Hair is not beauty: Why I shaved my head

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Since shaving my head I have been asked the same questions repeatedly by people: Why did you shave your hair off? Does your partner like it? Are you going to grow it back?

I have then heard the following statements: Wow, you’re brave! I wish I had the guts to do that! It suits you so much!

Here’s the deal. Your hair style does not change your face. It does not change how you look. Your perception of your true self changes depending on your confidence. Hair, clothes, makeup, none of this really changes how your face looks. These things do change how YOU feel about yourself and this is where I have a huge problem with society.

Women are shown from an early age a set of expectations. We see aisles of hair products, magazines promoting hair styles, all with the phrases of, “Feel beautiful” “Look great!” It’s advertising. It’s a business and it’s a load of rubbish.

My hair gradually started getting shorter and shorter over the past few years, with side shaves, undercuts and Mohawks. Then, a month ago I realised I’d had enough. If I had a bad hair day I would feel ugly. My hair had not changed my face. I still had the same face, but the media and society had already dug their claws in and brainwashed me into believing my hair was directly linked to how attractive I was to the outside world, and to me. This did not sit right with me. So I shaved my hair off. It’s just hair.

Since shaving my hair off I have never had a bad hair day, I have never felt down, low or unattractive and more importantly I am finally seeing me. I see the real me. My face is just my face, and has always been the same face. Removing my hair made me come to terms with a great many things, and I do not plan on growing my hair back.  My bangs used to hide my frown lines, now I embrace my frown lines. The laugh lines I used to hide are on full view to the world and I can finally focus on just being me. When I see adverts for hair products or hair styles, using words to lure the buyer into thinking that product will make them attractive, I roll my eyes. You are attractive, your hair does not define you, and it should not define you.

Historically hair was a sign of wealth, the more hair you had, the bigger you had, the higher up you were. It’s been a status thing. So perhaps me shaving my head is a status thing too, a status stating I do not give a shit about how society dictates I should look, feel and more importantly what is viewed as attractive.

We’re all beautiful. With or without hair. Your beauty is on YOUR terms. No one else’s. Do not let them define you.