Sunday, August 25, 2013

Rebirth

(AN: Again, I apologize for straying from the Lia story but I ABSOLUTELY promise to have it up tomorrow. My day was absorbed by this and I thought I would write about it. I hope you enjoy :3)

"No going back now," I could hear the buzzing of the shears drawing ever closer to my scalp. My heart pounded, nausea welling up in my stomach. This is exactly what I wanted, wasn't it? I turned the thought over in my mind for months, but started to seriously consider it for two weeks before following through. And now, I forced myself not to look because I thought if I saw the shave, I would cry, run out, throw up or a combination of all three. With the fluffy, brown curls littering the salon floor, could anyone blame me?

"Enough to make a wig for a small child," my boyfriend joked and I laughed nervously in agreement.

Oh yes. I remember why I thought about it. I have a lot of hair, and I've never been the type of girl to give a damn about sitting it front of a mirror for hours at a time, twisting, plaiting, straight-ironing, hot-combing. It all just felt like modern day torture. Some women revel in it and tie their hair into their very being and femininity. I wanted to cut my hair as a test of my own womanhood.

The shear guards were swapped repeatedly until my hair was shaved closer and closer to my scalp, the shortest my hair has ever been in my entire life. However, when I finally mustered the courage to look at the chopped strands, the panic was gone and replaced by a calm awe.

I think that the panic came as a part of pre buyer's remorse. What if I hate it?  What if this wasn't a good idea? What if I'm wasting time AND money? And then the more shallow reasons: What if it's ugly? What if I feel ugly because of it?

Too long has our collective femininity and identity wrapped up in the strands on our head. We do atrocious things to ourselves in the name of beauty and acceptance. Making the transition to an afro eight years ago was not easy for the same reasons. What if it's ugly? What if I feel ugly? But regardless, I have learned that I am not my hair and my femininity is not defined by it or the lack thereof.

As a minority, I will never be the blonde girl in the hair ad, swishing her locks around bragging about a product that promises shine or length or thickness, but then again, neither will other blonde girls. We will never be these people.

So it's time for us to just be ourselves.

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