Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's Time to Bare ALL

Black on black....
What a week I had last week! Monday was pretty laid back.  We didn't work, which was good since I didn't get home from a trip to New York State until 11 the night before.  So I hung out with my husband and helped him with the project his boss had him working on - painting a 20 foot trailer.

It was a good day; I've always liked working with my husband.

However, it will probably be the last Monday I'll have free in a while, as work seems to be picking up.  At least, that's what we're being told at the moment.  I've seen things change pretty quickly before.  Like the day the daily minutes declared that we seemed to be approaching our busy season...and it wasn't long after that we were having our Monday's "blackened".  We've worked a few on and off the past few weeks, but this approaching Monday will see all departments back to work.  While I hope it lasts, I could do without the 9 and 1/2 hour days!  It's a killer on the feet!  And the hands...and the back...You get the idea.

Wednesday, I had finally had enough of the pain in my foot that Advil won't even touch, and I stopped by a local Wine and Spirits shop and picked up a bottle of my beloved Red Cat wine.  But before I indulged in a glass, hoping to dull the pain, I decided I had had enough with my hair.

Three summers ago, my husband (this was pre-marriage actually) got tired of my complaining about my long hair.  It used to be past my shoulders, although I've now forgotten how long it was that first time.  He asked me if I really wanted to follow through with my threats to just shave it all off.  With his electric razor in his hand.  I hemmed and hawed...and he very subtly dared me to do it by suggesting I was a coward.

This is a beautiful woman...
And why wouldn't I be afraid to?  After all, a woman is meant to have long hair right? The bible says so.  And I have family members who very devotedly follow those verses - while ignoring Apostle Paul's clause at the end saying that neither he nor the church has any such custom/requirement.  I knew that I would be judged, from every corner of my existence.  Except maybe from my husband.  And since I don't like being called a chicken any more than Marty McFly, I let him take my hair off.  Almost to the scalp.

I can't begin to describe what a liberating event that was, and continues to be since I have done it every summer since.  I learned just how vain I was and am.  I'll be honest - I look really goofy with no hair.  But I love it.

For some reason, "Because I want to." is never a good enough explanation for people. I'm not sure why.  Why do I need a detailed list of the reasons why I do this?  Why isn't my desire to do so enough?

True, I have a list:
  • I like how it feels.  My head feels so light and the cool spring air feels absolutely delicious against my almost bare skin.  I do have to take care that I don't burn, so I tend to keep it covered when I'm outside, or at work (work is a lot colder than the outside)
  • I save time.  Both when showering and afterwards.  I can wash what little hair I have in a jiffy.  And I don't have to style it.  Not that I ever style it for work, but when I go out I would try to make sure the back curled just so and the sides were resting just so.
  • I save money.  I buy one bottle of shampoo a year.  I only started using conditioner again this past winter after I colored my hair and thought it felt dry.  Should I continue conditioning after I get some growth back, it'll probably just be a bottle a year for that as well.
  • It's a lot easier to wet my head in the summer than if I had more hair.  Just a quick splash and I'm so much cooler.
  • I like how it feels when my husband runs his hand over my head.  Granted, I just like his touch in general, and it makes no difference whether I have hair or not.  But it's still one of my reasons.
  • It's also easier to wear a hair net and hard hat at work.  No strands of hair falling out, a hard hat that fits better.
But "Because I want to" ought to be a good enough reason.

I've been thinking about this on and off all weekend.  In fact, my husband and I discussed it on Saturday as we were out and about.  And I'm going to be honest.  All the flack I've gotten in the past is worth this feeling.  I haven't gotten too much this year, as it's no longer shocking to people.  Many people have accepted it's that time of year and Robin's going to shave her head.  What they say behind my back is between them and their conscience.

I am lucky to have a husband who cares more about who I am as a person than what I look like physically.  Apparently he's had a few conversations himself with others over my hair, and has defended my choice.  It makes me happy, he says, and that makes him happy.  Many women are not so lucky.  Men who want their women to 'look like women' regardless over their own desire to buzz their hair off (I wonder what happens should those women lose their hair due to age or illness??).  It is just hair, and it will grow back.

This distresses me to a degree, because as the girl I overheard in Walmart said, deep in conversation with her friend over a comment regarding how she wore her hair on recent occasion: "It's my hair, I'll wear it how I want."  I have nothing against a woman looking nice, having long hair and so forth, if it's something she wants.  I like looking nice, but I prefer being comfortable.  Every woman should be able to wear their hair as they like.

And I think I still look feminine, regardless of my hairstyle. Those who mistake me for a man are seeing through eyes jaded with cultural mores.  Or rather outdated customs as our society is ever evolving and struggling into a more equal society.  If a man can have long hair, why can't a woman have short hair - or no hair - if that is her choice.  It's not about gender or sexual identity, it's about choice and what their preference is.

Granted, I don't pull off the look as well as Sinead O'Conner ever did, but I can live with that.  I still look like me, and more to the point - no matter what I look like, I'm still the same person.  Cute, adorable, and lovable.  Smart, sassy, and independent.

My hair doesn't define me any more than my weight does.

2014 ~ Liberation

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