Flash forward; it's the middle of my freshman year of high school. New school with all new people, a fresh start, and a new realization had just struck me, why do I care so much what other people think about my hair? If I like it and the people I surround myself with really care for me, wouldn't they support me and love me no matter how I looked? After some encouragement from my best friend, I decided I was done hiding behind my hair. I was done resenting a decision I had made about how I look based on what other people told me.
I didn't tell anyone what I was doing. I had my mom drive an eager younger me to a salon and I showed them a picture of the haircut I wanted, a longer pixie cut with side swept bangs. I swear that haircut was more scary and painful for the stylist than it was for me. I thought she might actually cry as she cut away all my long locks. When she had finished she spun me around to see and it was love at first sight. I had never been happier after a haircut ever. I could see every feature of my face in a new light, there wasn't anything left for me to hide behind.
I ran my fingers through virtually nothing and the biggest smile spread across my face. For the first time in forever, I felt truly beautiful and happy with how I looked. It's true how they say a new haircut can make a new person. I had never felt more confident than I did strolling into school the next day. The positive feedback that I got was overwhelming. I have never gotten as many compliments or as much attention as I did that day. The only regret I had was not doing it sooner. Of course there will always be a few Debby Downers, a few of the men in particular in my life didn't like the haircut, saying it was too masculine or how they missed my beautiful long hair, to which I would respond with a resounding, "Well I like it so that's what matters" and finish the sentence off with a smile.
I don't care if boys or anyone else will like me better because of a haircut I have. If my hair is what they are judging me on instead of getting to know me, why do I care what they think? At the end of the day, it's all about what makes me feel beautiful and confident. You have to be comfortable with yourself and listen to yourself.
You are beautiful and extraordinary. Go do you with confidence, a smile, and as much hair on your head as you want!