I chopped off all my hair.
I thought about it for an incredibly long time, but if I’m really honest I was incredibly terrified.
I waited until the most opportune time, and sure enough, my school was doing a locks of love event.
I was scared, even though I knew it would grow back–if I wanted it too. I became even more scared when they sat me down in front of a mirror to do the ceremonial cutting of the pony tails.
It took chopping off all my hair to realize how incredibly hard it must be for men — women in particular–to lose part of their identity. Because whether we admit it or not, hair is something that defines us women and it’s part of what makes us feel beautiful.
I would never go so far as to say I now know how it feels to struggle with cancer or alopecia or other diseases or treatments which cause hair loss. But here’s to hoping that this experience, has broadened my perspective more and maybe increased my ability to empathize.
I don’t mean for any of my posts to inflict guilt, just provoke thought so take away what you will from the following: I believe in giving what we have. If I possess hair that grows back, but others do not, why should I not take advantage of such a wonderful opportunity to share my treasure that God has bestowed upon me?
Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.
3 Peter 3:3-4
P.S. I cut my hair all the way back in April of 2013. I kept pushing off this post because I was afraid I’d say the wrong thing. Don’t be afraid of telling stories. You are completely unaware of the wonderful actions your story could inspire.
Great thoughts and great story. I want to know how you think hair/our physical body is part of our identity (I think men identify with their hair too, especially in my house). I have a lot of feminist/humanist friends and they have a different opinions on identity. I think part of our identity is found in our bodies, but I want to hear your thoughts.
Thanks for feedback and difficult question! I agree that there are so many different stances that could be taken. Men totally, identify with hair. It’s become a cultural thing especially with facial being celebrated in ways like ‘No Shave November.’ It’s hard to tackle identity issues in one blog post because it’s such an incredibly broad topic. I would be interested in hearing your friends’ and family’s opinions on this particular story so I could better tackle questions they might bring up. For me, this experience definitely taught me that others admire those whose personalities are not dependent on make-up or the length or style of our hair. I think outward adornments and even something such as hair stifles the beautiful/handsome and unique personalities God has blessed us with. The opposite stance could be taken as well, that what’s on the outside is a reflection of what’s on the inside. We often use certain hairstyles and clothing as a measure of how manly or womanly an individual is. Does that answer your question at all? Haha.