A week and a half ago I cut my hair. A lot. I buzzed it to half an inch.
My initial thoughts were, “Oh wow. There actually is some family resemblance between me and my brothers!” I had gone most of my life having no idea how we could possibly look related. But buzz my head? Spitting image of my brother. Who knew?
It’s made me think about how I represent my gender. I’ve always identified as a heterosexual woman/girl. My gender and sexual identity have always been clear to me, but this haircut, which is culturally “masculine”, has made me think about all the times I’ve tried on different levels of femininity and masculinity.
I don’t remember being particularly “girly” nor do I remember being a “tomboy.” The same fifth grade self who wrote a diatribe against pink for an assignment made sure she wore an anklet, necklace, bracelet, and hair bow every week at church. I loved dressing up.
When I joined speech team my freshman year in high school, I bought my first suit. I loved the feeling of power wearing pinstripes. It looked good on me and I wish I still had it!
When I went to BYU, I started a collection of ties I acquired from DI. I would wear them to class, to church, everywhere. Those were the days of the Avril Lavigne tie style. I couldn’t get enough of the ties. I remember doing my makeup in costume-like colors and juxtaposing the tie with formal wear to dances and thinking, “Yeah, I’m a girl, but I can wear this tie better than any of the guys here.”
Oddly enough, I didn’t try wearing pants to church until 3 years ago when I was nursery leader and the calling nearly necessitated pants. (small plug for wear pants to church day this Sunday!)
I have tried different lengths of hair, different levels of make up, different levels of shaving/plucking, etc. It’s fun. Part of the motivation behind this haircut is wondering, “If I take off my hair, will I still be feminine?” The answer is, “Heck yes!” And I love that I’ve been able to “try out” different ends of the masculinity/femininity spectrum in my life. In the end, I think I’m rather feminine and you can’t mistake that, though I like to be feminine with a very easy hairdo.
Do you consider yourself culturally feminine? Masculine? Neither? Both? How do you represent that?