Tuesday, July 15
my head is on loose, but my shoes are tight
Ahhhh, the glamorous life of a girl with mental illness.
Recently, I have begun obsessing, again, about shaving my head. But then, there's Ms. Spears' famous head-shaving experience and there's a nagging feeling that, as far as it goes, this might just be my crazy talking. But then I think about the benefits of not having hair and, I got to tell you, I am nearly sold.
First, I should say that my head is well-covered in thick, unruly hair that simulates wearing a wool toque on a hot day. It makes me sweat, which if you've been paying attention, you'll know I loathe. Plus it takes time to style well and on the days I don't feel like investing time in it, no amount of dressing well or good makeup makes up for looking like I have a dead cat sitting on my head.
I will state here and now that I know that there is a much less drastic option. A stylish pixie cut, perhaps, but that would likely mean going to a salon with my heaps of no money. I have clippers here and could shave it quickly and free...
But I'm not sold. I am not entirely convinced that I really want to shave my head, I have done quite a bit of research, read personal accounts, read accounts of partners of women who shaved their heads, found a whole schwack of head-shaving porn, and have spent countless minutes staring into the mirror trying to imagine what other people would see and think if I had a bald head.
The first thing I think is that people would assume I was gay. Since adulthood I have had people wonder if I am gay or straight, and I am quite cozy in my sexuality, so that feels like a non-issue to me. I then worry that friends and family will take it as a sure sign of my diminished mental capacity. They'd have a point, it very well could be, I tend not to think so (having dreamt of having the guts to do it for 12+ years now), but casting aside my hair could be a sign of something. I wonder if I should warn people, allowing them the chance to talk me out of it, or just do it and let the chips fall where they may.
My biggest worry is that it will not feel as meaningful and liberating as I expect it to. My hair has long been a source of vanity and insecurity, to cut it all off would symbolise a rebirth, a shedding of the image I have had of myself for so long and a clean slate on which to rebuild my style and persona. It might just be a shaved head that garners stares and disapproval from friends and family. It might be the thing that causes everyone to lose faith in me, it might be just what I need.
I hate not having answers, and I hate that, in the end, something as trivial as hair has me so flummoxed.
Some part of me is sure I'll go through with it, or with some awesome change - but a small piece of me is waiting for approval, still. One of my greatest paradoxes is my desire to be unique and universally accepted. Even when the logical bit of me quite convincingly reminds me that a) everything's already been done and b) universal acceptance is a construct, not a reality.
by kate at 11:33 AM