Remember when Beyonce got her hair cut and everyone (except for the billions of people on earth who probably didn't care) went all, "Whaaaa? Heeeeey! Nooooooooo!"?
For a lot of ladies, hair -- the long kind, to be specific -- is like a follicular rainbow, at the end of which is the pot of gold more commonly known as the western standard of beauty. So when a woman elects to chop her hair off, the rest of the world according to Tresemme can't wait to theorize about her mental state of being. Is she mad, sad, suicidal, lazy, a lesbian -- or all five?
I have no insight into whether King Bey fits into any of those categories, but what I do know is that when I cut my hair off, it felt a lot like skinny dipping for the first time. Sure, at the onset it's a bit awkward. You feel exposed and vulnerable, and just wrong. But eventually you get the hang of it and you're swimming laps booty butt naked thinking, "Swimsuits? We don't need no stinking swimsuits."
It all started when my literary agent told me that in the official author photo for a book I had coming out I looked like "someone from a high school musical." He then added, "No offense." You be the judge.
Admittedly, that whole situation in the back was sponsored by my homegirl, Yaki. Long hair seemed powerful to me at the time, something like shoulder pads. I couldn't imagine the world seeing me with anything less than "locks" (a word Jane does not love). It was as if the hair down my back had my back. But no one was feeling it. Most importantly me. I mean I did look very YA and my book was anything but.
So, after taking one last look in the mirror, I BoltBused to Manhattan and paid an embarrassing amount of money to a celeb stylist a friend of a friend knew and boom:
The real crazy part was that people actually started treating me differently with the short hair as opposed to when I had it down my back. I was suddenly older and "edgier." Instead of skewing very girl-next-door, I was now "sexy" and aloof. I don't know if I'll ever know which came first, the confidence boost or the cute bob, but man, oh, man, did my short hair do a number on my image. People saw me differently and I saw myself differently.
At 27, I was right on the cusp of womanhood, in my opinion, and those extra inches had been holding me back. It was like growing out of pigtails and Garanimals.
So maybe the whole hair thing is a bigger deal than a lot of women would like to assume. Sure, it seems silly to analyze the First Lady's bang game or Beyonce's ever-evolving hairography, because in the end it's just the stuff that keeps your brain warm. But for me, that short do meant something more than just "I'm bored today."
Right now my weirdo in-between length is giving me "I don't know what to do" and I don't want that blasé attitude seeping down from my head into the rest of me. So much so that lately I've been itching to go spend another small fortune on a quick change just to see where it takes me. Can hair really get you to the next level or is it all literally in my head?