Thursday, May 26, 2011

I Want My Six Dollars Back

“Can’t I get the price for the men’s cut?” I asked.
“No; you woman,” she said.
“But it’s a man’s cut,” I said. She wouldn’t back down, and I didn’t want to start a fight, so I paid the extra six dollars for the women's cut. I got the same service that a man gets, but was charged more.

At another barber shop, I was turned away; the woman there looked at the picture I showed her-- cut with scissors on top, clippers on the side-- but insisted that she did not know how to cut a woman's hair and couldn't do it.

This is the cut that was billed as a woman's hairstyle.
When I was little, I had long hair. I hated it. It got caught on things, and I had to braid it every night if I didn’t want to wake up with a horrible tangle. I brushed it out smooth and straight every morning, pulling out knots and tying it back, but by the end of the day it always had terrible snarls in it. It was heavy and stringy and annoying and, by the time I was nine, I’d had enough of it. I went to the hairdresser and had it all chopped off.

I had to argue with any hairdresser I went to in order to get it the way I wanted it. I described it to them. “Just very short,” I’d say. “Short on top and even shorter on the back and sides. Nothing fancy.” I brought in pictures that I’d printed off the internet. The hairdressers would say things like, “I’m feathering your bangs to give you a more feminine look.” And I’d say, “No, I don’t want it like that,” but it would be too late; the bangs would be on the floor. Or, “I’m going to swoop it up here so it's a little puffy. See, once you get home you’ll be able to do it just like this with a hair dryer and a little cream, and a styling brush like this one, and ask up at the counter for some of our gel product-- it's on sale.” Or, “That picture not look good. I give you softer cut, make you look more like girl.” So I started going to barbershops. All I want is hair that I don't have to mess with.

Well, now I'm growing my hair out, and I hate it. I don't know why I'm doing it. Every day I wonder why and think about going to get it all hacked off again.

(It does make life easier at work. My supervisor hates every single thing about my appearance and has no problem telling me so, but now she doesn't hate my hair.)

One thing that having longer hair has done is to unmask my latent misogyny. Turns out that I don't like looking in the mirror and seeing a girl. Girls only care about being sexually attractive and criticizing other people's fashion accessories. They are unprofessional and don't have any deep thoughts.

I didn't realize that I believed that.

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