In the summer of 1998, the worst year of my life, I had my hair cut off. Gone. Done. I have always had long hair (more for the versatility than anything else), and suddenly it was less than an inch long. My head felt very light, which was kind of trippy and cool until I got used to it, and the ease with which I could take care of it was unbelievable.
Only problem? I look pretty fugly with short hair. Still, I look back on that hair era somewhat fondly, particularly when I’m sweating out the horrible heat and humidity that has permeated the Northeast this summer.
And that’s why I’m ridiculously jealous when celebrities go for the pixie and effectively pull it off. It’s not that I feel inferior to women like Michelle Williams and Keira Knightley for being able to look gorgeous with super-short hair. I mean, they are obviously more beautiful than I could ever hope to be, and that’s why they’re movie stars and I try to get a bunch of teenagers to appreciate Transcendentalist poetry.
Nope, my green-eyed monster is all about the ease of a thirty second shampoo and maybe five minutes to blow dry and style it.
Anyway, Emma Watson of Harry Potter fame is the latest star to show the world how incredibly beautiful she truly is by successfully working the pixie cut. I think it looks absolutely amazing on her. I mean, I’m heterosexual so it’s not a sexual thing (like looking at Brad Pitt in his prime would be), but I can’t help appreciating the bone structure, the almost ethereal art-like quality that Watson is exuding.
If I was into girls, I would totally be digging Emma Watson on a whole ‘nother level.
Which is why I’m wondering why there is still this idea that long hair is necessary for a woman to be considered feminine. I personally think that Watson looks more feminine with her hair short. And yet the stereotype rolls on.
LemonDrop’s Julieanne Smolinski recently weighed in on Watson’s new look.
[Watson’s hair] looks great, obviously, but I love that she just said “Aveda ke-DASH IT ALL!” and chopped it all off, and I loved it when Carey Mulligan and Selma Blair and Michelle Williams did it, too. Hell, I did it once in college, and I loved it on me. I thought it looked awesome, it was low-maintenance, and it felt great. But I’ll probably never, ever do it again.
Uh, ’cause guys would stop hitting on me.
Sad truth? Smolinski is absolutely right. Prior to my short haircut, I’d get looks (and often more) at a bar. A lot of guys wanted to dance with me at clubs (and I totally cannot dance … perhaps the tie-knots-in-cherry-stem-with-tongue rumors had gotten around). I’d always kind of taken it for granted that I was sort-of-kind-of-pretty in my late teens and early twenties, and the short hair put a real damper on that.
And I got hit on by a couple of girls. Which is fine, I’m totally cool with that and took it as a compliment. It did, however, reinforce in my immature and image-obsessed 21-year-old brain that boys did not think I was pretty with short hair.
Anyway, to be fair, Smolinski does address the fact that some men do find short hair sexy.
Of course, there are lots of dudes who find short hair sexy. There are dudes who write Craigslist Missed Connections about not being able to take their eyes of of “the bewitching pixie reading Chmimanda Ngozi Adiche on the subway.” But by and large, David Spade said a lot on a well-remembered “Hollywood Minute” joke about Cameron Diaz chopping off all of her hair, “Men of America, you can now stop spankin’ it.”
You know, I hate living a stereotype, particularly one that forces women to adapt themselves to fit the mold of a generic man’s view of feminine perfection (and one perpetuated by pretty much every fairy tale in existence). And yet … I do it.
For that reason, I’m singing Emma Watson’s praises (and everyone who made the cut before her, from Mia Farrow to Halle Berry) for having the cojones (so to speak) to just go for it. I think Watson looks breathtakingly gorgeous and feminine … and if she wants to mix it up, there are always extensions (although Naomi Campbell might well advise against going in that direction).