fuck my mother. no, not really–actually, i feel horrible for saying that. my mom is my hero. she is one of the few people i know in my life that i REALLY look up to– i mean, really. she is my role model in so many ways: beautiful, intelligent, creative, hard-working, generous, hysterical, an amazing mom. BUT. right now, i’m not writing a mother’s day card, or a love letter to her. because FUCK certain things about certain peopl;, most of all FUCK certain things about me.
i am my mother’s daughter. this means that i am tall, feel-awkward-constantly-no-matter-how-beautiful-people-tell-me-i-am, have big feet, a total wino, athletic, sometimes-charming-when-im-not-trying, enjoy singing, super insecure, have a fun sense of humor, a sensitive heart, attract weird old men, did i mention total wino?
it also means that i am scared. of lots of things. and not as close with my mother as i wish i could be.
if i ever open up to my mom, she pushes me away. it’s funny, because she has said the same thing about her with her mother- and resented it. she also never used to tell me- at least, for the decade that i REALLY needed it- that i’m beautiful. another complaint she had of her mother. i remember her telling me, “my mom never told me i was beautiful. she might have complimented my shoes, or said ‘that scarf looks nice on you’, but she never actually told me that I was beautiful”. that stuck with me, mostly because there was a long period of time that i didn’t hear it from her, either.
my mom is embarrassed of me; let’s just get that over with. i’m a lesbian, i’m “alternative” [read: funky hair and style in general], i’m a yellow dog democrat, i’m not a doctor/lawyer/somethingshecanbragtoherfriendsaboutduringtheironceeverythreemonthhangouts. did i mention i’m a lesbian? and she’s conservative, religious, beautiful by the standards of mainstream society, classy, whatever. she has an “image” to keep up, i guess.
i shaved my head a month ago- actually, now that i look at it, a month ago to the day- and she is physically unable to make eye contact with me. when you think you and your mom have a “pretty close” relationship, and you really value her opinion, this is more heartbreaking than the cliche it probably sounds like.
in her defense..actually, fuck that shit- this is my blog. i have already defended her with my aforementioned disclaimer. i am having catholic guilt, which is something i am trying to overcome. I LOVE MY MOM AND SHE IS AWESOME. shit, isn’t that the point of this entire post?
this isn’t about my mom, or your mom, or even moms in general, so much as it’s about the system that sets us all up. i have shaved-head-shame, which fucking sucks. i didn’t know it was a thing, even- and maybe i just made it up, because i used to think that all grrls who shaved their heads were automatically confident about it- but it’s true. i am sometimes humiliated by the haircut i gave my fucking self.
i have wanted to shave my head since i was [approximately] a freshman in high school. i wanted to damn the man, fuck the rules, say goodbye to the gender binary [and the dichotomy of butch/femme, whateverthefuckTHATSsupposedtobe]. i knew people would confuse me for a dude, because they have confused me for a dude since i was a kid- i’m talking, five-ish years old, with a long ponytail, pink bow, super-duper-girly-clothes [my momma did me up right], the works. i have no idea why they’ve done it, and keep doing it- honestly, i feel [and used to think i also LOOK] super feminine-but i guess that was according to my own definition of it.
so when i held the clippers in my hand and looked at my non-shaved head in the mirror, i got nervous. because what will people think?! also, i absolutely despise being called “sir”, and being confused for a dude, in general.
and i did it anyway. because i WANTED to. and because FUCK THAT SHIT. that is the entire reason i wanted to do it in the first place- to be one more person who wasn’t just going with the flow of what should-and-should-not-be-considered-“feminine”-or-“masculine”. if we stop adhering to these stereotypes, maybe they’ll start going away.
but damn, the way my mom [didn’t, couldn’t] look at me. it’s funny, because i am a young, hard-working, happy, home-owning, honest woman. i haven’t broken any serious laws since that embarrassing-but-necessary time when i was 16 and may or may not have taken something from a department store with my best-but-worst-friend. [ps- don’t do it. not worth it. mugshots are even worse when it’s your own face. and it won’t be funny for WAY longer than you think].
i thought about my mom’s reaction before i shaved my head. and that really bothers me. not just because she’d never consider me when she was about to change her hairstyle- although she definitely wouldn’t- but because no matter what i do to my hair, or my appearance, she won’t truly be happy with it. and if she is, chances are, i WON’T be. because when it comes down to it, sadly, there are so many things that make me ME [even some things that i am actually proud of] that she may very well be incapable of embracing. she’ll never brag to her friends or coworkers about my wedding day the way she did about my brother’s- save for the few lesbians she works with, she probably didn’t even tell anyone, at least not without a shameful face and hushed tone. she’ll never accept my hairstyle, my tattoos, my piercings, the way that my favorite aunt accepts her son’s. and honestly, she’ll never treat me the way she treats my siblings.
i am done looking to my mother for approval. i won’t get it. because she doesn’t.
maybe this is what i shaved my head for. whatever “this” is. i hoped to stop looking for approval and acceptance from the people that will never really give it to me. i knew i would be mistaken for a male, i just forgot how shitty it would make me feel.
shaving my head didn’t give me immediate confidence- in fact, it was the opposite. i have felt shitty about myself on-and-off for the past month, since i first grabbed those clippers. but i may actually be finally getting somewhere with it. i have realized that my subconscious is sometimes far more astute than my conscious, and that sometimes, if that “inner voice” suggests i do something, it is wise to shut up and listen. something tugged at me to run a half marathon, something tugged at me to go back to school, something tugged at me to fly overseas and do a study abroad, something tugged at me to shave my head. and, save for that last one, that “something” has turned out to be right- at least, more right than the scared, insecure voice that asks “what if..?” and embraces complacence above genuine joy, as long as it’s the safer option.
let’s all give ourselves “weird” haircuts, once in a while.