All the ways people jump to conclusions about women with short hair

It seems that every hair length that doesn’t at least touch a woman’s shoulders is considered radical. Time after time I’ve been in the graceful presence of just the most open-minded men of our generation (ha) who automatically interpret short hair as warning sign.

People assume there’s a correlation between hair length and sexuality for women. People assume that if your hair’s short, you’re gay. Or if it’s short and you’re middle-aged, you’re pretty much asexual.

Men and even women are so quick to extrapolate meaning from haircuts such as bobs, pixies, fades, shags, buzzes, crops and even an asymmetrical haircut on a woman, when a lot of the time, it’s just about aesthetics.

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Short hair has been a major statement throughout fashion history. A few examples just off the top of my head are Janelle Monae who walked the red carpet in 2017 with a proud and elegant pixie cut. Or how could we forget when Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Pitt decided to both rock a asymmetrical bob on the red carpet in 1997?

Twiggy in 1966 was famous for her strawberry blonde shag cut, which became an instant phenomenon. And then there’s the woman who gave these haircuts a face, Audrey Hepburn in 1953 with her whimsical pixie cut in “Roman Holiday.”

I decided to get opinions from both sides of the spectrum, so I asked women with straight hair β€” some of whom are straight and some of whom are gay or bi. I wanted to ask what their hair means to them, why they decided it was right for them, if it’s ever been misinterpreted, and if it has how did they take it?

1. “My professor assumed I was gay and asked me about it”

Lucy, a 21-year-old student, was in office hours with her professor discussing a final project when he randomly turned to her and said, “As a gay woman on campus, do you feel you’ve been given the proper resources?” Caught off guard by the remark, because she doesn’t necessarily use labels, she walked out of the office.

“I don’t know who or even what I’ll end up with, if I get married if I don’t, maybe it’s a man, maybe it’s a woman, I don’t know yet but it was ethically wrong for him to just classify me as something when he doesn’t know anything about me besides my exterior,” says Lucy.

I then asked her why she went for a bold cut in the first place, and if it meant anything to her.

“I literally dyed my hair and I wanted to regrow it but I played sports and I was going to Europe for the summer so my mom was like, ‘You should cut it, it would look cute short,’ so I showed my hairstylist a bunch of pics of Ruby Rose and Emma Watson and here we are,” Lucy said. “I also was transferring to arts school and just didn’t give a fuck anymore.”

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2. “Men avoid me like the plague”

Jess is a college student with a longer, more asymmetric pixie cut who has had her fair share of hair trolls throughout her experience.

“I’ve had straight men tell me that they assumed I’m gay because of my haircut,” Jess said. “It does bother me a little because I’m bi and it narrows my chances, but also if a guy is gonna assume I’m gay because of my hair then I don’t want to fuck him anyway. So the guys I do fuck are more quality now, which I guess is a benefit.”

Get it girl, we always want quality over quantity anyway. Jess always liked the idea of short hair, more so for convenience, the look and the versatility of it.

“I thought fades were sick and always just wanted to try it out,” she said. “It also felt like a test kind of. Like could I do it? Could I step outside of the typical ‘feminine’ box and still be myself?”

The answer is yes, and it filters out assholes, too. Win/win.

3. “I’m glad people usually know I’m gay right off the bat”

Giovanna is a student at Fordham University who has a shaggier, messier pixie cut. She tells me that it used to bother her when people assumed her sexuality based off of something as arbitrary as a haircut, but it doesn’t anymore.

“As I got older I realized that the only reason I was taking offense to it was because being straight was ‘normal.’ Why can’t I have short hair and still be normal?” she said. “But that mindset was quickly altered, and what I’m all about is breaking that normative standard that takes heterosexuality as the given.”

“Who I am should be just as normal as anything else and it’s actually kinda nice when I can see that someone isn’t even thinking twice and just knows that I’m gay,” she added, “because it means that they take both as being two different sets of normal.”

Giovanna knows of gay women who do cut their hair to signify their sexual orientation, but she also knows ton of women with short hair that are straight who are probably annoyed that people label them a certain way just because they like having short hair.

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The key item to take away from this is that everyone is different. Not one person rocks a haircut for the same reason as someone else (besides Gwyneth and Brad, who were united in a quest for publicity).

And no one’s true identity is worn on their sleeve. Making assumptions can put you in a tough/awk spot. Play it safe and don’t make assumptions about people.

Gimme More Beauty

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