Sadie Bingham, MSW, LICSW
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    Short Hair Don’t Care

    “The woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” – Coco Chanel

    I love working on my private practice so much that it can be hard to pull myself away. On days devoted to this labor of love, I want to maximize every minute of that day. Which was why I began to resent the time it took to style my hair. Every day that I had to “deal” with my hair, took me away from my passion. Long hair takes energy, money & time.

    It took me an hour to get ready for the day. This included the shower, the drying, the styling, the primping & pressing. I had this thought one day, “when I am older I will be able to get away with short hair.” I actually subscribed to the idea that I needed hair to prove my worthiness to others. Because long hair is considered more attractive & for a woman to get ahead in this world, she needs to appeal to the male gaze. Duh.

    It is so completely absurd.

    But let me tell you, as a female, this message has been drilled into our heads from the moment we literally could see. Then this message becomes internalized the moment our looks are commented on. There is no validity in this thinking, only delusion. If I wanted to own non-negotiable beauty this had to come from the inside. Beauty had to exude from my pores, it had to be translated from my energy & had to be defined by me.

    That day I promptly woke my husband from his slumber and pronounced I was getting a pixie.

    His eyes immediately widened. At that moment my husband knew – he had to stop this train before it left the station. So he proclaimed, “Noooo – Sadie we have been through this before. You don’t have the face for it.” Some may take that as an insult but by then I knew the Truth. That I am a grown ass woman & I can do whatever I want (thank you Beyoncé). I also knew that any type of change can be scary & that while I have been programmed in my own feminism, my husband too had been the receiver of societal programming.

    So I scheduled my pixie with the stylist that specialized in men’s haircuts. But to get her, would mean waiting a month. Which is good because if I changed my mind, I had a month to do so. I fully expected to back out – but as time wore on I became more solidified in my decision.

    Because for the first time in my life, I was making a decision based on my preferences.

    Everyone will say that a pixie does not simplify your life but instead gives you more work to do. You have to get more hair cuts and the look demands to be styled daily. Once I received my pixie, I realized the next morning that this hair would require my attention – Every. Single. Day. My intention of streamlining my morning routine could not have been more laughable. Instead, I wake up with “troll hair” as my husband astutely put it.

    The difference is I really enjoy styling my hair now.

    And sign me up any day of the week to walk into an Aveda salon, inhale the essential oils, get my scalp massage, chat up my new female friend & then put money directly into her pocket.

    Since getting my hair cut people have said all sorts of things. I’ve been called Tom Cruise, a lesbian, an 8-year-old boy. It’s amusing to me how much people comment on my hair cut. Some will forcibly say, “Oh…it’s…cute.” The truth is, I believe I was more attractive with longer hair (again, the programming). So I get it. But when people comment on my hair, this says more about them than it does about me. Because I’m past the point of caring what anyone thinks. This has little to do with that.

    With all the work I had been doing internally, I wanted my outside to match my inside.

    My hair being this short is about putting myself out there & making a decision for me. It’s about a middle finger to society that thinks it has a right to tell me how to look in order to feel sexy & beautiful. It’s about all the assumptions we have about the way a women should look – packaged in pretty little boxes so that we don’t threaten the patriarchy. I am urging all my friends to get pixie haircuts. Not because I think they will all look adorable but because it redefines our beauty standards.

    It allows little girls to look at grown ass women & realize we can do whatever we want.