Cheat Sheet Fact of Life: Women need independence to cut their hair.
A couple of years ago, I read an issue in Femina regarding women’s independence. The question was, what do you need independence from? Few of the answers were, I need independence to roam late into the night and not be raped or asked questions. I need independence to spend my hard earned money without giving an explanation to someone. One person wrote, I need independence to cut my hair. Independence to cut my hair! I thought, ‘Well, that is weird.’ I did not realize how serious this hairy issue was until after my marriage. A few days into my marriage, my husband made a deal with me, not to cut my hair too short. We negotiated that until I turn 35 years, I will keep my hair length below my shoulders.
Before I delve into this topic of hairy independence, you have to know my hairy history. When I was a kid, about 3-6 years old, I loved my hair. I never wanted to cut it. In those good old days, the barber came to my house to cut my hair. At that point of time, I used to roll up in bed, pretend to sleep and not hear my mother saying that barber uncle has come. When my mom succeeded in waking me up, I hated the sight of the barber with the shiny scissors in one hand, a comb in the other, a stool in front of him, waiting for my hair to be sacrificed. After I cut my hair, my Aunt used to comment, ‘It is’nt short enough, the hair has to be above the ear. Next time cut it like that.’ I used seethe inside at her comment.
In the age of 7-10 years, I made artificial wigs with the towels and kept roaming around the house like that. The hair could be pink, yellow, green or any mixed color depending on the towel’s color. The wig was until my hips. My mom has few of those pictures and I hate to show them to anybody. It was kind of a protest I put up to have the freedom to grow hair. My mom either felt sad or got tired of my protests and allowed me to grow my hair. Gee! Finally I get to have long hair. I grew hair until my 10thstandard. I used to tie a plait, which came until my waist.
The hair troubles started soon. My hair is not silky. It is the wavy kind. If I wash my hair, it curls up like maggi noodles. Sunday evening was a traumatic experience. My hair all free and tangled was to be tamed my mother, by applying loads of oil and pulling it by the comb. The session used to go something like this.
‘Abba! You are hurting my hair.’
‘I am hurting your hair! Look how gentle I am.’, and then she used to pull it again
My mother used to pull my head back. I used to pull it forward. She used to say, ‘Why can’t you sit straight up? If you do like this it will hurt more’.
I felt that my mother took the revenge of my teenage disobedience/arrogance on my hair.
After these hair oiling and hair pulling sessions for about one year. I decided, ‘Enough! I am going to cut my hair’. Since then I kept my hair short, just below the shoulders. I sometimes feel the itch to have a bobbed cut, cut my hair just like my aunt asked me to, above the ear. I do not have independence to cut my hair yet, because of the deal I made with my husband.
What are your hairy tales? Do you have independence to cut your hair?