The long and the short of the Pixie haircut
Every time I go the hairdresser, every time I see Emma Watson on screen, every time I have to detangle my sleepy kitten from my now beehive-like locks, I consider the pixie cut. I try and imagine myself as this person with short hair. A person who marches instead of walks to the train station, who eats chocolate croissants without giving a second thought to its carb content, who worries less, is more spontaneous; a person with a pixie cut.
But despite all these thoughts of the freedom cutting my hair would bring me, I remain attached to my long tresses. I am too afraid to cut my hair, and I know I’m not the only one.
Why is it that certain women cling to their long hair, too frightened to cut it when there are so many obvious benefits to lopping some of it off?
My mother and I have this theory about the general public and one’s personal appearance. The fact is, people feel that they have some say in how you look, a sense of ownership. I have received all sorts of comments and advisories from: “You should go dark“ to “Why not try peroxide blonde?” and my personal favourite; “Well, at least your hair looks better than it feels”.
And then of course, there are the sympathetic remarks and feigned smiles when you manage to pluck up the courage to change your hair. You are told that you looked better as a brunette/redhead with straight hair/curls/layers etc. when actually, it’s your hair and what you decide to do with it is your choice.
Yet because of all these loudly expressed opinions, we don’t just think about whether we personally will like our change of hairstyle, we also consider if our friends will be happy with it, if it will make a disapproving mother-in-law more disapproving, or in my case, what effect it will have on my next Facebook profile picture.
Another reason why I’m hanging onto my long hair is my desire to be seen as feminine. Just take a look at what the Bible had to say on the matter: If a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering. –I Corinthians 11:15 And it seems as if this view has extended, somewhat, into present day attitudes.
Everywhere you look there are signs telling women to be more feminine. Magazines offering us more and more intense ways to be skinny, shops selling us perfumes so pungent you feel like the whole of Kirstenbosch fynbos is sprouting out of your pores.
We learn to be delicate and gentle, to avoid masculine drinks like beer, and to refrain from burping in public, (and by “we” I mean women in general, I myself belch with the best of them whenever the need presents itself.) And then, of course, we keep our hair in check.
We strip, shave and snip our body hair until we are perfectly shiny, naked and smooth like a child. Then we tint, crimp, and straighten our crowning glory until we meet the standards of femininity. And why shouldn’t we? When the moment a woman cuts her hair shorter than shoulder length, it is instantly labeled “dikeish”.
Women have been made to feel that having long hair is feminine, but lets just take a step back and consider all the famous, gorgeous women who have rocked a shorter do. Twiggy, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Tailor first started the trend, followed by 21st century Halle Berry, Rihanna, and most recently, Beyonce.
There are many reasons why I should do the pixie cut. Its empowering in that it shows I am in charge of my own look, its easy to maintain, it looks hot, and most importantly, Titch will no longer be able to entwine herself in my extensive mane. I think this December, when the sun is out, the sea is willing and the icy cocktails are flowing, it will be time for me to shed this shock of mine and embrace the pixie cut. (Just not right now.)