When I chopped off all my hair, my sister said to make sure I don’t get a “may I speak to your manager” haircut. You know the short hair/helmet combo? It is usually paired with an embroidered vest and crisp, white sneakers. I assured her that that was not the look I was going for. I never thought I’d get a pixie cut because I never thought I would be that brave, but it had nothing to do with being brave and everything to do with being a mom.
I love putting on makeup and finding my favorite shade of red lipstick, but then I look up at the tangled mess on my head and think, “oh yeah, that mess.” I used to love my hair and loved curling it and it keeping it luxuriously long. I loved the way I can push it to one side when I was writing like I was a proper woman writing my memoir in some cafe.
Once I gave birth I had someone to care for 24/7, all my hair vanity disappeared. I’m giving my attention to someone else, so my questionably clean hair was usually thrown in a ponytail. In my mental checklist of things I will allow myself to “let go”, my hair was up there with keeping up with Real Housewives of Atlanta and flossing. (I am a gross human being.)
I felt like I disappeared when I had child. I didn’t have a job to go back to and I was in a new city, so I didn’t care about my hair or my looks. I grew a deep appreciation of lounge wear and crock pot meals. I hung out with Miles all day and we talked about Sesame Street. It wasn’t until we left Austin, moved back to Atlanta, received babysitting help, and Miles grew some independence, when I felt a little more like myself. Cutting my hair was just icing on the cake.
I moved back to Atlanta and my sister was there to nudge me in the chair. I was tired of having to worry about my hair. Even though I was nervous about it, cutting it all off was freeing. I would’ve never gotten to this point unless I was a mom. I reached a level of not giving a fuck and gave into the ease of having short hair.
After my new do, I liked how I looked at that was that. Weeks go by and I felt like I changed. I felt like I was claiming back a part of me, the part where I effortlessly felt good in my own skin. Since having a kid, I feel like I need to put in the extra effort in my appearance to convince people that I’m not about to lose my shit. Now I don’t feel like I have to convince anyone of anything. It took giving up a part of me to find a whole new confidence I didn’t even think I needed. I feel like a fucking badass.
I know I’m no pioneer in women’s style or fashion — women have had short hair since the 1920s, but it’s my own personal, quiet rebellion against classic beauty. I’m short, I’m Filipino, I’m a mom, I have short hair, and I feel great. Did an AT&T guy call me sir yesterday? Sure. Did it make me question my haircut? Absolutely. Did I buy more lipstick. Yes. Badass, nonetheless.