Lauren Gordon. I remember being in eighth grade, sitting on AIM, chatting with a boy I had a crush on. I was at my peak awkward phase -- shiny metallic braces, plus-size figure, dotted with hormonal acne.
At the time, I was convinced that I was repulsive. But if the teen movies I watched incessantly taught me anything, it's that in spite of my "offensive" outward appearance, I still had a shot at getting the guy because underneath it all I really was a good person. Though I can't recall what slick line I used to turn the conversation toward crushes, I put feelers out there for what he liked in girls.
He rattled off every feature I didn't have, except that he loved long hair. Long hair? Oh, long hair I had in droves. It cascaded nearly the whole length of my back. It's the only pretty thing about you. Although I genuinely think this young boy was rather ignorant to what he was actually saying, it stuck with me.
For pretty much my entire adult life, I've kept my hair long. There have been bouts of short bobs and shoulder-length 'dos, but for the most part my hair grew long and thick and hung down to my lower back. Society arbitrarily assigned long-haired, thin women to be the pinnacle of feminine beauty, and because I only had half of the equation, I clung to it with a fierce grip.
When I didn't like a back-fat bulge, I didn't stress it because my long hair would cover it. Just before every photo of me was taken, I would gather all my hair and strategically frame it around my face to hide that pesky double chin. If I wasn't feelin' myself, I took a lot of comfort in knowing that "at least" my hair was nice. Being a mom with long, flowing hair became a huge burden.
Days would go by before I gave it a proper brushing. I had little to no time to style it, so it often just sat there like a greasy mop atop my stressed head. Not to mention, by the time my son hit his first birthday, my hair had been mercilessly tugged, caught in every sleeper zipper, and wreaked general havoc on my life. I started wishing for short hair, but the thing was I had done the bob thing and found that to be too hard to style too. I started daydreaming about going really short, like pixie-cut short, but there was something holding me back.
The thing was, having a baby hadn't exactly turned me into a body confidence queen. I had been working on my self-love journey for some time, and although I was in a much better place than I ever had been, it took a major dip after giving birth.
I wasn't sure how I would handle it. I began obsessively searching "fat girl pixie cuts" on Instagram, Pinterest, and general Google Images. I was desperate to get a glimmer of what I might look like with truly short hair, and I was looking for these cuts from every possible angle. It was as I was staring at a digitized version of myself with super short hair that I had this super enlightened thought: "What the eff am I doing?!
First of all, it's just hair. What's the worst that could happen? I hate it? It will grow back. Second of all, who says fat women can't rock a short haircut and still look feminine? And beautiful? And dare I say even sexy? Certainly not me -- I'd never once in my life thought a woman looked less beautiful because of the length of her hair, so why should I assume anyone would think that of me?
I kept it together as my stylist shaped it, but truth be told, the longer I sat in the chair, the more I hated it. You could see every inch of my full face. There was no way to hide that ever-present double chin, no blanket of soft hair to cover my doughy shoulders. When I got home, I saw my husband and burst into tears. I stood in front of the mirror and pulled at it, wishing I could will it to grow with each tug. It was bad. But as time went by, I started feeling more and more comfortable with it. I dyed it a color that spoke more to my style and shaped it up.
As I got more comfortable, I began to revel in the time it saved me every morning. With nothing to hide behind, I started going all-in with my looks. I embraced the edgy cut and rocked oversized earrings and hyper sexy, feminine outfits. I had more time to do my makeup, more time to spend on myself, and overall, it helped me take a little bit more ownership of my day. It wasn't "wrong" for a fat girl to rock a short cut. It didn't do my plus-size body a disservice of any kind, nor did it make me a lazy, boring mom. It was a change that, in the long run, brought me joy.
And even though there are days when I miss my long locks, ultimately doing something that scared me taught me some lessons I really needed to learn. Breaking the rules is a beautiful thing in and of itself, and I'm so glad I took the risk. From my clothes, to my tattoos, to the hair on my head, I need to do what is best for me , always -- not what society thinks is best. Lauren Gordon January 2 at PM. Being a Mom. In my mind, my long hair helped "make up for" all my other flaws.
The maintenance of such a hairstyle didn't bother me at all Then and there I called my hairstylist, booked my appointment Within what felt like three snips, my year armor was stripped right from me. I'd love to tell you I handled it gracefully, but I didn't. But the most important thing is that I realized my hair wasn't what made me beautiful.