The last time I had a substantial haircut was right before starting sixth grade, and even then, it was still slightly long. That was nearly eight years ago, and until recently, I had kept it extremely long. If I am being honest, my long hair became a part of my identity. I considered it one of my defining physical features and it was, but my hair held more importance to me than any physical feature should.
Over the years, I have considered and come very close to cutting it, but several things always held me back. I recently got up the courage (and the support from friends) to cut my hair. I ended up getting 12 inches off, and it was the shortest my hair had been in a very long time. Cutting my hair opened my eyes to several personal shortcomings and bad habits.
Before cutting it, my hair had become an important part of who I was. People knew me by my hair, and I liked that. I liked that people commented on it. I liked that people would stop me randomly to tell me how beautiful it was. It was something that I could count on and through their comments, I found some form of acceptance or favor. People’s opinions were part of the reason I always hesitated to cut my hair. So many people loved it and I feared, however irrationally, that I would fall out of favor with them if I cut it. My hair became a part of my identity.
I also used my long hair to cover up physical imperfections rather than deal with my insecurities. If I had a bad break-out, at least my hair was pretty. If my outfit did not look good, I felt I had my hair to make up for it. Instead of realizing that I struggled with self-esteem and cared too much about outward appearance, I used my hair to hide that insecurity. This was another reason why I always backed out of cutting it. I worried about how it would look and feared what it would be like to not have that safety net.
This probably all sounds cheesy, but something as small as cutting my hair has made me realize how much emphasis I put on the smallest outward characteristics. I should not worry about what others think of me or whether they like how I look or not. If God is at the center of my life and I look to him for self-worth, people’s opinions and my outward imperfections should not matter.Of course, I would like to say that I have learned my lesson and will recognize my insecurities and my tendency to look to others for approval and will now look to God, but I know myself too well to say that. I am a work in progress, but through support from others and working of God in me and my life, hopefully, someday I will get to a point where all my self-worth is found in God. Sometimes something as little as cutting your hair is what is needed to give you a different outlook on your situation and habits.