The Gender Norms of Women’s Hair

The secrets of hair commercials revealed
Photo by today.com

Women are pressured by society to have long, luscious hair. It is seen as more beautiful and more desirable by men. Women are also pressured to shave all of the other hair on their bodies; including: legs, bikini line, armpits, and facial hair.

I have long hair and I hate it. It makes me less able to do things. So, I put it in a ponytail every day, causing a receding hairline. Why can’t I cut my hair short like boys can?

Long hair is beautiful. Long hair isn’t functional. Short hair is beautiful. Short hair is functional.

I think part of the reason women are told to keep their hair long is for the male gaze. Most men prefer women with longer hair. Men also prefer smooth, shaved legs. That’s kind of messed up though, right? Women making choices about their bodies to please men. It makes me uncomfortable.

Shaving legs and leaving hair long is also a hassle. Long hair gets in the way of eating, running, doing work. Everything. Long hair takes longer and takes more money for maintenance. Shaving legs often is also a hassle that takes time. Could a possible reason be that men want to keep women down and less functional than themselves?

I want to be a woman who is more focused on functionality than how I look. Functionality comes first. I want to cut my hair short and not shave my legs anymore. It’s so much more practical for every day life.

Then, I bring these thoughts up to my mom and she looks at me funny and tells me I shouldn’t. That I’ll never get a boyfriend. That I’ll be weird or look weird.

I’m sick of the trivializing of women and society making it seem like the premier aspiration of a woman should be to be beautiful.

 

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