Growing up as a girl, it was hard to detach from the message that we are defined by our looks. Guys want a skinny girl with long hair that wears the right amount of make up, not too much of course, but you have to wear some because it is lazy not to. I had to look a certain way to attract a man and heaven forbid I cut my long hair, or guys would no longer turn and stare.
For awhile, my long hair became my identity. I was the girl with long blonde hair, and without my long hair, I was nothing. I thought I would only be beautiful if I had long hair. When I started thinking about cutting it, I asked my boyfriend at the time what he thought, and he said I would still be pretty with it short, but he liked it long and did not think I should cut it. For some reason- that stuck. My mom used to tell me that guys would turn their heads for her friend when she had long hair, but that when she cut it, she no longer turned heads. I received so many compliments that I thought would go away if I cut it, so I didn't.
My hair ended up getting super oily and thin on top and dry and brittle on the bottom. I tried new hair products and I washed it every night, but nothing seemed to work. Finally I decided to cut it like I had wanted to do for the past three years, and when I did, I felt a burden lifted off my shoulder. It was my hair, and I was doing what I thought was best for it and not what everyone else thought was best. I did a medium length at first, and then upon realizing how much I loved having it short ,went back and got it cut even shorter.
It took me a long time to realize that I don't care about guys turning their heads for me because I want the guy that is going to look at more than the outside. I also don't care what some long ago ex-boyfriend thinks about my hair because his opinions should have never gotten in the way of my happiness, and cutting my hair has made me happy. I love the way it looks and feels now. It is so much healthier and so much easier to take care of. Hair, and more importantly physical features, should not define anyone, and it may be hard to remember that with so many advertisements telling women otherwise, but we are smart, funny and talented, and no one should tell us differently.