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The Chop

todayMarch 19, 2017 3

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By Kimberly Garcia
Blog Content Contributor

For all of my life, I have always had long curly hair. People have always mentioned how much they remembered me because of my hair. Messages in my yearbook from school even mention my hair and how much it would be missed. Now, I have always loved my hair and how many things I could do with it, but recently I felt like it was time for a change in my style. A change that called to cut (most of) it off.

The cut took 30 minutes and I walked out of the salon a new person. It was strange to not have to worry about it being out of the way and not having anything hit my shoulders but, I felt freed. For the first time ever, my head was its own unit. I could take shorter showers now that I didn’t have to spend 15 minutes of my life every day detangling it and making sure it was styled correctly. I now lacked the curtain of hair that put me apart from others. I had known for a while that I would like to have a shorter hairstyle. It was an idea I communicated to those around me quite often.

“Cutting my hair has helped me realize that I should work on my internal appearance, because my external appearance has dominated how others perceive me.” Photo via Kimberly Garcia.

When I walked into my mom’s house a week after I did the chop, her initial reaction was pure surprise. All she said was “you cut your hair?!?” Upon further questioning she came to the conclusion that she did like my new haircut and that it fit me quite well. Others had similar responses but, one thing that was most apparent was how much my hair helped others distinguish me from others.

I attended a conference after I cut my hair, and when I was receiving directions from two faculty members who work in my office, they were speaking to me like they had never met me before. It was quite surprising for me as I have been working in the office for almost a year. I know that I can pass people that I use to have class with or that I use to talk to and they would not even think to look twice at me because my long curly hair is gone. This made me think about how much my hair made me, me.

Well, at least in the perspective of others.

I know I can’t control how people are able to recognize me or label me with some type of identifier, but I also realized that that label should not be the only thing that people use to distinguish me from others. Cutting my hair has helped me realize that I should work on my internal appearance, because my external appearance has dominated how others perceive me. It is important for me to help others see that I am more than just my hair.

In the weeks after I had cut it, several people asked me if I regretted letting go of my long hair and I can say without a doubt that I do not miss it. Maybe it’s because this new style is still fresh and exciting to me. Although I didn’t hate my long hair, I can’t see myself growing it out any time soon.

Featured image by Kimberly Garcia.

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