Self-Appreciation Saturdays

SAS: An Open Letter to Those Who Say, “Grow Out Your Hair”. (5/4/19)

To whom it may concern,

Hi! Welcome to Letters From Liz! Of course, if you’re new – my name is Liz and I run this blog. We talk about tons of things, such as mental health, self-appreciation, priorities, music; pretty much anything, really. I also frequently write about my own experiences of life and try to help out others who may feel lost, discouraged, or sad – aka a type of person I’m very familiar with.

If you’re not new, then you know all of this, and if you’ve seen pictures of me or know me in person, you also know that I have a pixie haircut that I debuted back in December. Of course, it turned heads for the first month or so, but 5 months later, I have people in my life telling me that it’s time to grow out my hair.

Let’s rewind it back, shall we?

Hair, to me, is an important staple of my identity. My hair, whatever color it was or what style it was in, became an identity of mine at that moment in time. Do I take hair too seriously? Yeah. Am I obsessed with hair? I’d like to believe that I was reincarnated from a guy who was a sick hairdresser back in the days because my love for hair doesn’t even make sense. 

My hair, although made me feel like myself, hid a lot of my insecurities. It hid my double chin, it hid the back of my neck, it makes me look thinner, girlier, more acceptable in traditional beauty standards, and I even wore it in the same damn hairstyle for three years straight after leaving it down for the first 21 years of my life.

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With long hair, I wanted short hair; with short hair, I wanted long hair, but I never took it to the point where my hair couldn’t hide my insecurities or my troubled beliefs on beauty, and sometimes I really have to ask myself, what took me this long to do it?

You see, my pixie cut to you may be boyish. Mannish. Ugly. Too short. Not suitable for a fat girl such as me. You may misgender me even, think I’m a fat man with man boobs or something. You may even think I’m a lesbian or call my haircut “the lesbian cut”. You may think all of these things, and although you won’t admit them to my face, I know that society will always judge you before they compliment you. They will always think “pretty or ugly” before they say anything about your personality or your kindness. Hell, I know I could be judgmental and think societal bullshit towards someone I don’t know. My point being is that our opinions about other people don’t really matter.

Because as long as it makes them happy, they could care less about what you have to say about them.

Back to my haircut: If you were to ask me at least why I decided to cut it this short, then you may know that this haircut came after one of the worst depressive episodes I had in my life. Yeah, worse than the one in 2012. You will know that once I let go of this perfect image of myself, I was allowed to do anything with my body, whether that is getting another tattoo, piercing, or simply cut my hair short as hell. You will know once I got this haircut, something just clicked in me.

Maybe ponytail Liz had to go in order for the pixie cut Liz to finally shine and take in what life had to offer her. 

By saying to grow my hair back, you are telling me that the person who I’ve become in these last 5 months is just a phase in my life and that my only beauty was behind my hair. You are telling me my happiness, my sense of identity in this exact place don’t matter because “you’re a girl, you should have long hair.”

By saying to grow my hair back, you are telling me the progress I made isn’t as worthy as looking “feminine” and “pretty” in society.

Am I taking it too far? Hell yeah, I am. Please, just tell me that it’s just hair.

But to me, it’s more than just that. It was a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let my anxiety dictate my body nor will I allow it to indulge in self-loathe whenever I wasn’t the person my perfectionist side wanted me to be. It was the beginning of just trying new things, whether that be ways I communicate myself to others, the clothes I chose to try on, and have some sort of free trial on how developing self-confidence looked like.

My pixie cut was just the tip of the iceberg, folks. This wasn’t a “Britney Spears 2007 meltdown”. This wasn’t a cry for attention. This was because I told myself enough was enough. What was there to be afraid of?

Although my grandfather never saw me with my hair this short, I know he would enjoy the new look on me. I know that his mantra, in the simplest way possible, was to never fear anything in life. I think his strength, his courage, and his belief on tough-skin, is what keeps me going in my own journey of self-love and appreciation.

So, to the people in my life that look at me and want their Liz with long hair back: there’s hope, she’ll be back. 

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Just not for a very long time. 

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