How Cutting My Hair Helped Me Find Myself
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Politics and Activism

How Cutting My Hair Helped Me Find Myself

These photos are worth more than a thousand words.

How Cutting My Hair Helped Me Find Myself
Author's photo

The photo on the left was taken in October 2016, for a high school senior picture. The photo on the right, January 2018. In both photographs, I am wearing the exact same shirt. But so much has changed for me in a little over a year. Though I appear so much happier on the left, I am so much more myself in the photo on the right. Over the past year, I have learned so much about myself, and I want to tell you the story of how I got to where I am today.

Growing up, I never followed gender norms. Luckily, my parents were never very strict, and I could get as many Legos, stuffed snakes and baseball gear as I wanted. I think that, for the most part, I was deemed to just be “going through a phase” and people thought that I’d eventually come out of this tomboy stage in my life. But I hit puberty, and the opposite happened. This phase turned into a deep longing for anything other than what was stereotypically female. I hated my new body, and more so everything that went with being a teenage girl. Makeup, long hair, and dresses were things to be feared. I resented bras, skirts, and even dress flats.

Throughout middle school, I recognized my discomfort but I never did anything about it. I would always wear dresses to school events, and force myself to dress overly feminine to compensate for my perceived lack of femininity. But when I got into high school, I stopped this act. I no longer wore dresses to events, and made the executive decision to wear khakis, a blazer and this blue collared shirt when dressing up was necessary. Yet I still covered up my true feelings about my body and my own femininity, turning into what I thought was a proper Barbie doll compared to how I normally dressed, for senior prom.

The week after senior prom, my school had a hair drive, which I had pledged to do about six months prior. I knew that I wanted to cut my hair, but was expecting to keep it shoulder length, at least until it grew back. After I went home that night, however, I finally decided to cut it off. It was an impulse, but it was what I had wanted for so long. I wanted to finally feel at peace with my own body and see a face in the mirror that I recognized. Cutting my hair was one of the greatest moments in my life so far.

It’s crazy to think that I cut my hair off almost a year ago now. Over the past year, short hair has taught me so much about being myself, and not caring what other people think. There are so many assumptions that come with having short hair, but none of them phase me anymore. Of course, my college's welcoming atmosphere definitely helps with this. But I am finally comfortable enough to say that I feel as much myself as I ever have. I no longer feel trapped, and I know that my mannerisms, what I choose to wear, and my actions do not define me as a person. I have never fit the stereotypical gender mold, and I don’t intend on changing this anytime soon.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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