It took me two decades to be comfortable with the idea of cutting my hair. I've been called a tomboy many times. I took little interest in cosmetics or fashion growing up, and often wore men's undershirts and pants (more pockets!). My long hair seemed like a security blanket of passable femininity. I wasn't brave enough to lose the locks and reconcile what "looking like a woman" meant to me.
Like many of the women in my family, I was born with thick, shaggy strands that occasionally grew long enough to sit on. Though I didn't know a ton of girls or women that had short hair, I had watched GI Jane and Empire Records and was tempted to go as short as Demi Moore and Robin Tunney. But I still had reservations: could I pull it off? Would I have to wear LOTS of makeup to emphasize my feminine features?
In my early 20s, I surrendered. After a humid Summer of trying to tame my waves, I found a picture of my mother from the late '80s rocking a badass curly bob. So, I decided to cut off 16 inches of hair. With my new style, I got tons of compliments, which melted away my initial fears.
I have worn a pixie for years now and love it. The lower-maintenance look fits my laid-back personality better. Though my insecurities about being perceived as feminine are long gone, there are a few significant differences in how others treat me when I have short strands.