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Why Women Choose to Cut Their Hair Short

By Yemanja Murray
On May 17, 2015

Breast cancer survivor Monique Presley

 

While most women in the African-American community are going natural, there are women who choose to cut their hair for their own personal reasons.

Over the years, celebrities like Rihanna and Beyoncé have cut off their trademark looks. This could be because it captures the media's attention or maybe to gain a feeling of self – empowerment. Whichever way you view it, every girl has a reason to go short.

Some would argue that longer hair is more “feminine” than short cuts, others choose to view it differently. According to Gina Kinchlow, a professor at Florida A&M University, “Most professional women cut their hair so that they can avoid it from being a distraction in the workplace. Women like Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton cut their hair, and the whole world goes crazy,” said Kinchlow. “That’s just ridiculous and old-fashioned.”

Then there are women who cut their hair because they do not have an option. Breast cancer survivor, Monique Presley, did the “big chop” before going through chemotherapy about four years ago and never grew her hair back.

“Although I still wear my hair short, I know that my short hair does not define me. I define me,” said Presley.

Last year, internet blogger Handle Tuthmosis wrote the article, “Why Women with Short Hair are Damaged.” He writes, “No woman in all of human history has ever looked better with short hair than she would with a head full of healthy locks. I blame this lamentable trend on a few factors. The most powerful are the disingenuous lies—from both men and women—about how it looks. Not only is short-hair unattractive, it’s one of the biggest signals a man can get that a woman is damaged beyond repair. There’s no such thing as ‘pulling it off.’”

He recorded his encounters with women and how they responded to his question on why they cut their hair. A Latin woman responded that she cut her hair to get over a breakup, which resulted in a 90 percent decrease in guys trying to hit on her.

Tuthmosis’ main argument is that women should not cut their hair because fewer men will find them attractive. But not every woman cuts her hair to please a man.

When a woman cuts her hair, it represents something. Women may go for shorter looks to feel more youthful and stylish, to copy the looks of a celebrity, or to have a style that’s easy to take care of.

At the end of the day, there is no specific reason why women cut their hair. From the words of Dr. Huijun Li, a professor at FAMU, “It’s up to the person to decide if they want to cut their hair. Women should stand against stereotypes.” 

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