Short Hair is the Girly Girl’s Middle Finger

Inspired by Man Repeller.

I am a huge fan of Man Repeller. Not just the clothes or the style, but the idea, the mindset and the principles on which it (or rather, Leandra) has built itself. The Man Repeller doesn’t care if you think her boyfriend jeans and pony-hair mules are going to keep her single for a few more years. The Man Repeller doesn’t care if wearing a jumpsuit and violent studded jewelry will deter those guys at the bar from buying her a drink. But most of all, I love that the Man Repeller asks questions and pays attention to the weird things that happen in our world.

I cut my hair yesterday. Not just you run-of-the-mill trim, no no no. I cut my hair. Chopped. Lobbed it all off. Whichever way you put it, there is now a significant part of my hair now missing from my overall silhouette.

Why, you ask?

Well, for one, the weather here in Singapore is too damn hot. I have thick, heavy hair, which is basically the permanent equivalent of wearing a fur coat everyday. In this sun. On this island, where the temperature regularly reads upwards of 25 degrees Celsius. You get the point.

But the effort it takes to maintain such a mane took a toll, too. (What a mouthful, what a meter!) Shampooing, drying, combing, picking up stray strands of shed hair after showers and throughout the day is really tiring. I’m just too lazy for that sh*t.

Also, it’s been… let’s see… 6 years since I last had hair the length of which went anywhere near my chin. I thought it time for a change.

I think part of the reason why I haven’t changed my hairstyle in so long is because I was either a) too scared to make any sort of change which might end up disastrous, or b) too comfortable with my image of the long-haired, girly, well, girl. Girls who have short hair tend to be viewed in certain ways from what I’ve observed – tomboys, bitches, and single. These categories are not mutually exclusive, nor exhaustive.

Long hair is often seen as a sign of femininity, but with the dawn of the man bun, lines were slightly blurred. So why are girls with short hair still different? I realised that without that curtain of hair, more skin is exposed. A sliver of nakedness in the crowd. It attracts eyeballs, and it makes an impact. Me chopping my locks off feels like a huge eff you to people who generalise and make assumptions about strangers based off their looks. Just because I have long hair doesn’t mean you need to baby me and treat me especially well, or “like a lady” as I’ve once been told.

Sure, chivalry is nice, but when they make it sound like they’re forced to just because you’re a girl? No thanks. Having short hair feels more free, and strangely empowering. I feel more at ease to just do whatever I want, wear whatever I want, express myself however I want.

On a larger scale, having long hair takes more time out of a woman’s day, and takes away from time that could have been used productively – so perhaps having short hair feels emasculating to some men in the way that the women are now a step closer to an even playing field. Taking more of the same time for self-grooming threatens the man, and he is forced to see her as another person, not a weaker member of the human race.

But I know some girls who break the pattern – tomboys who like girly stuff too, short-haired girls who have boyfriends, long-haired tomboys. And they’re absolutely inspiring in their own ways, every single day.

So here I am, short-haired, and ready to have some fun.

say hello. #quirkyteal

A post shared by joelle cecilia (@therealquirkyteal) on


Have short hair? Have long hair? Have hair? Don’t have hair? Talk to me in the comments below!

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