Reclamation of Beauty

I’m going through this transition where I try not to worry about what others think of me.

So, I cut my hair at the end of May after my freshman year of college here, and it was definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made in a long time. I was in a long-term relationship for quite awhile, and while I was in that relationship, I had previously cut my hair and he told me that I went from a nine to a four. And I ended up staying with him, even though [his comment] totally should’ve been a red flag, but you know, I was 17, I was young. So we broke up and I got to be single for a year and really discover myself. And I realized that I had changed my ideals of beauty to match his ideals of beauty. And that’s not what I wanted for myself. And so it was kind of an “F you” to him and everybody that ever tells females, or anybody in general, that they can’t look a certain way that they want to look or that they won’t be perceived as attractive that way. I always say it was about the reclamation of my own beauty.

And now, I like my story because it’s a way for me to use [a comment] that was definitely a blow to my self esteem and my own vision of self worth as something quite powerful. And it really just solidifies the idea that you have to dress for yourself, you have to do your hair for yourself and whatnot, which we hear all the time, but I don’t think I truly understood it until I actually did it. And after having a pixie cut for four or five months, I can’t believe that I ever compromised my own desires for, in my case, a boy, but for anybody really. And for some people, a pixie cut is not their version of saying “F you” to the world. We’ve seen in society, for a lot of people, just wearing their natural texture is that “F you”, and I think that’s just as beautiful and just as empowering. So whatever it means to people, I think it’s important that we stand up and live for ourselves. Which, again, we hear so often, but it’s hard to practice it. Especially when you have a significant other who has a preference, you’re never going to be happy with yourself if you change to what they want when it’s not what you want, but I think as women we are very prone to doing that because we want to be accepted, we want to be found beautiful. As nice as it is to feel beautiful or be seen as attractive, at the end of the day, even if we all had no hair, aren’t things like intelligence and compassion more important? Because my hair says nothing about the kind of partner I’ll be, or the kind of student that I am, or the kind of daughter that I am. So at the end of the day, [appearance] is all so inconsequential, and it’s really just about what you want to show the world.

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