Not that we need another one of those Sh*t People Say YouTube videos, but if I were going to make one, it would be inspired by all the annoying things that have actually been said to short-haired women that I know.
Hair is probably the number one issue that comes up when I talk with other women about beauty and it can be such an emotional, frustrating or political subject depending on who I’m chatting with. My sister Chizanya and I were recently talking about hair and we got on the topic of how she loves her nearly-bald head, but never imagined that she would be confronted with such ignorant remarks because it’s so short. I asked two other women with cropped cuts—my friend Lindsay and my sister-in-law Chelsea—about their experiences and they co-signed what Chizanya said. People say some stupid sh$t! One thing all three women mentioned is that they have been mistaken for a man on more than one occasion even if they were wearing girly clothing and/or jewelry. Here’s what they told me:
Chizanya: “I was wearing large earrings, which I always do, and a waiter came up behind me and [my husband] Grant and asked: ‘Gentlemen are you ready to order?’ When I turned he was horrified and our service was awkward the rest of the night!”
Chelsea: “When I worked at a department store, there were several occasions where little girls and boys would see me, turn to their moms and say, ‘Mommy, is that a boy or a girl?’ I always laughed it off but it confused me because I wore a dress or skirt and makeup to that job almost every day. It didn’t matter what I was wearing. One of my other favorite comments is, ’Your hair is so short!’ I never have understood what my reaction to that is supposed to be. It doesn’t seem to be a compliment. I almost think that people worry when they look at me they’re going to lose all their hair. I also get ‘You look like Ellen Degeneres’ a lot. Again, not sure if this is a compliment or if people are questioning my sexuality because I have short hair and I’m a woman.”
Lindsay: ”I usually wear earrings, because I am quite tall and broad, but I still get called ‘sir’ often. There was this one time when I was mistaken for a man while on my way to the club with my girlfriends. My hair was much like it is now. It was fall, so I had on a jacket, but I was wearing high heeled boots that came up to my knee, with a skirt that had slits up both sides. This guy stopped me on the street and tried to kick it to me. And right after he asked for my number, his friend goes, ‘Yo, that’s a dude!’ I replied to the friend that I was most definitely a woman, and he apologized, but was clearly a little confused. It has always been shocking to me to realize that people may not perceive me as I identify myself, even though it has happened a lot.”
I understand that above-the-ears haircuts have a boyish vibe, but what about the total picture–the facial features, makeup, accessories and clothes? When people see someone, do they really only determine gender based on that person’s hair? Maybe so, but partly because they’re just not paying attention. I wonder if long-haired guys have to put up with being called “ma’am” all the time.
Do you have short hair? What’s the most absurd thing someone has said about your cut? If you don’t have short hair, have you ever thought about getting a major cut? Do tell.