The first time I saw a woman with a shaved head, I was surprised by how little I noticed her lack of hair. Rather, I was struck by how big her eyes were, how she held herself, and how bright her smile was. A few months after meeting her, I came home late from work (as usual) and decided to follow suit. I shaved of all my hair and I’ve never felt more beautiful.
I finally noticed my face. It was like I’d never seen it before. I didn’t realize how much room my hair took up and how much time I spent looking at it. My face was just there, plain and unadorned. I suddenly realized how long and slender my face was, how big my nose was in comparison to the rest of me, how set my lips were, and how cockeyed my smile was. My eyes were bright and big. Looking at my face all by itself, I decided I was a mixture of odd characteristics and I liked it.
I felt free to experiment with different styles. I’m the kind of girl who spends a lot of time in baggy jeans, t-shirts, and flip-flops. Not only was this ensemble practical for my daily activities but it garnered less attention. Men looked at me a lot when I was dressed up. Wary of the catcalls and attention, I dressed down as much as possible and without even realizing it, I started to hide behind my clothes. From the moment I picked up the razor to shave my head, I was saying to the world, “I don’t freakin’ care!” I wore whatever I wanted. More often than once, that meant I was in a dress or a two-inch heel. It didn’t matter anymore.
Weirdly enough, I felt more feminine than ever. I might have been lacking in one of the more “female” characteristics of long hair, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t still a woman. I had all the equipment. Not having hair cemented for me the fact that being a woman had very little to do with my hair or even my clothes. It’s about who I am physically as well as who I am as a person. Suddenly, I allowed myself to be stubborn, independent, silly, passionate, and foolhardy. I was still a woman.
It was nice not to have to spend so much time in front of the mirror every morning. Having no hair was so easy! I spent zero time getting ready in the morning, which meant that I spent less time worrying about how I looked and more time thinking about what I was doing and where I was going. I was surprisingly happier and it felt amazing.
My hair wasn’t there to get in the way anymore. When I wanted to play sports, there was no hair to tie up or worry about getting messed up. I could go from working out to work to a date with little else but a shower. This gave me more freedom to do what I enjoyed most, without worrying about how I would look doing it. This was an expression of femininity for me—doing what I loved without hindrance.
I wore brighter colors and began to love being seen. Because I had very little to do with my hair, I found myself lacking an outlet for expression. I found that expression in color. I wore bright red shoes, purple eyeliner, lipstick, earrings, or flashy jewelry. Whatever I felt like, I put on. I made up for my boredom with the infinite amount of accessories available to me. Women get to wear some pretty awesome stuff.
I cared less about what everyone else thought and more about what I thought. I’ve already said that shaving my head revealed my face to me. Because I liked what I saw, I started a regular beauty regimen. I used higher quality makeup, all natural lotion, and spent more time on my eyebrows (because they were ginormous). Liking me as I was meant caring for me as I was. I looked the best I could for myself and not for other people.
Suddenly, I had a world full of confidence. I stopped acting as if I owed the world anything at all. A shaved head made it impossible for me to hide and I no longer wanted to anyway. I would wear what I want, live according to the standards of my own conscience, and go for what made my heart beat faster. With no hair, I could stop apologizing. To be honest, I wish I’d tried it sooner.
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