Miscellaneous

I’ve (Kinda) Caved into Peer Pressure

I like to talk a big game through this blog about being strong and independent. But sometimes people have weak moments, especially after years of being worn down. About two months ago I made a decision to begin growing my hair out, and I’m not entirely sure that my decision was my own. Now, to a lot of you, I’m sure you’re rolling your eyes, or just generally confused. Why does it matter that she’s growing her hair out? There are other more important issues for this girl to be dealing with! I’ve had my hair as a pixie cut since I was 13 years old, I’m turning 23 in November this year. So I’ve had my hair short for a VERY long time, and during that time reactions to my hair have not always been positive. To be blunt, most of the time they’ve been downright nasty.

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My was a bit shorter was like this in High School

When I was in high school, I had the misfortune of having a really awful group of friends. I met them when I was in year 8, so about 14 years old. One of the first jokes about me was to call me ‘Potter’ after ‘Harry Potter’, as I had his hair and wore glasses. This carried on throughout my high school life, and pretty much is the reason I freaking hate ‘Harry Potter’ to this day. On top of that I would daily get snide remarks about my hair, pretty gross comments like ‘you’d never be able to get a boyfriend because all the guys will think you’re one of them. Maybe you should try to get a girlfriend instead’. Thinking back on it now, I realise that it was just high school girl bitchiness, but at the time, being a vulnerable teenager, it really screwed with my self-esteem. I would spend hours trying to work out what to wear, whatever I chose would be commented on. Jeans and a t-shirt? ‘You look like a man!’ A dress? ‘You look like a man in a dress!’.

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In Uni I cut it even shorter so it was like this!

When I got to university I was lucky enough to surround myself with people who didn’t think like that. I also had the opportunity to distance myself from my high school group. For a while, my self-doubt went away. But still I would see and hear comments. A friend said to me “my boyfriend would dump me if I had hair like yours!” and just those back-handed “I’m sure you’d look so pretty with long hair!” In a fluster I would google search ‘what do you think of girls with short hair’, and would come up with very striking results. Some comments said they didn’t care either way, but others were awful to read saying that it was gross. Reading internet strangers comments about my hairstyle certainly didn’t help. But still I persisted, when I turned 21 I even made the bold choice to bleach my hair, and had super short blonde hair for a time.

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Hair colour change~Β 

But since the beginning of the year, I’ve felt weary. When I moved to Melbourne and met some new people, a few of them started on about the same bs that my high school friends did. And it really hit me at my core. I began to think of ridiculous things Β – would I have more friends if I had long hair? Would I have a boyfriend if I had long hair? Would I have a better life if I had long hair? So I gave up, I stopped going to the hairdressers, bought some products and let it grow. Β And at times I am excited about how my hair will look in a few months. I’m excited to bleach it again when it’s longer, and be able to dress up as more characters. But I also feel like I’m betraying myself, my short hair has been such a massive part of my identity. Almost like a badge of honour saying ‘that’s right! I’m going against the norm’ – what do I have if I don’t have that?

About a week ago I saw one of my Melbourne friends. I had only known her for one semester but every time we met up she told me I would look better with long hair, and I looked like a boy. She gave me a hug and looked at my hair.

“Wow! What’s happened to your hair?” She exclaimed.

“I’m growing it out” I replied, almost pathetically desperate for her approval.

“Why are you doing that? You shouldn’t do that! Your hair is your thing, and it looks so good!”

Just goes to show you can’t make anyone else happy, so at least I gotta try to make myself happy. Now the choices before me are to cut it or let it grow. Putting aside everything that has happened with my hair in the last 10 years, and my disappointment for almost caving into peer pressure, I think I will explore where my hair journey will take me. If I don’t like it, it’s easy to cut it all off again πŸ™‚

But one thing I have learnt is that it’s damn hard finding pictures of anime girls with short hair >_> !Β 

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My current hair, almost 4 months after deciding to let it grow
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11 thoughts on “I’ve (Kinda) Caved into Peer Pressure

  1. First off I want to say it takes up a lot of courage to write a post like this, but not only write it but share it with us as well. It’s truly unfortunate that we live in a world where everything seems to depend on how you look from the outside. I’m no hypocrit. I am a guy, and ofcourse I also look up when I see a pretty girl walking by. But I can honestly say that I don’t care about looks either way. For me what’s important is what is inside someone. What makes them tick. Someone might be a beauty queen, but have a personality that seems to have come straight from hell itself.
    What saddens me is that you had a hairstyle that you were comfortable with for your entire life, and now changed because of people saying nasty stuff at times. It really should not be this way. Ofcourse I am happy for you that you are deciding to do this and hopefully will at the end be comfortable with as well. But I myself have, after years of being bullied at school, grown into a different kind of mindset: ” I am who I am, and if you don’t like me, it’s your loss”. Never ever, let yourself change because of outside pressure. There are enough people (luckily) in this world that don’t care about the way you look, but care about who you are as a person. And there is someone out there like that for you as well. As I said, I think it’s brave to share a post like this, and I really thought it was wonderfully written. All I can say is: keep having faith in yourself and who you are. And keep doing what you yourself want to do: in the end that is what really matters πŸ˜€

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  2. I prefer short hair due to how easy it is to maintain. it is also out of the way. A few people suggested that I grow it out back when I was in high school. One of my guy friends even made a pact in which he’d study something if I grew my hair out, which he subsequently broke. (Yes, he was a slacker.) I did eventually grow my hair out. It was a pain but not as bad as I thought it would be.
    My hair length has fluctuated dramatically over the years. For me, it was less about peer pressure and more of a “meh, whatever”. Yes, I did get the “you look like a boy” statements. I didn’t find this a particularly good argument for growing my hair, but I moved around a lot as a kid and never really developed that reliance on a social group. I tended to spend a lot more time reading and writing. It gave me a much-needed outlet for any issues that I was having. My parents and siblings were around as well, and I appreciate their love and support. So, yeah, the reasons given by these people for growing my hair out didn’t strike me as even remotely compelling.
    Some people are assholes and make odd declarations. Some people also like to mess with their friends, often waiting for the friend to tell them to bugger off. And then there are those that really do believe what they say. A lot of people also regurgitate what they’ve heard others say as well. If you know why a person is making a particular statement, then you have more of an idea of what their stake is in their declarations.

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  3. In one way, having short hair makes it easier to manage (no tangles) and can be a good thing for people who have thick hair. I’ve always had medium length hair and would wear it up for awhile and had people telling me, “Why don’t you wear your hair down more?” in high school and when I wore my hair down more, they would tell me, “Why don’t you wear your hair up more?” It gets so frustrating! I also tend to have thick hair, so the longer it is, the harder it can be to deal with it, especially if it’s scolding hot outside during the summer. Having my hair a little shorter helps keep my hair tangle free (mostly) and makes it easier to wash too! It’s not always so bad to have short hair, but it’s really up to you what hair style you want. It’s YOUR hair not someone else’s, do what you want with it! Have your hair dyed different colors, have it short or long, whatever makes YOU happy. If people don’t like your hair? That’s their own problem. Friends who like you for you will still be friends with you, regardless of your hair length!

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  4. Hey, I’m sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with people making snide comments regarding your hair. It’s just people being afraid of appearances not falling within established social constructs, I suppose. That’s what I tell myself since I have the opposite problem due to my hair being long for a boy (a few inches longer than yours).

    A lot of people will try to put you down and tell you what they think is right or stir the pot for their own inane amusement. But just be yourself and do things for your own happiness. It may sound selfish but it’s not. I, along with the rest of your blogging friends, will always support your decisions.

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  5. Very brave and honest post Steph. I wanted to cut my hair when I was 11 after a lot of whining my mum finally let me. Thinking it was the best decision later came to regret as I really liked my long hair in honesty. It took five years to grow back and never cutting it short again. But when I had short hair got called John, jason people thought I was a boy and I’ve had my share of remarks when having short hair. As you said dear your short hair is apart of your identity, you have to be happy ^^. All of us here will always support your decision XD

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  6. I applaud you got sticking up for what you like, and it’s okay to experiment too! I really applaud your courage and dedication, takes real guts to withstand all that and dye your hair blonde too.
    I’ve had hair medium weight as a child and I always to let it grow big and my mom didn’t let me. Once I did it at 16, to my hips, I got fed up and wanted to cut it short but I never had the guts until this year. And I’m fricking like it, and happy I tried it out. I haven’t had chances yet to be around people my age, though I have received comments saying I look more grow up and prettier with longer hair 😹
    I was bullied for being ugly and chubby my whole time in school, so I understand how it can make you feel less than the others when you keep hearing the same comments for years.
    I do hope you enjoy this experiment, and can think of it as a good memory, regardless of what happens. And having long hair or short hair doesn’t impact as much as we think, think of all the celebrities who have a million hairstyles and hair colors, and you still see them dating.
    A good example is Charlize Theron, she always has short hair, and she’s a total babe, another is Ginnifer Goodwin (which actually was the one that inspired my hair cut) πŸ‘ŒπŸ’•

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  7. I’ve basically kept the exact same hair for 25 years haha. This advice is unsolicited, but I think it’s good so I’ll give it anyway: do whatever you want and try not to worry so much about it. That includes giving in, every once and a while. We can’t be perfect nor be the person we envision as such. We’re challenged to grow and hopefully we respond, but sometimes we just can’t. It’s okay.

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