I have heard comments like those referred to in this article SO MUCH in the last few months since I cut my hair, mostly on YouTube, the home of 12-18 year olds.
The ones that confuse and hurt me the most are like this one I got last week:
“Love your videos, will be back when you grow your hair out.”
Uh, ok? My hair doesn’t affect what words come out of my mouth, dude? But he can’t see me as anything else, I guess. Guys like him tune in because I’m attractive to them. Without long hair, I’m not attractive to them. Ergo…goodbye. The substance of my work doesn’t matter because my looks are the only context they have for me in their lives. And that makes me sad, because I’ve always tried to be more than that, without screaming it in people’s faces.
And it makes me sad for THEM actually. Because with that attitude towards women, they might be missing out on meeting an awesome girl/woman for themselves in their real lives. But we exist in a culture that only treats women as paper doll cutouts we can get aroused/attracted to. Our media does that to us, men do it to women, women do it to other women. I mean, how many animated GIFS of women are reblogged on Tumblr for their WORK rather than a dress they wear or a pretty pose? It’s an interesting question, one that even I might have a bad record with.
So part of me doesn’t even blame those YouTube guys. But it does make me want to show them that there are other ways to be, even if they cut me out of their online video lives, I still exist as who I am, out of their very rigidly defined parameters of “female-dom”. And maybe that’s enough. Just to BE.
Think I’ll be keeping my hair short for a long time.