When I first cut my hair the shock of shaving my head was on the tip of everyone’s tongue. I mostly laughed at their lack of exposure or open mindedness. I had many reasons to shave my head and I have continued to shave my head as a personal journey for the past, almost, year. It’s almost been a year of having a haircut that has statements that are even hard to comprehend, fully.
I shaved my head last year for many reasons that still hold true and I have many more to keep my head buzzed. First, it was mid winter and I was struggling with remembering the light of the spring, so I shaved all my hair with the intent to let the “sunshine” in – to help me smile more and figure out happiness. I am on a buddhist path and I read there was wisdom in not having hair. So I had to give it a try I had nothing to lose. That March was cold with touches of warmth that reminded me of spring and I was just tired of waiting for spring. It had an impact on many things and at that time I had no idea where shaving my head would lead me. Then I made it to drag that summer where shaving my head was not only practical but just made sense.
Living with the shaved head has many practical implications. First of all, I wear hats…a lot. Mainly because its cold or I need to protect my head from the sun. I learned many tips this summer from the bald men I know. Thanks guys! I learned that I am cold if I am not wearing a hat, especially the extreme cold temperatures we have had here in PA for the winter of 2014. I have loved building my hat collection. I even wear a night cap, because its too cold to let my head go uncovered.
Living with the shaved head has made my life easier in many ways. First of all the only time I need worry about my hair is about once a month or so and I simply shave it off into a ziplock back for any upcoming drag. I don’t do my hair daily, I don’t need to brush or comb my hair. I wash it, when I shower. The most noticeable – men leave me a lone. I mean straight men never hit on me, it is the most effective anti-man look I have ever had. I mean downright fantastic, I think only one strange guy hit on me once as a woman, but I could bet he was bisexual. Sometimes I am mistaken for a man and gay men will hit on me, but that’s just amusing! So when I read this article on NewStatesmen I was immediately relating to a lot of what is said in there.
So the men have left me a lone, no loss in my lesbian world. More lesbians notice me, well that’s an advantage! Its easier to maintain and take care of and it works for Drag, most of the time, wigs fix it if it doesn’t.
Here’s an interesting piece. I have had conversations with what we will call “Lipstick Straight Women” – These straight women are into wearing make-up, long hair, dresses, and so on. You get the idea. In our conversations some of them may or may not know I am lesbian, I am not sure how you could miss it, but some do. On more then several occasions the topic has come up, that men don’t find short hair attractive. Each time a woman brings this up I like to say, “Hmmmm so you dress to attract men with your looks and then get mad when that’s all the notice about you?” Come on ladies, if you want a man to like you for something other than your looks, then wear your fucking hair the way you like it. Do what YOU WANT, many don’t even know what that is. Sad really to see my fellow ladies say this, sad.
Then another favorite reaction to my hair is “you are brave” to have your hair that way. Somehow by shaving my head and being vulnerable makes me brave. Not only do I not care what anyone thinks of my head but I also expose myself to the elements. I must be mindful of my head at all times. Ahhh mindfulness. Remember why I originally shaved my head, it was a spiritual journey. I had not only found happiness but also mindfulness in my daily activities. I learned to pay attention to how my body felt and knew that it had a ton to do with my head. I learned that if someone is judging you by your hair, its because they assume you are doing the same. I learned that many people have no idea what they really want. I learned many people do their hair to please those around them. I learned that a shaved head is perceived as more masculine. I learned that my shaved head is feminist because I refuse to be a sex object for men. I refuse to be what you want to see me as….I will only be me. I learned that being vulnerable has lead me to wonderful things.
Vulnerability has brought me so many things, many of them I have no words. Buddhism is often hard to grasp someone else’s ideas, it takes you on your own journey to understand. But I followed a very wise man’s advice last year when I was done with all the bullshit in our world. “Be the Change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Ghandi) Once I began to change myself I was lead to a very peaceful happy place. I sometimes struggle with staying there but I am trying to stay there. But all I did was shave my head? I really had no idea. I had decided at some point it would be for one year but now….well I don’t know if I want to stop!
Someone said to me recently, “Simply by being you Hollis, you impact the world around you.” Is this true or is this in my head somewhere? Is this my ego? I must simply focus on whats important, changing me! I like my hair this way, its easy and I kind of like the comfort of a hat. The only hair I would want might be among my shaved head…but its not time for that yet. Right now, the buzzing continues