Wednesday, September 9, 2015

I Don't Care What He Would Prefer I Do With My Hair

I keep my hair cut short during Spring and Summer. Texas gets HOT and having a lot of hair when it's so hot out makes me feel miserable. So, I cut most of my hair off until what's left is resting around my earlobes. Nothing feels better than that first day where I walk out into the warm sunshine and feel so much lighter and more free because I've lost five or more inches of hair.

I also have a tendency to change my hair color multiple times a year. I favor bright colors but my job doesn't allow any fun hair colors so the most I can get away with are shades of red. Which is fine because I love having red hair. I also play around with hair chalk on weekends to add more funky colors to my hair since hair chalk washes right out.

Two questions I get most often about my hair have nothing to do with the great work my stylist does or the funky hair chalks I like to add in to my colored hair.

The two I get the most are the same question inquiring about separate things and for the most part, these questions come from other women.

"What does your boyfriend think of your hair being that color?'

"Is your boyfriend a short hair man?"/"What does your boyfriend think of your hair being that short?"

This annoys me because what my boyfriend thinks of my hair doesn't factor in to what I do to my hair. It's MY hair and he has no claim over my hair and what I do with it.

My hair color changing he's fine. He often shows me pictures of beautiful, brightly colored hair to give me ideas for things I can do for hair chalk or for when I work in a place that doesn't have such a strict dress code.

My boyfriend likes long hair. He gets a little sad when I go to cut off my long wavy locks at the start of the hot hot heat. He never tries to talk me out of it or never tries to pretend he has any say over what I do with my hair though because he understands his preference for my hair isn't relevant.

It's not that I don't appreciate his opinion on things because I do. I talk things over with him all the time and regularly bounce ideas off of him because I value his opinion and enjoy getting his perspective on things. How I dress, what eye makeup I wear, what I do with my hair and superficial aesthetic things like those have no real impact on our relationship. It's not like I cut my hair to spite him. How I look is up to me and I do what I'm comfortable with and I do what makes me happy.

What typically follows these questions is, "well if he prefers long hair, why would you cut it short?"

Again, IT'S MY HAIR AND I WANTED IT SHORT TO BE MORE COMFORTABLE AND BECAUSE IT'S CUTE SO I CUT IT SHORT. I don't need anyone's approval to do something to my appearance.

I've never understood the notion that if the person I'm in a relationship doesn't like a certain aesthetic then it means I shouldn't do it anymore. Thankfully, I'm with a person that doesn't try to dictate or pressure me into looking a certain way. He might not like the short hair or the lime green eyeliner but he doesn't try to discourage me from doing things that I enjoy because they're not his preference. He doesn't pressure me or shame me. He understands that I'm the one in control of my body and in control of what I do with it. As long as I'm not hurting myself, he doesn't care as long as I'm happy.

Now if only other people would be as awesome as my boyfriend and stop asking me (and I'm sure asking other people) why I do things to my appearance for myself without considering what he would prefer, that would be rad.


Rayne Millaray said...

Part of the issue is that you live in Texas. How can you have big Texas hair if you cut it short?! ;)

No one ever asks me those things up here. Not even when I had bright red and purple hair. I need to do that again soon.

Cindy said...

I'm sorry but you sound like a bratty beotch here with your " I do what I want because I want to and I don't care about your feelings anyway" and you can say you respect his opinion all day long but I can see here you clearly don't. All relationships require compromise. You clearly don't care about that or about his feelings and opinions.

Julie said...

Way to stereotype Texas.

Anna "Mayhem" :) said...

Uh, I don't think part of the issue has anything to do with Texas. I've had similar experiences in Chicago, NYC, L.A. and Miami. I currently live in Dallas and have for 5 years and have yet to experience it here. I think the more active you are in your community and social life, the more likely it's bound to happen because so many people think women are for men's consumption.

Good for you for doing you and for having a respectful partner. That's great to see in this day and age. I'll have to poke around your blog a bit more now that I know you have one!


Vivian Vixen said...

I thought Rayne had the most ridiculous comment then I got to Cindy. Wow.

First, I've had this happen to me in multiple states, neither of which were Texas or any Southern state. So it's not because she lives in Texas. And I'm pretty sure the "big hair" thing doesn't really apply. Maybe get out into the real world more often.

And there's nothing "bratty" or "bitchy" about taking control over what you do aesthetically with your body. You can respect someone's opinion and still do what's best and right for you.

Rayne Millaray said...

Lol. The "big hair" thing was a joke. But my father's from Texas and lives there, so I've been there quite a bit. And I keep a close eye on Texas politics in case I ever have to move there to take care of him. So I'm standing by my "Texas is overtly misogynist" claim.

Thanks for the suggestion to get out more, though! I do need to do that. I've been cooped up for at least a week.

Anonymous said...

Y'all need to calm down.

Ashly, I have to know if it's men or women that generally make these questions since misogyny was brought in.

Ashly Star said...

Anon, they generally have always come from women. If your angle will be that because it's women asking this that misogyny isn't at play here, please look into "internalized sexism" before going any further. A women telling me I shouldn't cut my hair short because my man won't like it is her saying, "don't do something to make you less appealing to a man because you're purpose and worth as a woman is to be appealing to men and do what makes them happy." Which is sexist as all hell. Just because it comes from someone who identifies as the same gender that I do does not mean it can't be sexist.

Also, I have experienced this in other states before but again, internalized sexism lives on everywhere. It's not unique to Texas but it's also no secret that Texas isn't the most progressive state either. We're far from being a "women's rights" friendly state overall. I'm not saying we're stuck in the past here but our progress isn't as forward moving as others. I love where I live but there's still plenty of room for improvement, ya know?

Lastly, as Vivian stated, I can absolutely respect someone's opinions and feelings without compromising what I want for myself. I can do what's best for me and it doesn't equal disrespect. By that logic, if he expected me to keep my hair a certain way because he likes it better with no regard to what I want, that actually would be disrespectful. I'd never tell him what to do with his body because it's his body and he's in control of it. He understands the same goes for me, regardless of what his aesthetic preferences might be. Our bodies, especially aesthetically, are not something we NEED to learn to compromise on.