I haven't felt so care free lately. I have been trying to think of times in my life that felt lighter. I think of when my mom got me that exceptionally bad short haircut. I think in part she got me that shaggy chopped hair because I was threatening to cut it all off. I don’t remember why, but I can assume it was just me being in protest to brushing my longer locks. She allowed it, and I looked a little butch. It was third grade, and it was the best time to be a little girl. I hadn’t quite reached the age where girls started hating each other and themselves, but I was old enough to be a little self-aware. I remember not really caring about the hair cut for its looks but LOVING it because I felt free. When I think of carefree, I think of that type of freedom. Shaggy, short, misbehaving, wavy hair. Lovely, simply because I loved it. There was freedom in the way I only had to shake it when I got out of the bath at night. I would shake my head wildly from side to side and the water would spritz the bathroom wall. I loved that it didn’t tangle, and that I rarely had to brush it. Long hair was such a chore. Short hair was the party. An absolute riot. I totally get why Miley Cyrus chopped her locks during her Bangerz phase. Short hair for me was a marker of a wild girl who didn’t care for beauty standards, only for real beauty. I felt like a Rockstar when I would gel the short waves into spikes. My mom and Nan fed into my self image, which I love and respect. Women have their whole lives to conform. If we are lucky, we find sparks of carefree along the way. But nothing as unbridled as a wild girl who unapologetically likes herself. I often wonder if I would find the same joy in cutting my hair super short. I am afraid of how it would look- which is why I can no longer completely own the title of carefree. It is a tempting possibility though. A woman, age 23 shaking her hair in the same wild head movements as her younger self. Maybe a potential full circle moment. Coming back home to a gentler- freer version of myself. I like to envision that all the heart ache and growing moments in between that young short haired me, and the person I am now all happened so I could return to myself. It’s a delightful possibility that there is still a part of me who could be that free again. But I- the girl who gave herself bangs knows better than to think haircuts are life altering-not the point though :).
Libby Anne Groseclose