Gender roles: a rant

I am an LGBT ally, and what bothers me most on a personal level—beyond the fact that equality should be for all—is the stress society places on gender roles and expectations. For several years now, I have chosen to wear my hair short. It was long once, and over the years it gradually got shorter and shorter —from elbow length, to shoulder, then shorter until I had the sides buzzed, as can be seen in my hairventures. I don’t like the feeling of hair touching my neck or face, and short hair, for me, is easier.

And yet I get questions from complete strangers asking me why, as a female, I chose to cut off my long hair. I have had several people confuse me for a male solely because of my short hair. At first I didn’t mind the questions, but if a stranger is going to comment on my appearance, I would infinitely prefer they ask me about my piercings or my tattoos or the clothes I wear. Honestly, I would be more comfortable explaining to someone I don’t know why I have the serenity quote tattooed on my arm than why I cut my hair short. The only trouble is that the tattoo explanation would make everyone else uncomfortable.

I don’t buy into gender roles. I am female, but I can’t cook or bake or sew. I wear jeans and tee shirts most days, and oftentimes shopped in the boys’ section as a child, and played in the mud with my brother and his friends. I play video games and curse like a sailor. Yet I do love a good twirly dress and heels, and I have more Barbies than most people I know. I wear makeup 90% of the time—and a lot of it, too, only designed to look subtle.

And if we’re really going to delve into it, I have this:

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a traditionally feminine shape.

I have an hourglass figure. I have enormous breasts, a narrow waist, and hips. I have the body of pinup girls from the 1950s. Continue reading

Hairventures: 2013: July

Mah hurr has been did again!

Due to the fact that I’m a poor kid living on her own, I couldn’t keep up with the ridiculous, fun stuff that Suzanne and I usually do. To be safe, we went as dark as she was willing to go, since my own hair is only a few shades lighter than this black. Just before we started dyeing and cutting, Suzanne looked at me, at the blonde, bleached patch that had been yellow and orange before, and asked if we were still going to do something fun.

I had resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to have single-tone hair once more, but this perked me up. We’ve been going strong with the weird colours for years now – why break the cycle? Continue reading

Hairventures: 2013: January – March

January 2013 (3)

At the beginning of 2013, we continued being white blonde. I was living, as Gwen Stefani might say, a platinum blonde life. Pink dye is also nice in that it doesn’t fade or wash out as quickly as, say, blue or red, my favourites, so we continued with this trend, only this time we added some purple to the sides and roots. This was, as per the norm, Suzanne’s idea; I originally was thinking all dark blue with lighter blue tips, but that would be unreasonable and wouldn’t last, so we kept up with the white and pink. Continue reading

Hairventures: 2012: March – August

March 2012Following the same theme of red and block colours as the end of 2011, the beginning of 2012 brought about a red and purple jaw-length bob. The picture looks blue, I know, but I swear to God it was purple. It looked mostly black irl, too; I can’t win with this thing

The care and keeping of this bob was exactly the same as the last one. The trouble with purple is, of course, that it washes out ridiculously fast. When it faded though, it was just a nice natural coppery all around, rather than turning some weird shade that was the remains of the purple. Continue reading

Moving is not for the faint of heart

I’ve lived in one place my entire life. And no, I don’t mean the same city or province or what-have-you – I mean the same house, the same room, for the past 20 years. I’ve never moved.

As part of my parents’ divorce settlement, we have to sell the house. It’s going on the market next week. So in order to get prepared, we have to clean everything.

And I mean everything.

My room is nine by eleven, I believe – the size of a prison cell. I’ve had to make do my entire life. But I never realized just how much shit I fit into it until I had to take it all out.

Continue reading

Hairventures: 2011: August – December

August 2011

 

When I said things lightened up halfway through 2011, I meant it literally. It was the first time I became fair haired.

In this photo the Okanagan sun is eating my soul. But it does let you see just how red my hair was. I wasn’t going for a redhead look – I wanted it to be as fake as possible. Red is my favourite colour, and because I had red and orange streaks and patches in the past, it only made sense to do my whole head red. Continue reading