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[2 Cents] Why @DrDre Doesn’t Think I’m Pretty
Written by @TheKarlieHustle
“I only love it when her hair long.” -Dr. Dre
I’m a bald woman. By choice. I shave my head once a week and I like it that way. Short hair fits my style, my face and my busy schedule. The last thing I want to do on any given morning is deal with two feet of unruly tresses before I embark upon a 16-hour New York City day. Especially when it’s 92 degrees with 60% humidity. This choice, in a world of socialized beauty norms equating acceptable femininity with long hair, is not without its consequences.
Dyke. Sir. Bald-headed ho. Cancer patient. Amber Rose. Britney Spears. G.I. Jane. Sinead O’Conner. Feminist. Militant. Man-hater. Lesbian. Masculine. These are all terms that have been used to describe me solely due to my personal choice of hairstyle. My own mother went through a phase where she felt she had to explain my hair to every person she introduced me to. “It was so long! 14 inches! She donated it to Locks of Love. That’s why it looks like this,” she’d say. As if it required an explanation in the first place. I asked her to kindly knock it off.
“I don’t want you messing up, woman. I don’t want you cutting off your hair.” –BB King
The obsession with having long hair is indoctrinated in American women from birth. In addition to the rule that long hair is equivalent to being beautiful, we must also have light skin, narrow noses, be thin and wear $400 shoes. But that’s another rant entirely.
Growing up, none of my dolls had short hair. None of the “pretty girls” on TV wore their hair close. All of the supermodels were weaved down to their asses. A clear message is sent to all young ladies: if you want to be pretty, cutting your hair will garner you the exact opposite.
“Your hair looks great like that, but I could never! My husband would kill me!” –Random lady on the street
Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of people who love short hair on a woman. I, however, believe that they are in the minority. The majority of men and women alike have been conditioned to accept feminine beauty as long as it fits into the rigid profile one might find on the cover of a fashion magazine. Going outside of these restrictive constructs is a recipe for harassment and debasement.
A simple “bald girls” search on twitter brings up a host of negative real-time talk about women who “can’t grow their hair”, who are “bald underneath their weaves” or who “look like ‘bull dykes’ with that short haircut”.
“Well if I wanna shave it close or if I wanna rock locs, that don’t take a bit away from the soul that I got.” –India Arie
I never realized what I was signing up for when I first took the clippers to my dome in 1996 at the age of 18. Since then, I’ve been bald three times. Once I discovered the freedom of a close cut, it’s been a challenge to keep my hair longer than half a centimeter for more than a couple of years at a time.
Short hair isn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely for me. I enjoy being a hair revolutionary in a society that’s always forcing its played-out, unreasonable ideas regarding beauty down our throats. So please, hand me my Wahl’s (without the guard, because I’m a real G), and let me get to work on defying your rules.
“I only love it when my hair short.” – Karlie Hustle