If you ever want to test out just how shallow society is, I highly encourage you to cut your hair. Last January, the day before my birthday, I went to an amazing hairstylist in NYC and asked her to chop ALL of my hair off. It took two different visits to her to finally convince her it was truly what I wanted. I posted a picture that day of the changed do, and the debate of Marji’s hair began. From Twitter followers to family members to coworkers → EVERYONE had an opinion on my new hair. I even had a woman go as far as Tweeting me and asking me to write a blog post on how my chopped hair affected my career → WTF.
Here’s the deal → Since it seems to be such a hot topic, there are three reasons as to why I cut my hair (that was already kind of short, I might add):
- I am obsessed with Claire Underwood’s hair.
- I always wanted to know what short hair would look like on me, and was tired of society pressuring girls to have long hair.
- My mom had cancer and lost all of her hair during chemo. Growing back her hair has been challenging for her, so I cut it to honor her own struggle.
Number three is particularly important to me, especially with the chattering that has surrounded my decision. My mom didn’t have a choice, she lost all of her hair to a terrible disease. For the past two years, I have watched her find fancy hats to cover up the remnants of her fight with cancer. Now, my mom looks incredibly beautiful with short hair. In fact, I would argue she looks even more beautiful with her high cheekbones and bright blue eyes accentuated by the new cut. I tell her this constantly, but she still insists she hates it.
I didn’t fully understand it until I was talking with my hairstylist about it. She said something that absolutely changed the way I thought of my mom’s trendy hair: “Your mom didn’t choose her hairstyle. She was forced to have it because she got sick. Even if it’s the best hairstyle in the world for her, it wasn’t her decision and is most likely a reminder of her fight everyday.”
So, I chopped off my own hair. Partly because I was obsessed with Robin Wright’s hair, partly because I’m a bit of a feminist, and mostly because I wanted to know how my mom felt and wanted her to know that she has someone with her in this war against short hair ;)
Now, if the Tweeter who told me to write a blog about how my short hair now affects my career saw this post, I’m sure they would retract their statement. Now it seems like that already crass question was a bit of a bitchy question-- right?
Point? IT’S JUST HAIR. To be quite honest, the only place I’ve seen an impact has been on Twitter with people asking me about it. Most of the feedback IRL (in real life aka in person) has actually been quite positive, which some of it is still a condemnation from someone trying to put me back into a box.
I can tell you, that with all of the buzz (negative and positive) around it, I have a little more perspective into what my mom is going through. I honestly would have never believed that so many people feel that they have some investment, or say, in what you do with your hair. I would have thought my mom was a bit crazy if she told me people actually went out of their way to give a strong opinion on her hair.
But, hey, wasn’t I one of those judgmental people to her? Even though it was a positive compliment, I gave a hefty opinion on what I thought of her hair when she was going through her own struggle of accepting one last remnant of her fight with cancer. I didn’t even get that it actually was not my business, and my opinion of her hair was irrelevant. (FYI- My mom is now going on three years cancer-free :) :) )
How many less people would we cast heavy judgment on if we knew the backstory? If we actually took the time to look beyond the physical and listen to their story, their testimony? I challenge you to do something that puts yourself in someone else’s shoes, and then I challenge society to not judge others for stepping outside of that perfectly wrapped box.
PS- To the Tweeter who asked --> Chopping my hair off has had little effect on my career, unless you are referring to the inflow of Tweets I now get from new followers about how great my out-of-the-box hairstyle is.
- Marji J. Sherman