I am Punk Rock

You are so punk rock.

My husband told me that last night after witnessing our friend cut my hair.  Well, not really cut so much as buzz.

Yup.  The buzzers came out to play, and I now have the shortest length hair of anyone in our family.

Punk rock was what my husband called me.  Sad little boy was what my daughter said I looked like as the stylist sheared away the sides of my chin-length bob.  My son just stared at my transformation, not sure how to respond.

I was already a little hesitant to go from a mid-length do to one that makes me look like I should be wearing a Rancid concert tee.  I only had short hair one other time in my life, and when my husband caught a glimpse of me for the first time with the ‘do, his words to me were, “Wow.  You look old.”

Thanks, dear.

Now that episode occurred almost five years ago, and when I honestly look back at those pictures of me with a moppy short cut, I do agree that the look aged me a bit.  His comment is something I can look back and laugh about, and although I don’t think that my husband stop loving me because of the length of my black locks, I didn’t feel up to explaining to him or anyone else why I desired a shorter length.  I mean, there are the reasons:  it is incredibly hot and muggy here in Hawaii event though the start of fall is upon us.  My hair is incredibly thick and heavy, so much so that if I wear it in a ponytail for too long, I get a headache due to the weight of my hair pulling on my neck.

Not even related to the logistical reasons for wanting a buzzed look, I also admire seeing my online lifting friends with their rockin’ undercuts.  They exude confidence as they deadlift, squat, and bench with their short hair, and I always love seeing how these strong women use their hair styles (among many other things) as evidence of the inner strength they possess.

So when I sat in the chair and told my hairdresser to go short and I emerged with my new punk rock style, you know what?  I really loved it.  Loved it then and love it now.  I love that it’s easy to style (although I’m still getting used to how to lift weights with my long bangs flying around my head), and I love that my head feels five pounds lighter.

More importantly, I do love that it is “punk rock” because from when I was a gawky middle-school student trying to find my own voice and identity, I loved listening to bands like Rancid, Social Distortion, and Hole.  I admired the unabashedly raucous melodies they created in their songs (I still get a bit of an adrenaline rush whenever I hear the opening strains of “Roots Radical”), but I also wanted to be independent, free, and ME like the members of those bands.  They had a voice.  I was searching for one.  They felt confident enough in what they looked like to rock mohawks and baby dolls dresses with combat boots.  I shopped at Wet Seal like all of the other nineties-teeny-bopper girls buying Bongo shorts and made a heavily hairsprayed “wave” with my bangs.  They didn’t care what the majority thought of their looks or their words.  I lived in fear of saying anything contrary to the status quo because I didn’t want to seem “different” or “out of place.”

Ironically, my American Literature class is studying Transcendentalism at the moment, and students are writing an essay about a quote from either “Self-Reliance” or Walden and how it relates to a life experience they had.

So are you ready for my essay?  Here it is.  By going from a chin-length conservative ‘do to a shorter, sassier, more rocking cut, I became a nonconformist.  I knew people may look at my hair and think it to be less feminine or not a suitable style for a mother of two, but I did it.  I did it because I wanted to since I was a pimply-faced, shy, sixteen-year-old searching for a voice.  Because I believe in my individuality and the person God created me to be and that the length of my hair is no indication of how good of a teacher I am, how loving of a wife I am, or how much I prize my children.  I am still “me”, but I am a “me” that is unafraid of others judgements.

And you know what?  After calling my hair “punk rock”, my husband then followed that comment up with a “it looks good” head nod and the following statement:

“Wow, you know what?  I can’t wait to cut my hair too.”

Yes, dear.  I can’t wait for you to cut your hair too.

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