Look Ma, No Hair

So, back on Mother’s day, I ran my first ever guest post. It was by my husband. This time, I’ve captured someone even more elusive. One of my best girlfriends. Jenny goes by Jennifer these days, and we go way back. Waaay back. She was my first friend. My preschool friend. My spend-the-night-every-weekend-as-long-as-our-parents-will-endure-it friend. We were tight. Where I’m brash and outspoken, given to outbursts and impulsive actions, she’s thoughtful and analytical, no less outspoken given the right set of circumstances, but not at all prone to drawing attention to herself. She uses social media, but only in specific ways. She has seen rock bottom in her life. She has also owned her own business. Right now, she’s a kickass stay-at-home Mom to two of the most extraordinary daughters I’ve ever met. I can’t even begin to put my admiration for her in words. She intended this as a Facebook update until I persuaded her to let me run it. I think that what she has to say about women is so crucial. Every single word here she intends to apply only to herself, but I think it can go for all of us. This piece makes me cheer a big loud YES.

Look Ma, No Hair

by Jennifer Southcombe-Harmon

So, it’s been awhile since I’ve been a “regular” poster on FB. This is due in part to the awareness I have of the ridiculously mundane posts that have become commonplace in this era of social media. Were the pancakes I had this morning for breakfast particularly good? Take a picture and post about it. Did my child say or do something cute and/or disgusting that family, friends, acquaintances, and virtual strangers may find slightly interesting? Write a funny post to share it!

And it’s not that I begrudge anyone for posting these things. I still log on to FB nearly everyday and read all of the aforementioned posts. They ARE funny and it IS interesting to get a glimpse into other people’s lives. It’s like socially acceptable voyeurism, and I’ve always been a visual person…so I creep and peep and occasionally like and share and participate in the FB experience, but from a distance now rather than on the front lines. The front lines were causing me to have feeling of being overexposed, emotionally naked, and uncomfortable with the intimacy of inviting everyone into my everyday life.

Anyway, the whole point of this post is to pre-empt feeling overly exposed, emotionally naked, and uncomfortably intimate when I see many of you in person again, because…..

I’ve cut my hair.

Now, normally this would (and has in the past) make for a cute post about the long wait at my salon, the debate over a new hair color, and yes..the “after” picture of my new do. But the reason for this post is a little different because this new do is different…a lot different depending on how you view it.

My previously long wavy hair is now 1/16″ long AT THE MOST. It’s short. Really short. And. I. Love. It.

Mostly the purpose of this post is to avoid the whole Oh-my-God-has-she-gone-crazy looks and questions. I think people assume when a woman shaves her head that it must be because A) she has cancer, B) is a radical feminist OR a lesbian, C) is rebelling against society’s ideal of beauty, or D) because she has gone off on a Britney Spears mental break-up.

Okay, so maybe two out of four MAY somewhat apply here…but mainly it’s because I’m lazy and hot.

I don’t like styling my long hair. It is always in a tight bun or ponytail. Even one single strand being in my face is enough to drive me nuts. I hate the blowdryer, the hot iron straightener, the expensive trips to the salon, the hours sitting in the colorist chair, the loose hair in the sink and on the floor, and the constant tucking it behind my ear and checking the mirror to make sure the wind didn’t flip my bangs in some weird direction.

But there is more to it than just that. As I was hanging my head over my knees and watching the hair fall and accumulate on the floor, I realized it is also symbolic of the growth and maturing I am currently going through. Letting go of the hair is like releasing the drama…releasing myself of the pressure to conform to what someone else thinks I should be…releasing myself of my own pressures to perform and “fit” into a life that I am not always comfortable in…releasing old and bitter feelings that I’ve been holding onto since childhood…releasing the expectations that I have of others and their behaviors and actions. As the hair was cut and released to the floor, much of the emotional burden and weight was released as well.

So here it is….

And I feel incredibly SEXY and feminine, and strong and LIBERATED, ridiculously EMPOWERED, and in control of myself. And happy. I feel very very happy about it.

About jesterqueen:
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.

Comments

Look Ma, No Hair — 22 Comments

  1. Ohmygod! You are so beautiful! I don’t know what else to say other than that – a true beauty and I feel I can say it’s not only an external beauty but a sheer through and through beauty.

    A while ago, my niece shaved her head. She was 14 at the time. She did it because the previous year her best friend lost it all to chemo. Then her bestie decided to shave it off again in support of kids with cancer. My niece being the rockstar that she is shaved hers off to support her friend, not let her go through that alone again and of course to donate her hair to locks of love. Until her hair grew she went through sheer hell. People – total strangers (and sad to say women were the worst) would go right up to her face and ask if she was a boy or a girl and when she’s reply they’s yell at her, insult her, criticize her. My niece isn’t the rebel kind. She’s a sweet angel. I know, so is everybody’s kids… But trust me – my niece really has NO bad bone in her body. She couldn’t wait for it to grow and thanks to Facebook I’ve witnessed it grow until she could finally for the first time last week – braid her hair. It was a momentous day in her life. Her ordeal was finally over.

    I needed to share that here, sorry Jessie for hogging your comment area – but I was inspired and thank you so much for sharing this wonderful story!

    3 cheers for strong amazing and beautiful women around the world! HURRAH HURRAH HURRAH!

    • Sorry for my typos – I get emotional about women’s issues and I just got done with my roller derby practice, I’m kinda shaking…

      • The typos are fine – the passion is awesome. And Jenny is absolutely GORGEOUS. I’m so sorry your niece caught hell, because I’m just guessing she looked amazing. Purely aside from the fact that nobody deserves that kind of hell, I hate that those people were pushing THEIR values on her. Grrrr.

      • Thank you Marie!! I don’t think I could have handled the rejection at 14 years old, but at 34 years old other people’s opinions just don’t seem to matter so much anymore although all of this written support means a lot to me. Thanks!!!

    • Thank you! It was indeed a bold move, but it feels very organic and natural…the next step for me in my development. Thanks for your supportive comment!

    • Thank you! Thank you! Coming from a woman whom I admire and find timelessly beautiful and graceful, your support means a lot. XO

  2. You are an amazing woman to make a choice like that and run with it. You have more strength and character than I could ever hope to possess. I hope you have a cool, low maintenance summer. You look stunning. 🙂

    • Thank you so much! This is a step in my journey of discovering my strength and my character, so thank you for the supportive words. And so far…it has been incredibly cool and RIDICULOUSLY low maintenance!

  3. Oh Jenny that photo is priceless! You could be a model! I don’t think most people would realize that you look so beautiful because you released much of your inner beauty too. It really shows! You are a fantastic role model for your kids!!

    • Thank you Ann! You have no idea how much YOUR fearlessness in embracing your own uniqueness has been an inspiration to me. Thanks to YOU for being one of my strong women role models! XOXO

  4. And a BIG thank you to Jessie for being an example of the type of woman who is STRONG enough to leverage her unique strengths and has the BRAVERY to embrace her unique weaknesses. You have successfully merged those two qualities together and have created an absolute powerhouse of beauty, intelligence, wisdom, vulnerability, compassion, and a wicked sense of humor. Thank you for being my inspiration. I love you.

  5. Jennifer, I envy women who can cut their hair so short. My own daughter has had hair your length several times, and even though I think her hair is beautiful, I understood how freeing it was for her in the summer heat. I really like the look of hair, but I’d love to experience the freedom of not being ruled by how it looks.

    My ex husband wanted me to shave my head or cut my hair short like yours, but I told him it would have to wait until I was sixty. Inside, I wanted to be sure his love for me was so strong and nurturing that I wouldn’t feel a moment’s regret about a drastic change I wouldn’t otherwise make. It wasn’t and he’s gone now, and although I’ve cut my hair shorter a couple of times than I thought I would, I guess I’m a ‘hair’ person. So far, I’d rather live with it than not.

    My hat’s off to you for being true to your own feelings about it.

    • Thank you! It is incredibly freeing. When the hair fell away so did my concern over whether people would find me attractive or not. Suddenly, it just didn’t matter what they saw….it became about how I view myself. My only concern was for my husband’s feelings on the matter. I asked him several times before shaving it if he would be bothered or embarrassed. He volunteered to run the buzzer and took great care and attention to making sure it was all straight and even!

      If you can, and feel so inclined…DO IT! The worst case scenario will be you don’t like it and have to grow it out. Big deal. What is 6 months of weird looking hair? It will be a fun experience and you will get to say that at one point in life you walked around bald.

  6. Very cool. As a woman who has loved short hair most of my life it is nice to see positive comments. I have been called “sir” and “Mister” many times over the past 22 years. My hair isn’t as short as yours, but it is short. By now it bothers my husband more than me. Oh and it is fun to watch the reactions when people realize tier mistke! Do what is right for you, ther rest can “be damned”! Enjoy your short cut, it looks awsome on you.

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