I did it. I did what I've been wanting to do since... May 2016? I put more thought into this decision than I did choosing what university I wanted to go to for my undergraduate degree. You want to know what this huge decision was?
Getting a pixie cut.
When I proposed getting a pixie cut to my friends and loved ones, they would immediately condemn the idea (for the most part). I received so many comments (from brown men in particular) condemning the bangs and bob look I had before. They never understood why a girl would cut their hair to a shorter length, and they always claimed men weren't attracted to shorter hair, as though my hair and my aesthetic were for the sole purpose of appealing to the male gaze.
Femininity has always been preserved for those who are lighter skinned. Those who are feminine are considered those worthy of protecting, they are docile, they are submissive, etc. Straight cisgender men usually want to date those who are feminine. They can assert their masculinity especially when it's contrasted with a partner who is seen as traditionally feminine. Hair is political. Brown girls tend to be ridiculed for their thick eyebrows and facial hair growing up, but the hair on our head has always been worshipped. It's repulsive how we look down on people who don't have hair like ours, whether it's because it's a different texture, a different length, or a different color. I remember an aunty telling me at age 8 to never cut my hair. What kind of moral to teach a child at 8 years old? What kind of moral, period? The number of aunties and brown boys who have told me or asked me why I cut off my hair before saying hello to me is WILD. Our attachment to hair, I know, is an attempt by brown women to access femininity that we are traditionally denied. We are seen as more rugged, more able to endure pain, immune to worse conditions, etc. This has so much to do with our skin color, and the idea that darker tends to mean more masculine. I understand why we are so keen to preserve our hair, but I also have to say I am not living for the aunties or the brown boys or to access femininity in order to preserve masculinity.
I convinced myself that my jaw line was strong enough and my brown girl bone structure was powerful enough to adorn a pixie. So I went to Koreatown in downtown Toronto and found this spot called Cinderella. It had pretty decent reviews and was $30 for a woman's cut, which I consider a decent investment especially for such a dramatic cut. And so, I talked to the owner of the shop (who is incredibly lovely and a woman of color doing her thing), and she said she could make it happen. I showed her pictures I found off Instagram of women working the cut, and she almost exactly replicated the looks.
And you know what? I'm free.