Whoever decided there was a "right" idea of beauty can fuck right off. Somehow, it's become a social norm the world over for humans to hide or change what makes them special, unique, wholly original, because someone arbitrarily defined beauty with certain parameters.
And what's worse, when someone decides to embrace themselves as they are, all too often others feel it's necessary to comment, to let that person know what they think of the change in appearance.
So when I shaved my head, nothing annoyed me more than being told how "brave" I was. Sure, it was a drastic change, but I don't need anyone complimenting my decision as brave.
I understand the intention behind the word is good; I know that to the people who said something, going against a societal norm seems daring. I appreciate the sweetness and kind words that have been directed at me, but I just can't get on board with the idea that it's brave.
I cut my hair because I wanted to. Not because I'm sick or anything to do with sexual identity or trying to make a point. I did it simply because I wanted to and I could.
I've had a curiosity about shaving my head for quite a long time, and it took me probably 10 years to finally just do it. I was afraid I'd look funny, that others would judge, but I must say, shaving my head has been so liberating. It's easy to associate long hair with femininity because this is what we've been told since childhood.
But, I have very short hair and I'm still a woman. I still move, create and love as a woman does.
I'm not trying to imply that all women should shave their heads to feel liberated.
But using a word like brave to describe a haircut shows just how screwed up our society's ideas of what constitutes beauty — and bravery — are. I am brave, but not because I cut my hair.
I am brave because I followed my heart when I moved away from my home, family, friends and everything I'd ever known nine months ago so my boyfriend could pursue his dream. I was called stupid and silly for following him from Colorado to Texas, but no one called me brave when I did something for love.
No one calls me brave when I open my heart to the world. No one calls me brave when I stand up for someone who's being ridiculed. No one calls me brave for making a decision to change my life, to let go of self-hatred and move forward for a healthy life. I'm never called brave for taking home a sick dog from the shelter.
But you know what? I don't need to be called brave by others, because I know that I am. I'm a fireball of love, light, bravery and femininity wrapped up into a human body. And my hair style has not one little bit to do with that.
We are all brave. We are all allowed to do as we please because it's our right as humans. It's your right to be YOU. The more we tap into our truest selves, the more we express ourselves, the less we judge others. Your beauty — men and women alike — needs to start from within. Your bravery needs to start from within.
Photo Credit: Stocksy, the author