Readin with Rachel: Chop Chop


Rachel Scully, Arts & Life Editor

Cutting my hair was the most freeing thing I could have done for myself. I have never had my hair shorter than the middle of my back. I didn’t know any different. Something that I would take care of, curl, brush and braid turned into something I always kept up in a bun, a nuisance. It would get tangled in my bookbag, stuck under my shirt and blow onto my face in the wind. It wasn’t the same beautiful attribute I once saw it as.

For five full years I wanted to cut my hair. I would bring up the thought of cutting it to friends who would tell me not to. “No, your hair is so long, you will regret it!” “Why would you do that? Girls with long hair are the prettiest ones. You won’t look good.” “What are you, a dyke?” These were the things constantly told to me. The only person who told me to do it was my best friend and current roommate.

Unfortunately, I stayed in the same trend of just dealing with my hair. I didn’t enjoy it at all, it felt like a weight that just kept pulling me down. Don’t get me wrong, I did appreciate my physical features, even my hair, but I wanted a change. I always had long hair, during good times and bad. Maybe it was time to let the past go and try something new.

One day, I turned to my roommate and said, “I want to cut my hair.” She looked at me and smiled, “I’ll tell you what I always do, I think you should do it.” Later that night, sitting alone in my room, I decided to make the appointment for the next day. It was time for that change I had been longing for.

I went to the salon with another friend, nervous but excited. The stylist finally made the first cut, then the next and the next. I finally looked at myself when she was finished. I couldn’t stop smiling. This was what I wanted, my confidence soared and I felt myself glowing. I can’t begin to explain my happiness. Everything negative anyone said was completely gone.

I felt the weight lift off my shoulders. This was so much more than just cutting my hair. This was about freeing myself from my past and allowing me to finally accept myself. I looked at my hair before sending it to be donated and I realized how much of a history it has. I took a deep breath and sent it off to be made into a wig for someone who needs it.

I have a new-found confidence with just the snip of some scissors. This was what I wanted for five years and I finally felt good enough to do it. I am so extremely happy I did. This is a new me and I wouldn’t change anything about that.

It is the little things you find in yourself that can create a whole new you. I still have a long way to go on my journey to self-love, but I know I’m not alone. Each day I find something new to love about myself. My hair is just the start of something so much better.