It's gonna get sappy up in here.
I don't know what's wrong with me, but I keep cutting off all my shiny (if I do say so) long hair to look like semi-famous women. My girl crushes are getting a bit out of hand, but at least I'm experimenting, right? I'm young? It's summer? GUYS? Whatever -- I'm chic.
The first time it happened was when I was 20 and realized just how beautiful Alexa Chung was. I spent so long wrestling with the thought, because for me hair tends to be a thing of comfort -- if I was having a bad day, I'd just have to let it sway gloriously in the sun and nobody would notice how much I'd broken out, or smelt, or so I convinced myself.
But the perfect and plentiful Google images I had saved of Alexa were haunting me, they were simply chasing me down. I had watched interview after interview of her on YouTube and the pull was undeniable. She's Eurasian, I'm Eurasian -- it made complete and scientific sense that her hair would look amazing on me too! I had to have her tousled, ombre locks sitting atop my very own head, reflecting right back at me.
But I could not have been more wrong. I was messing with a good thing; it wasn't broke and I should not have tried to fix it.
I'm being dramatic; it looked OKAY. But okay is not acceptable when you are 20 years old, "finding yourself," living away from home for the first time, making your own decisions, being a total "grown-up" -- but in all seriousness I just wanted to flirt with some boys and flick my goddamn hair!
As I learned for myself, nothing will shake you to your core like losing something reliable. I'm sure the majority of people in this world have at least one "something" going for them. A nice ass, mathematical aptitude, a winning personality, an amazing fried chicken recipe (get in contact, please) -- whatever it is, there are things we like about ourselves and things we can trust. If I sound like I'm being really image-conscious it's only because, well, I kind of am, but that isn't my fault! In the past, and unfortunately still today, I have definitely allowed myself to believe that being attractive in the eyes of others is important social currency. Sad. It's an idea that I hate but still conform to, DID I MENTION IT'S SO SAD? My hair was dictating how much I believed in myself, which is ridiculous. I was still exactly the same person -- the people who mattered still loved me just as much.
I made the executive decision to let my hair grow back to its former glory, which was a frustrating goal to place on myself because obviously it took, like, a year -- a really long year. Looking back, I actually kind of like the look of it and I retrospectively wish I had the confidence to own it and remember that I was the same girl, whether my hair was long or not.
Cut to June 2012. I have moved from Melbourne to London. I have done a fair amount of "growing" and "dealing" with the trials and tribulations of "life" and "shit." My hair is once again long, once again a safety blanket for the days I have no clean clothes or leave the house without wiping off my milk moustache.
Okay, so, things are going pretty well at this point. Spring/summer has finally kind of arrived, no thanks to global warming. I am surrounded by wonderful people and know all the words to Tay's "22" and don't care who knows it because I AM 22 AND HAPPY AND LIFE IS SO CUTE RIGHT NOW.
But then that familiar feeling creeps back. The girl crush you stumble upon one day while mindlessly cruising through Instagram. The name: Kiko Mizuhara. The hair: so, so, so short (and just cool and UGH so enviable). FUCK. Why am I not a young Japanese indie actress with a line for Opening Ceremony, modeling in all kinds of cool shit? It's in the hair, it has to be.
I braced myself for the inevitable. I made her photo my phone background to remind me of what exactly I was considering -- hair inches and inches above my shoulders. I said it out loud to a few friends so it felt more real. I played with it in my mind for weeks. Once I told my mum and my sister I knew it was going to happen, it just had to. Her face is little like mine; it all added up. I wanted her look. I NEEDED IT.
And then it happened. A couple of weeks ago I was alone at home. I stood up and looked at myself in the mirror, and suddenly my long ponytail seemed really unnecessary. I went to the bathroom, stood over the sink, picked up a pair of blue scissors from a cheap IKEA set, threw caution to the wind and started cutting. IT FELT SO GOOD. I kept cutting, bit by bit, for hours. I had a doctors appointment that afternoon so I tied my hair up, totally uneven, and rushed there and back so I could resume the chop.
I had my iPhone sitting on the counter and I'd check a photo of Kiko every now and then to remind myself of what I was doing, I felt half Lindsay Lohan-level insane but half exhilarated.
I was so in control. Except I wasn't really because I couldn't see the back of my head so it was pretty uneven and a bit of a problem, but at the time I was too carefree to worry about things being "even." I finally put the scissors down and decided to put my trust in a real salon. I went online and found one with reviews that said you get a glass of wine while you get things done, dealmaker! I babbled to a woman from Spain called Teresa about how it had to be exactly THIS length and THIS neat. I left the place smiling. Maybe someone will girl-crush me one day!