I’m pondering the not so superficial things, like hair length (mine) and facial hair, two things which at first glance may seem unconnected, and have nothing to do with self-image discovery and women’s empowerment. So let’s rip the scab off and see what oozes out.
Not only as women does our hair somehow become matrimonial property (even if you’re not married!) but everyone has an opinion on it. Then, stupidly, some of us (myself included) listen to other people’s opinions and forget about what “I” might like and what might be best for “me”!
Since when did they have to style it, wash it and feel good about it each day they got up? It is our hair and we need to be aware of the subtle, and not so subtle, forms of control we let people in our lives have over OUR crowning glory. For over four years now I have pushed back at my critics by keeping my hair awesomely long, upsetting some of my female friends, but strangely bringing happiness to my boyfriends and my now husband. Now though it has grown to such epic proportions that I can no longer manage it.
So, after being called a witch by one of my close friends a few years back (and my hair is at least a foot longer than that now), I am going under the scissors. But it begs the question, why are women so threatened by long hair and why do men fixate on it so much? There are no rules in today’s fashion-world dictating what we should do with the hair on our heads. But why is it still not okay to be hairy anywhere else?
With those thoughts in mind I have been particularly inspired by the stage persona Conchita Wurst (pictured above), winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest. Not for what she has done as a political leader for the Rainbow People in Europe, but what I believe she has done for women in the area of self-acceptance – by being a pioneering role model for women worldwide. Let me digress…
It occurred to me that being glamorous, womanly and feminine was not beard associated. In fact they are a list that would sit on the opposite side of the page. The ‘bearded lady’ was a Victorian Sideshow stalwort; and was such an institution that if they couldn’t find a bearded lady they would dress a man in drag to fill the role.
So fast-forward to today’s modern world and even though women are sprouting hair from our chins and upper lips (more prolifically as we age), still no one is stepping out of the Sideshow shadow. Until Conchita – who is beautiful, spirited, glamorous, all and all divine, and bearded. Yes, I know that you are all screaming; that don’t I realise that her birth gender assignment is male. Yes I know that. But she is being a whole image, a true expression of herself; she has created a glove that fits and what’s more – she is stunning in it.
So I put it to you that Conchita is making it more acceptable for women to be bearded in general. So three months later the media introduces us to another stunningly beautiful young woman, Harnaam Kaur, who has embraced the whole her, whiskers and all. The persecution this young woman has had to endure is disgusting but with the tools of faith, self-belief and friendship she has persevered.
Makes you think doesn’t it, what is it about ourselves that we can accept that will make us our beautiful, unique formidable self?
So, am I, Ciane St’ Eve, too old for long hair? It is one of the most common questions I get asked “Am I too old for long hair?” My answer is always “Why would you think you are too old?” There are technical details based on balance for your body shape/face, dimensions and what your hair is actually like; if you are only sporting the kind of hair density that Homer Simpson can boast of, waist-length hair will probably not be the most flattering.
Have a look at my favourite Pinterest Board and discover some stunning longer 40+ hairstyles for yourself http://www.pinterest.com/40plusstyle/hairstyles-for-women-over-40/
I’m back to the mirror to find that pesky whisker to tweeze out (or not!) and then to book my appointment with the hairdresser to have some locks lopped. Pics next week of the new doo ;o)
Be Your Formidable Self,
Photo credit- Conchita Wurst http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/austrias-bearded-lady-conchita-wurst-wins-eurovision-contest-n102366
Photo credit- Harnaam Kaur http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2718806/It-makes-feel-like-confident-woman-not-afraid-break-society-s-norms-British-bearded-lady-new-photography-exhibition-showcasing-world-s-best-facial-hair.html