Since I was a little girl I always had long hair. I always told my mom that I want to cut it, but she and my dad always refused taking that I had great hair as an excuse. Girls are taught all their lives that they are more beautiful with long hair and having short hair is boyish and not pretty. I always felt disconnected with my hair. I never really believed I was pretty when having long hair, instead I felt restrained. I hated wearing it down, it felt like a load on my shoulders.
When I became in my teen years, I started cutting it step by step so that my parents won’t notice much change. I remember the first time I cut it shorter than my usual hair length, I felt pretty and somehow free. I watched the hairstylist while cutting it and with every strand being cut I felt renewed. Ever since then I never stopped cutting it.
Just a month back I took the risk and cut it really short compared to my previous hairstyles, and it turned out to be the best decision I made in a while. I must admit that I was afraid of how it will turn out, if it will complement my face. But then I realized that I don’t really care that much how it will turn out. This haircut transformed me. I never felt pretty like I did right after I got the cut. It felt like breathing air right after you were saved from drowning.
When my friends and family saw me on that day they were shocked, but most said it was the best haircut I had in years and hearing that lifted my spirit more. But other girls asked me why I did it and how I got the courage to do such thing, but they never asked how it felt like. And don’t let me start on the side glances and smirks I got from random men walking in the streets. As we live in a society that is more concerned with how women look in its eyes than what those women feel on the inside.
We’re all about false outer beauty standards and forget about the inner beauty. You must know that what you feel inside is what matters on the long run. Why not look beautiful for your own sake, not for anybody else.
We have to stop labeling what’s beautiful and what’s not; as eyes are different. And if you like what you see in the mirror, that’s all it matters.
Written by Pancé Ibrahim