On women and cropped cuts
By Sharon Miki, Senior Columnist
“I am not my hair. I am not this skin. I am a soul that lives within.” – India Arie
If you fervently follow celebrity news like I do, then you’re probably aware of the chop-happy craze that’s sweeping Hollywood: pixie cuts. From Anne Hathaway to Miley Cyrus to Pamela Anderson, many famous ladies have recently shorn their long locks in favour of hip, low-maintenance short hairstyles—and every time it happens, we’re barraged with waves of male complaints. Case in point? Jennifer Lawrence cut her hair this month, and the men of the Internet are losing their erections over it.
Lindy West at Jezebel.com summarized the post-cut reaction to Lawrence, citing a particularly snide article on the subject from MyBonerIsCrying.com arguing that by cutting her hair, the 23-year-old Oscar-winning actress is no longer sexually attractive: “[Guys would] only bang her [before her haircut] if she lost 10 pounds. Now, shedding some lbs. might not even do it,” and that “if you’re a woman in your prime, short hair is an overwhelmingly bad idea.”
Okay. First of all: yeah, right, guy on the Internet, I’m sure you would have been kind enough to offer Lawrence the gift of your sexual prowess, but—drat!—without her hair, she’s out of luck. She’s probably really devastated about that as she continues winning in Hunger Games and taking selfies with her Academy Award.
But beyond the ridiculousness of this one man’s view, statements like the one dissected on Jezebel echo the cave-person-like idea that we so often hear used casually by (mostly) men: girls with long hair = good, while girls with short hair = bad. I understand and agree that everyone is allowed their own opinions about what looks good to them and what they find attractive. For whatever reason, many people automatically equate long, flowing hair with feminine beauty. Fine, whatever, great.
What bothers me is the weird and commonly accepted phenomenon wherein people assume that if a woman cuts her hair short, she is either a) a lesbian b) a man-hater, or c) having a mental breakdown. News flash, boys: I can be and do all of these things even if my head hair is so long that it’s tickling my femur.
And, as men vocalize these opinions and act as if the unattractiveness of short hair is an incontestable fact, more women who have short hair because they like it, or because they need to keep their hair short for work, or because they have lost their hair to illness may feel like they are less of a woman or like they have less self-worth.
Making broad and vocal assumptions about the so-called universal unattractiveness of a style or hair or colour of skin or shape of features is a subtle way to make people feel marginalized. If you don’t like a celebrity or a friend’s haircut, that’s fine. But don’t tell me that short hair is always a bad idea, because it’s an individual’s choice. Besides, judgmental dudes: have you ever considered that awesome women might be cutting their hair to weed out assholes like you from their lives?