“It’s Just Hair”
hi, i’m whitney.
I spotted a fuzzy headed girl from across the room. Her head was completely buzzed, and I couldn’t help but notice her striking femininity and beauty. She was enjoying the concert with a group of friends and I found myself catching glances of her throughout the night—was she insecure? What did people think of her? I also wondered what her reasons were.
A thought flashed through my mind. What if I did it? What if I buzzed my head? I quickly tried to dismiss it as an “extreme” or “rebellious” act—something that good Christian girls don’t do, or at least not me. But what if I did? What would my parents think? What would my friends and school think? The questions kept coming.
After the concert I returned to college and to my ongoing identity struggle. Being immersed in a conservative Christian environment for 3 years had brought to the surface a question that had been churning inside of me. I wondered who I was becoming and whom it was for. Was it for the nice Christian culture that I was comfortable with? Was it for the nice people that surrounded me? Was it simply to make my family proud? I knew these reasons were not enough to uphold my identity. I wanted to be a woman who God would be pleased with. So I decided to shave my head.
I didn’t want to rebel. I wanted to say something to myself. I didn’t want to be conformed to who my culture, family, school and friends said I should be. I needed to say that I am a daughter of God and my identity is wrapped in him.
Shaving my head was both the biggest and smallest act I have ever done. I wrestled with my outward identity and beauty and what that looks like when redeemed. I had to explain myself to my questioning family and friends. I would fall asleep rubbing my fuzzy head and thinking to myself, its just hair. And that it is. But I know now that I am better for losing it.