Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Gender Wednesday: Hair and Sexiness

I used to have long hair, like most chicks do.  And like most chicks, I was obsessed with my long hair and used it like some kind of security blanket.  If the hairdresser trimmed off an inch more than I'd asked for, I felt...I dunno, castrated or something, even though my remaining hair still reached well below my shoulders.

I'm sure my hair obsession came from society's deep-seated and omnipresent conviction that on women, hair=sexiness.  Women are like that  guy Samson from the Bible: long hair gives us power (except instead of physical strength, our "power" is the power of attracting men, which is far less useful).

And then one day I got an urge to cut my hair short - to change my look in a radical way.  But I was so afraid of chopping off all my sex appeal that it took me literally years to finally get that haircut.

I shouldn't have been afraid.  Short hair is awesome.

See, here's the thing: my short hair didn't repel the next great love of my life, dooming me to die alone.  It repelled guys I wouldn't have wanted anyway.  After I finally cut off my iconic girly-girl mid-back-length pelt, beefy hairy dudes who revel in traditional gender roles stopped checking me out...and wispy genderfluid dudes (like The Boy) started checking me out.  Fuck yeah.

And it's not just about what other people think: my mostly-buzzed hair makes me feel sexy, regardless.  The media portrays female sexiness as very passive and ornamental: most people's idea of a generic "sexy woman" is probably someone in shoes she can barely walk in, a skirt she can't bend over in, a top that will expose her breasts if she tries to move too quickly, and no pockets.  All she can do is stand there, pose, and be pretty.  For me, though, female sexiness hinges on feeling functional.  I'll never feel as attractive teetering around on stiletto heels as I do striding solidly in my shit-kicking boots (and I think other women look hotter in practical clothes, too). I thrive on feeling strong and capable and being able to move freely, and my relative hairlessness is awesome for that: my hair never falls in my eyes, sticks to my lipgloss, or obscures my peripheral vision anymore. 

Conversely, I really dig the "passive and ornamental" brand of sexiness in a guy...and usually love when guys have long hair (and short skirts and heels, for that matter).  I also prefer a guy who telegraphs his interest in me through strategic use of giggles and Bambi eyes but waits for me to make the actual first move.  I guess I'm all about role reversal...I'd claim to have the brain of a dude but I'm not actually sure there's any such thing as a "dude brain" or "chick brain".

But that's a theory for another time.


  1. Hear, hear. Self-efficacy increases confidence, which is the bedrock of sex appeal as far as I'm concerned.

  2. I have to say, it wasn't your hair that attracted me to you that new years eve all those years ago. It was your eyes. And the height definitely helped your case.....

  3. I am indeed a giant with eyes. Two of them! :D

  4. Well, if you were a giant with only one eye you'd be a Cyclops. That's a whole different mythological beast. Of course it would also make for a great story, or a T-Shirt. 'I kissed a Cyclops in a Goth bar in Toronto. What did you do for New Years?'.

  5. OH MY GOD...I've been planning on starting up a Zazzle store and I just might have to steal that slogan!!!