Bangs, fringe, breakage — whatever you call it, it'll fit in some butterfly clips.
According to more than one source, my hair intimidates guys.
It’s funny because I’m probably the least intimidating girl in the world. I automatically assume that everyone is way more badass than I am. I’m definitely not that girl at the bar who looks unapproachable in the coolest way possible, staring into the distance with a bored look in her eye.
So when I cut my hair last year, I didn’t expect other people to start thinking that way about me.
I’m friendly and bubbly, and I’ll give anyone the time of day. But ever since I changed up my look, people who don’t know me so well think that I’m that girl in the leather jacket and combat boots who looks like she kicks ass.
And I kind of like it that way.
I studied abroad in London last year, and while I was there, I decided to switch things up a bit. It was something I’d always wanted to try but didn’t have the guts to do it at school in America, where I was surrounded by hundreds of sorority girls with long, blonde hair. As soon as I landed in England, I took the leap and just cut my hair off.
My new look is modern and kind of edgy and matches my style, which consists of mostly neutral colors and leather. Plus, it transformed my look. The cut frames my face in a totally new and flattering way. Pre-London me and post-London me are very different-looking girls.
I was hanging out with a guy friend recently, and we were chatting about how weird it is to look at old pictures from when my hair was long. It occurred to me to ask him how he felt about my short cut.
It’s never been a worry of mine if guys like my short hair or not; I had a boyfriend when I chopped it all off who didn’t even blink when I told him I was getting a pixie. It was a non-issue. But when I asked this guy, I got a surprising answer.
“Short hair on a girl is intimidating.”
Huh. A haircut can intimidate a guy. Apparently, short hair is a man’s territory. Men traditionally keep their hair neat and cropped while women, especially young women, have taken pride in their long, beautiful hair. Talk about gender norms.
This guy wasn’t trying to insult me. He was simply explaining that when a girl has the confidence to break out of what we’re all used to, it can be threatening. Short hair has become synonymous with masculinity, and by cutting my hair off, I’m telling the world I have the same kind of confidence men claim. And as we all know, college guys aren’t always sure of how to deal with a confident woman.
Since this startling discovery, I’ve asked around, and a quite a few friends have agreed – short hair on a girl can be intimidating. Even girls have told me this. They’d be too nervous to cut their hair even if they wanted to, and they think girls with short hair must have more self-confidence than them. I wouldn't say that’s true in my case; I have my share of insecurities, but I also don’t care if people like or dislike my haircut.
But I guess this gives me a tool to weed out the boys from the men. If you can handle my hair, maybe you can handle me. Little do guys know that it took a trip to a different continent to give me the drive to finally cut my hair. I haven’t always looked like this and, if anything, I look way cooler than I feel. My hair isn’t who I am; it’s an expression of how I want to be seen.
If a guy has the confidence to come up to me at the bar when I’m sitting there with a beer in my hand and a uninterested expression on my face (probably because I’m daydreaming about mac and cheese, not because I’m some hip rocker chick with a million other people I’d rather be talking to), he’s probably worth at least a couple minutes of my time.
And maybe this goes to show that women shouldn’t be so afraid to go for a short cut if they're thinking about doing it. Men, generally speaking, don't find short hair unattractive, and people won’t think you look like a boy. They’ll just think you’re way too fabulous for them.
And that’s OK with me.