Body Image

Authenticity and Ownership

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A bald woman is a strange and mysterious being.

I feel like the moment you cut your hair you’re expected to overcompensate for your “lack” of femininity with extra accessories, extra make up, being more feminine in the way you dress… The world expects you to prove to them that “Hey! I’m still a girl so you don’t have to worry about it!” and that’s always just seemed a little off to me.

I used to be the queen of big, heavy earrings when I was in my teens. I just really enjoyed them at the time but as I grew older I started to feel like┬ámaybe a bit of that was because I was trying to compensate for being a tomboy and not really someone who’s feminine in the traditional sense of the word.

When I shaved my head back in November 2014 it felt like coming up for air in the midst of drowning. I had been contemplating that decision for over a year and looking back at it now I think the reason I didn’t do it as soon as the urge hit me was because I was still holding on to somebody else’s definition of beauty.

Once the hair was gone it suddenly clicked to me that I didn’t have to justify myself to other people.

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I was already moving into a place where minimal accessories were the most comfortable for me so I made the conscious decision not to wear anything other than studs on my ears just to keep me from using the accessories to “compensate” for the lack of hair. I’ve never been a fan of makeup on myself so that was never a problem but it was a journey to go from loving my new look (which I did instantly) to getting to the point where I’m not at all concerned about what other people might think of it.

Not to say that I “cared” about what others thought but in the beginning, at the back of my mind, there was always a little bit of self consciousness and fear that someone would ask me that uncomfortable question: “why did you cut your hair?” or call me a boy which has happened a few times.

I feel like releasing other people’s notion of femininity and of what a girl should look like or just of beauty in general and releasing the need to justify my being, my “self” and my body to others is something that had a drastic impact on my self image and self acceptance. It feels like I reclaimed myself and my body from the clutches of other people’s perceptions of beauty and it’s incredibly liberating.

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To me, beauty is about authenticity and ownership. It’s owning myself, my body and my outer image and being truly comfortable in my skin, not letting other’s opinions sway me from being me.

I define my standard of beauty. How do you define yours?

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5 thoughts on “Authenticity and Ownership

  1. One of the greatest gifts for such a transition is coming from the South of Africa, where as much as traditional femininity is celebrated, this level of authenticity is acceptable and even more so, applauded.. So it makes it easier… Never having one for huge accessories too i understand completely what you mean… On the other hand my corn rows are not polished enough, or high end enough for the same people that think you are not feminine enough, so at the end of the day, we cant be the “donkey man” where one person says ride it, the other says let it walk, and the next says carry it…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, easier being from the Southern part but not so much for Mozambique and Angola. It’s pretty rare to see a bald woman here. Even when you have short hair, there needs to be “hair” (enough to comb and maybe attach some braids). Either way, there’ll always be someone who’s unhappy with YOUR choices even though they don’t affect them. C’est la vie!

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  2. Style Thirst says:

    to me beauty if whatever and however you feel most comfortable. regardless of your features, color just that place where you find yourself and are at peace with how you are.

    Liked by 1 person

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