I finally did it – I snipsnipsnipped my hair! All of my life I have had loooong hair (except for that one time in high school when I didn’t know how to style it so I looked like Christopher Columbus, but that’s youth for ya), and ever since I can remember I have wanted to cut it. When I was younger, I despised my curls. Too frizzy; too puffy; too damaged; too wild. I would look at girls with straight, jet-black or blonde hair and the ease with which they styled their hair and I wondered: whyyyy?!
With time, I have realized that I had, with open arms, accepted the perception that straight hair > curly hair. Their hair meant elegance and superiority; mine meant wildness and ghettofabulousness. No one ever laughs at the girl with the straight hair, but me, I’ve got “naps.” I’ve gotten so used to the jokes I make them myself. But in retrospect, hair texture does not distinguish the classy from the classless; your hair can be any type to act ratchet or civilized. I really do love the springs in my hair, and getting away without having to wash it for a day or two (or several, who am I kidding? I’m durrty).
I have also been sexually objectified because of my curly hair, from men who have a “thang” for it. I have curly hair; therefore I must be a freakitona. I’ve had random dudes sniff it at the club, touch it, even pull it. On a date, a fella looked at my hair and halfway through my sentence said “you must look so sexyyy in the morning!” (I guess my thoughts on religion were boring him, go figure). So, I would be a dud if my hair was straighter? Also, the length of my hair has been the topic at hand many times: don’t cut it!! The ladies of the salon were simply appalled that I would want to cut my hair. Who am I, Samson? Am I less riveting and insanely charming without hair down to my waist? Oh, puh-leaaaase.
It has taken me twenty-six years to get this haircut. And it’s not even that short. But as I looked at my reflection in the car windows on the walk home, I felt naked and alien. I couldn’t help but giggle to myself. I’m not sure if it was cause I finally freakin’ did it, or because I looked appalling. I was becoming afraid, that I had made a mistake. That I was ugly. But as I, for the first time ever, ran my fingers through my hair with ease and did my hair in less than twenty minutes, I reconsidered. I thought about it as I swayed my head from side to side and felt a sensation I had never known – lightness.
Whether my hair is short or straight or long or curly, I am not defined by my hair. It sounds silly to even say that, doesn’t it? That society has placed so much importance on hair and its length and texture, and that I would ever succumb to those silly notions. It is just hair. It will grow back or I’ll keep cutting it, whatever. I do what I want. I’m still crazy-ass Jackie!
In the meanwhile, I will take my sister Gigi’s advice: “Work it then twerk it!”