In a world where women’s appearances are under constant watch, it’s no surprise that any time someone makes a change, people gawk in either disgust or amazement. it’s become the norm to assume that a woman is trying to prove her independence to the world anytime she is in the infancy of her single-dom and changes her look.
It seems that there’s always one of two responses:
We either shower each other with compliments, ever embracing how this change will mirror and reflect a dramatic change in our attitudes. “Looks great girl!” “New you, hot, LOVE IT”..
We instigate a frenzy of shit-talking and accusations of women of being dramatic, craving attention, and a “pity because she seems to have lost who she is”.
But we’ve gotten it all wrong.
We don’t cut our hair for you, or him, or them, or even the instagram likes (no matter how nice it is to see them) . We don’t rock the Miley pixie -do to show you “fuck off” (Because you liked long hair) or the Beyonce-length extensions because we have anything to prove. Contrary to what you may think, the primary reason for these changes has nothing to do with making a statement.
Some of us cut our hair because it creates new companionships. We sit in the chairs of salons and chop it up with the stylist who’s also been through a break-up recently. We exchange laughs over past hair-horror stories and learn how wonderfully easy it can be to make new friends after days, or even weeks of feeling very alone.
Some of us cut our hair simply because it is our own, no matter how trivial you think it is to care about appearance. But it is something that belongs to us, and only us, especially if we gave every other physical part of ourselves to someone else. There is a special kind of beauty in this release. We reclaim ourselves again.
But it’s important to know that we do not cut our hair because it symbolizes the birth of a new identity. Rather, it informs us that we will never lose ourselves despite what sadness and other pain we have experienced. Purple, ombre’d, bobbed or permed, we ARE the still that same person inside. No matter how many times we fry it until it’s falling apart, or bleach it until its green and aren’t recognizable in ANY of your recent photos, we are still full of just as much life as we had before we met whoever broke our heart.
After all, we must own our decisions and know every choice we make for the future is ours, even something as painless as a haircut.
We will understand that no matter how bad our past relationships may have been, everything WILL be okay. We will be comfortable with being alone again, just like we will get used to our new look. The ease with which we can switch our appearance will translate to our emotions that we may feel we cannot control. Optimism is a choice that’s far more simplistic than people make it out to be. At the end of the day, It does not matter how many layers of yourself you opened to that person because letting go will soon become as effortless as watching your locks fall straight to the floor.
There is no “new you”. There is the ONE and ONLY you, full of roots with stories, tresses that have seen the world, and dead ends that will soon be a distant memory.
We chop off those layers with our own mangled scissors to remind us when we look in that mirror we ARE still that same beautiful, intelligent, and strong person who is more than capable of loving again.
And you know what?
It will all grow back anyway.