I knew I would get an unbelievable amount of stares and comments -all unsolicited of course- the exact moment I cut my hair. Yet the one I never thought I’d ever get was actually the one that stood out the most to me, it was, to translate and put it simply of course, “but Hanya you’re distorting your feminine virtues.” I didn’t get it at all but I was adamant on not letting it get to me because if I let that happen then I would’ve hated this entire thing and the months of growth to come.
The thing is, we give this mere (I’m gonna choose to call it plaything) plaything so much importance that it drives me so fucking insane. People do not understand that it is what it is: HAIR. Hair that grows out even when you decide to shave it all off. Hair that falls. Hair that curls and waves and clumps up. This trivial plaything is put so high up in our thoughts and beauty standards. There’s just so much surrounding it, so much unnecessary fuss.
Hair that is also mine. My hair that doesn’t matter because I said so.
Knowing this, I went behind everyone’s back for the chop. Because I’m still a teen living under my momma’s roof and I still need her consent for my shit. Because I knew that if I were to go and ask her about the length she would’ve instantly and undoubtedly said no. Because it does not conform to the societal ideals nor will it conform to beauty standards nor is it what men like, “men like long hair,” they say. It frames the face and the body, its sexy, feminine, attractive, and definitely drives the men mad. Because for fucks sake Hanya, what is a woman without her plaything to be given to a man? I knew I wouldn’t have had my pixie cut if I had told anyone about it- because it makes me less of a woman.
On “distorting” my feminine virtues, I found that people were even more harsh and entitled to their opinions and would say it out loud all the more carelessly. Because I look masculine? They of course said. But what can I, a teenage girl, daughter of a respectable man and an equally respectable woman in an orthodox Egyptian household, even say? I’d be damned if I speak; I am only allowed to laugh and act like the good woman that they want me to be.
What’s funny is definitely the fact that chopping my entire hair’s length made me change all my views about said femininity- and said masculinity. I’ve been told we’ve got both but I can’t for the life of me showcase my masculinity. But that wasn’t the case, it never is. It was of course the fact that for once I rebelled, revolted, and took matters into my own hand so hard and too much for everyone’s liking. It wasn’t like wearing a tighter top or shorter shorts, it was fucking groundbreaking to the entire community around me.
There’s always this huge conversation on hair and everyone has made it such a big deal and it sucks because we spend so much of our money and hours on it. We wear it up today, we curl it tomorrow, bun for a change, then do it all again because how can you not style your hair the way that is acceptable and isn’t awkward? But how can I?
So much of a woman is hair, so much of hair is a woman; we grew up with that. I was fed up and depressed I didn’t wanna hold that anymore. Cutting it gave me so much power, into my own hands and in my own right. Giving my plaything so little significance gave me so much freedom and liberty and it was the biggest fuck you I’ve given the world in my just sixteen years of life.
Now, femininity to me is not held by my hair. It is in me. It is makeup, art, intellect, passion, strength and drive. It is the rings that I choose to wear sometimes, the earrings and many more piercings I’ve decorated my body with. It is the tattoos that I think of sometimes but not too much. It is whatever I make of it and how wonderful it is to not be held captive by a mere plaything.
My hair is not shaping me or my femininity anymore. My hair is not the only thing that Hanya ever was, is, and will ever be. I decide who I am and all that I am is what shapes my femininity.
Now, I chose to grow my hair, with a bit of resistance by trimming it again and again every two months or so. Now, I get compliments on my hair because it grew just a bit to pass the awkward stage, but I no longer smile at them and blush because I know it only grew socially acceptable. Now, I live with it decisions solely and of course my own view of what femininity is. Don’t allow one thing of you define all that you are because that is not remotely possible. When we describe a house, we describe its entirety.
So yes, big fuck it. My hair is not the only shape of me and its certainly not my crown.