Short Hair Don’t Care

Briana Gallo, Journalist

If the giant hairballs in the hallway are any indication, most Pres girls fit into the category of having long luscious hair. However, there is a percentage of bold women who walk the halls sporting short locks.  

Everyone cuts their hair and chooses their style for different reasons. Freshman Zoe Miller shaved and donated her hair to St. Baldrick’s Foundation in June 2016. “I am a big advocate for childhood cancer research because I have a couple friends who have cancer,” she said.

Senior Caitlin Keating recently cut hers for a fresh start and less hassle. “My hair was really high maintenance and it was really bleached and damaged so I just felt like going short would be way easier to take care of,” she said.

For most students at Pres, the thought of chopping off that much hair seems terrifying. Even Keating said, “While I was in the chair, I kind of looked like a mushroom for a little bit, but then it started getting better so then I sort of didn’t care anymore.”

A radical change to short hair is not so daunting for everyone. Junior Pilar Mellon-Reyes said, “I am pretty open to just kind of doing whatever and seeing how it goes…I liked my long hair, but I was over it.”

Short hair has helped improve self confidence. Sophomore Emily Cheadle said, “I feel a lot more confident in who I am… I am a lot more comfortable with myself and I feel like I look better with short hair.”

Along with liking shorter styles themselves, the girls interviewed have had many positive reactions from others.

“I have had a lot of people come up to me of all ages,” said Miller. “Like the other day, my friends and I were at Starbucks and [a woman came up to me and] she was just like, ‘I love your hair. I am losing my hair and I am going to cut it pretty soon and I love your style and it just kind of gives me hope.’”

Lately many people are in support of women rocking their short hair. Keating said, “A lot of people liked it, which I thought was interesting. I actually got mostly positive feedback on it.”

Although there is the encouragement of many, there are always those who frown upon defying gender norms in society. Cheadle said, “Not said to my face, I just heard a few rumors that I looked like a boy or whatever which I wasn’t surprised by.”

Mellon-Reyes also received some backlash from older generations. She said, “My old relatives don’t love it. I don’t know, they are just like kind of traditional. It is not really a girly thing you know.” In 2017, what exactly is a “girly thing” anyway?

A source for this negativity goes back to the stigmatization of feminine beauty standards.

Miller said she sometimes feels the need to dress more feminine to avoid being confused for a male. Cheadle also said she has been told she “looks lesbian.” Mellon-Reyes mentioned that short hair sometimes reciprocates the message of not caring about one’s appearance.

Regardless of these stereotypes, Presentation has managed to be a comforting and welcoming place for girls with short hair styles. Keating said, “I don’t think it is any different. Like it is definitely not in the norm to have short hair at Pres, but I don’t see any difference.”

For those who are considering a fresh cut, take some words of advice from the women themselves. Cheadle said, “It is really important to express who you are, especially through hair and style.”

Miller sums it up well: “Short hair rocks and don’t be afraid to do it.”