Proud Pixies: Why Girls With Short Hair Are NOT Damaged

Some of you may have seen this absolutely asinine article posted on the Return of Kings blog already. Now, while I had not heard of this site before, the tagline “for masculine men” with an author commenting on “specialties in dating culture, social intelligence, and the state of masculinity” basically sums up the expected level of frat-tastic douchebaggery that shall follow.

In an article this week entitled “Girls With Short Hair are Damaged” the illiberal (and rather narcissistic) author claims that short hair is basically the biggest mistake a woman could ever make  because in so many words, it’s ugly. Period, no exceptions. When one claims only some can ‘pull off’ such a style, the blogger’s retort is that  “Just because you have enough left-over attractiveness to remain bangable after cutting off your hair doesn’t mean you wouldn’t look better with it back on”.  He’s a real prize, as you can see. The author further notes that not only do all women look worse with short hair, but that men universally hate short hair on women. (Because you know, the only reason us women have hair is for men to appreciate it.)

 

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He further insinuated that those gentlemen who claim to like short crops are simply taking advantage of the fact that girls with short hair are apparently easy. I would say that is quite the generalization, but based off of his experiences with short haired girls, I can kind of see where the guy is coming from. I would, however, note his questionable judgement in women; it’s always a good sign to see a man more interested in the length of a woman’s hair than being concerned with them being ‘roommates with a prostitute’ or “harbor(ing) twisted rape fantasies”. But hey, to each his own. It sure sounds like he has his priorities right and is great at picking out these true ladies.

I think what pissed me off the most about the article though is the statement that “Short hair is a political statement”.  While I personally think that a woman can wear her hair any way she damn pleases, I can attest that for most women, it isn’t a matter of politics. I have a number of friends from all across the political spectrum who have kept their hair short for everything from those political statements, to climate, to their own personal style. That begin said, I did not have that same option as these women he claims are doing it to make a statement or bring attention to themselves. After having waist length hair for the majority of my life, I ended up having to buzz my head a few years back due to impending baldness per chemotherapy. I begrudgingly donated my ponytail and accepted the next three years of potential regrowth. I wasn’t making a political statement, and I sure as hell wasn’t doing it for more attention. I did at first associate short hair as something boys more frequently had (not your typical view of femininity if you must)–and thus dreaded having a pixie, and the entire growing out process. Though I received many compliments, I decided that short hair was just not my personal style, yet I fully embraced it while it lasted. Bows, headbands, over the top earrings. I made it work for me. Through the entire process of growing it out, I learned that femininity doesn’t come from the length of your hair, nor the myriad of other things you can potentially strap to your head as distractions from it. But rather it comes from how you carry yourself: how you want others to view you. I didn’t need two feet of hair to tell me that I was feminine, and nor should the rest of the world.

 

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Despite the author’s assertions, not all of us women would “rather die” than cut our hair. I lost my hair so that I would live. Short hair did not make me more abrasive, masculine, deranged, or (especially) ‘easy’–it made me a stronger, more confident person, inside and out. The only perceived lack of self confidence I ever felt with short hair was due to assholes like him trying to tell me that I was any less feminine for rocking a hairstyle that doesn’t suit the cookie cutter gender roles that some men try to set our for society. While I am very far from your typical bra-burning feminist, the unbelievably sexist remarks made in the article made me realize that while women have come so far to overcome the 80 cents to a dollar and other societal inequalities, the unfortunate plight still exists, and is being solely perpetrated by these self-proclaimed “masculine men” spewing propaganda such as this to make women feel bad about a choice that should in fact make them more confident about themselves, their appearance, and their independence.

It’s true- some men don’t like short hair, and that’s something they choose. To be fair, I don’t really like men with long hair. But again, that’s also why I don’t date generally date them. I also don’t trash every single long-haired man on the internet, suggesting that his style means he is not ‘masculine enough’ by my standards. I was blessed enough to find someone during my short-hair time who did enjoy my pixie cut. To his dismay, I grew it out–but I grew it out for ME. Real men take a stand for women and their independent choices, not expect them to conform to society just to make the establishment happy.

Short hair is proof that I am far from damaged; it shows that I am a survivor. I am proud of my (former) pixie cut. And you, sir, are exactly what is wrong with society.

 

xo SA

Not all those who wander are lost (causes)

This last week has been extremely busy for me. Aside from work, I’ve had an exorbitent number of ‘going away’ parties to attend this week. As sad as this may sound, all the travelers have pretty awesome reasons, and even better destinations. One particular situation I wanted to highlight was that of my coworker…About three weeks ago, he came in to his (very stable and well paid) job, bought a one way ticket to Europe, and then promptly made his way to HR to give his two weeks. Crazy, right? Maybe not. Taking a ‘life sabbatical’ is pretty awesome in more ways than one. And in today’s society (and particularly for the millennials) more possible/common. His lease ended, he sold his car, and bought a ticket. As long as you have an end-game plan, I see this being more of a possibility for most than you’d think. Just up and ‘moving’ to a foreign country for a semi-predetermined amount of time–a ‘life sabbatical’ if you must, allows you to enjoy the ‘local’ experience, and is vastly different than a vacation. When you’re on vacation you’re in a location for a week or two tops, spending money going out to restaurants, on your fancy hotel, and paying for every museum entrance and tourist attraction along the way. Some of the people I’ve known have actually taken up part time work or volunteered while abroad to accomplish and/or fund this. Every country has different visa rules, so clearly you need to keep this is mind when picking out your destination country, however, if you can make it happen, make it happen. I promise it won’t be nearly as expensive as you think if you plan properly.

What I want to do next! Elephant rehabilitation center volunteering

What I want to do next! Elephant rehabilitation center volunteering

In college/grad school, I had the opportunity to live abroad not once, but twice, in two different countries (not affiliated with a study abroad program). One went fabulously, one less than fabulous. Regardless, both ‘life sabbaticals’ taught me a lot about myself. That I could (surprisingly) navigate my way in a country I’ve never been to, that I could make friends practically anywhere in the world, and that I could in fact survive a boss that would only yell at me in a foreign language (he spoke no english or french. c’etait un problemme.). While that particular experience has left me extremely appreciative of every other job situation I’ve since had, I still felt like I was shockingly productive during my life-sabbaticals (and have even been able to add a few things to my resume because of it!). Which brings me to people’s biggest worry…

Worried about falling behind in your career? Long-term travel may actually be good for it. My roommate (who is a consultant) has mentioned that her company suggests that they take a 3-month period in between two long contracts in order to ‘recover’, more or less, from the hectic work pace, and recharge so you perform better upon return. America as a whole is relatively stingy with vacation days in comparison to other countries, thus if possible, I totally support people taking advantage of this for that reason alone. Below, I have compiled a list of other resons that were found here to show why taking a life-sabbatical is in fact good for your career as well as your state of mind 🙂

New Skills: Traveling for an extended period of time, whether that be 3 months or 1 year, can easily help you acquire new skills, especially ones that are beneficial to your current job. You can acquire another language or better cultural understanding that is perfect for those that work in an international environment. Those hours you spent bartering prices in the markets can translate to better sales skills, while being able to handle finances for travels all over the world can just make you a better planner in both work and home life.

Fresh Outlook on Work: I find that taking time off work helps you come back with a kick. However, traveling to some areas of the world might also make you really appreciate the opportunities available to you back home, including a job that was starting to seem monotonous day after day.

Besides being appreciative of your job, travel also opens up the possibility of discovering new ideas that can be brought back and integrated into your work. Imagine discovering a new dish to make in your restaurant, a new way to decorate your shop or maybe a new product worth selling back home.

Relaxed and Healthier: When you’re going, going, going all the time, you get caught up and rarely get a chance to unwind. If you feel that weekends are over as soon as they start, and two-week holidays were barely a getaway, then extended travel may be what’s needed in your life to simply relax. It’s unfortunately a live-to-work sort of culture, and sadly that makes many people overlook what is important in life, such as our health and sanity. I think that when we have personal happiness and well-being, it is much easier to focus and be productive in our working lives.

Haggia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

Haggia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey

A good friend of mine was actually able to swing an au pair gig in Istanbul this summer. I was able to travel there a few months back for a short trip and loved it; I’m super jealous she’s able to head there to stay for a few months!

Would you ever consider a long-term trip away? If so, where would you go? And the most important question..if no, Why NOT?!

xo SA