Why I Chopped Off All My Hair
I spent the entire day after getting my hair lopped off thinking of how to explain the decision to people.
I just don’t have time to do my hair every morning!
I love pixie cuts!
Because I did it on my weekend without kids, which I chose to spend alone in downtown Philly where no one had ever seen me before, I had time to wander the streets as the “new me” while I figured out how to answer the inevitable questions I’d face when coming home to where the “old me” existed.
I’d told no one beforehand, though I’d been planning the haircut for weeks — my hesitance, my two cancellations — all because I didn’t want to have to tell people the real reason.
And I get it. Why would a pretty girl with pretty hair who’s had it short a couple of times and knows it isn’t necessarily her best look chop it off?
But that’s exactly why I did.
I don’t really want to feel pretty right now.
Look, I know girls look gorgeous with short hair. Take Ginnifer Goodwin, Charlize Theron, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway.
But for me, it’s different.
I’ve spent most of my life feeling accepted and wanted solely based on my appearance, which isn’t hard when you’re a tall half-Asian (so exotic!) girl with long legs and a slender frame. Also not hard when that seems to be the only way you’re getting approval.
It’s old nonsense that haunts me when I stare in the mirror and decide I need to fit into a particular size pants even though there’s vanity sizing and no one really cares (or knows) if you’re in an 8 or a 10 except you.
All my energy for all these years has gone outside of me, yes on my looks but also in often times dysfunctional caring for others (my kids excluded because duh, they’re my kids).
And so over these past few weeks, as I remove myself from relationships and delete all the dating apps off my phone, I’ve made a decision to take care of my own business for once. To draw my energy in for now.
My hair, my looks, well, they give me a confidence that has, at times, bordered on unhealthy, and somehow altering it gives me a chance to breathe.
There are dentist visits and doctors appointments. There are cars that need tires rotated. There are budgets that need to be made and followed. There are a myriad other things in my own life that I need to tend to right now, not even including my four children and their health and well-being and livelihood, that in chopping off my hair I feel as though I’m able to force myself to focus on.
And really, I want to feel sexy and beautiful and hot and amazing and confident because of everything about me.
That’s not to say I haven’t had (and don’t still do) have relationships that are based on more than just my appearance. I know people have loved (and do love) me for who I am.
But the love for myself has been too tied up in what I show to the world, in both how I look and how I act.
This is how I’m choosing to start harnessing that energy for someone who really needs it before it’s too late.
And that person is me.Published November 8, 2014. Last updated June 12, 2015.