Scrolling Headlines:

UMass hockey returns home to battle juggernaut Northeastern squad -

January 18, 2018

Slow start sinks Minutemen against URI -

January 17, 2018

UMass three-game win streak snapped in Rhode Island humbling -

January 17, 2018

Trio of second period goals leads Maine to 3-1 win over UMass hockey -

January 16, 2018

Small-ball lineup sparks UMass men’s basketball comeback over Saint Joseph’s -

January 14, 2018

UMass men’s basketball tops St. Joe’s in wild comeback -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s track and field have record day at Beantown Challenge -

January 14, 2018

UMass women’s basketball blows halftime lead to Saint Joseph’s, fall to the Hawks 84-79. -

January 14, 2018

UMass hockey beats Vermont 6-3 in courageous win -

January 13, 2018

Makar, Leonard score but UMass can only muster 2-2 tie with Vermont -

January 13, 2018

Pipkins breaks UMass single game scoring record in comeback win over La Salle -

January 10, 2018

Conservative student activism group sues UMass over free speech policy -

January 10, 2018

Report: Makar declines invite from Team Canada Olympic team -

January 10, 2018

Prince Hall flood over winter break -

January 10, 2018

Minutemen look to avoid three straight losses with pair against Vermont -

January 10, 2018

Men’s and women’s track and field open seasons at Dartmouth Relays -

January 10, 2018

Turnovers and poor shooting hurt UMass women’s basketball in another conference loss at St. Bonaventure -

January 8, 2018

Shorthanded, UMass men’s basketball shocks Dayton with 62-60 win -

January 7, 2018

Northampton City Council elects Ryan O’Donnell as new council president -

January 7, 2018

UMass power play stays hot but Minutemen lose 8-3 to UMass Lowell -

January 7, 2018

I didn’t have a reason to cut off my hair

(Cathredfern/Flickr)

(Cathredfern/Flickr)

Women’s hair is the subject of great scrutiny. Celebrity award shows are rife with opinions, compliments and complaints about women’s hair. Many movies and television shows, including “Girls,” “Tangled” and “The Big Bang Theory,” use the trope of a woman cutting off all of her hair to signify some major plot point or to emphasize character development. Short hair used to be, and perhaps still is, stigmatized as a signifier of sexuality.

Even my philosophy professor, who I regarded as absolutely brilliant, stated that when women become feminists or begin to analyze systemic issues of sexism or misogyny, they cut off their hair. There are countless opinions on the Internet about why women should stop cutting off all of their hair, even to the extent that some believe short hair ruins a woman’s aesthetic completely – read Return of Kings if you do not believe me.

This is the environment I was met with when I cut off all my hair a couple years ago. I went from hair below my shoulders to Anne Hathaway’s hair in “Interstellar”. When people saw me for the first time after cutting it all off, I was met with assumptions and questions like “Why did you cut off your hair?” “You must be a hardcore feminist,” “You looked so much better with longer hair,” “Are you trying to make a statement?” and “You’re so brave for cutting it all off.” Frankly, it was irritating because I really did not have a reason for cutting off my hair. It was not to make a statement, and it certainly was not because I wanted to advertise my political beliefs to the entire world via my head. I just wanted a change.

Let me make it clear: I do identify as a feminist. I am a liberal. But there is no reason for my hair to advertise that for me. It is not as though I suddenly read “The Feminine Mystique” and ran out to Supercuts. I got a pixie cut because I thought it would look cute. I got a pixie cut because I thought it would be easier to maintain, even though it wasn’t. Then, I grew out my hair to shoulder-length and I stopped getting side-eyes from people wondering why my hair was so short. Then I cut it again. The process repeated.

I have no plans to cut it off again, and when I confided this fact in a friend, he asked me if it was because I did not want to be stereotyped as a feminist. Just as there is no profound reason for me cutting off my hair, there is no profound reason for me growing it out again.

I did not have a reason to cut off my hair. I did not do it because I’m a feminist. I did not do it because I’m a liberal. I didn’t do it because I wanted to bravely defy stereotypes of femininity. I was just a girl with short hair for two years.

 

Kate Waldron is a Collegian contributor and can be reached at kwaldron@umass.edu.

Comments
One Response to “I didn’t have a reason to cut off my hair”
  1. JB says:

    Right on.

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