Caitlin on Hair

27 May, 2011

This post will be a bit different from previous ones. I just wanted to “talk” for a moment about what has been on my mind, or rather, what has been above my mind, that is my hair. For the last two days I have been of the opinion that my hair seriously sucks. I had been letting it grow out and it was getting to the start of a good length when M and I fell into the Pit of Despair (martial issues). Fool that I am, I thought that getting my hair cut the way M liked would help the marriage. It would show I was willing to compromise and to see her point of view. We all know how that turned out.

So, I am back on the task of growing it out, but I am starting all over again. So now I am Caitlin and I have this hair that is too short to be long and too long to be short. So, I was asking myself: Self, why do you feel your hair length is such a negative. There are women aplenty who have short hair, some shorter than yours. Why is this such a big deal? Because, I reply, hair length is one of society’s great litmus tests for femininity and true womanhood (second only to breast size). The longer a woman’s hair the more feminine or girlish she is. Don’t buy it? Let’s look at the facts.

  1. The narcissistic primate, that is typical human, notices hair before facial features. (S)he also notices the hairline and associated problems with its placement before facial features.
  2. Hair related activities take up almost half the amount of morning prep time. From shampooing to conditioner to hair gel and hairspray to curling to blow drying to straightening to teasing and lord knows what else.
  3. Today, in the course of eight hours, I heard three distinct conversations about hair and dissatisfaction with it; none of these conversations involved the same participants twice and none had a positive tone.
  4. If you have curly hair you need to straighten it. If you have straight hair you need to introduce waves, and curls.
  5. You can’t go thirty minutes without hearing/seeing an advertisement for hair-related products and services or referencing some great hair disaster.
  6. Society considers women with short hair as more assertive, annoying, and irreverent–traits typically thought of as male; they are, also, more likely to speak their minds, making their opinions known. Women with longer hair are considered thoughtful, kind, and soft but also naive, coquettish, and emotional typhoons.

Still doubt my statement’s veracity? Try shaving your head ala Sinead O’Connor and see how long it is before people begin looking at you with concern for your mental and physical health.

These ideas are a bit dated and, of course, painted with a broad brush but enough commonality exists in people’s experiences that this broad stroke puts us on the same page. And that page is right in the middle of society’s expectation that a “real” woman has mid-length to long hair. And thus, my statement, my hair currently, seriously, societal-expectationally sucks.

:: . . . sigh . . . ::

I am so over this patience thing. Too bad I have another two years of puberty to go.

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