Monday, June 14, 2010

Hardcore (February, 2003)

Just a short amusing post with a "thought of the day"... what happens when you buzz off all your hair?

I haven't done this for a few years now. The first time was after I had had my hair dyed dark purple (I actually wanted black... don't ask), and when after a few weeks I grew tired of the fading eggplant look, I decided to cut it all off with the result shown below.*

Thank goodness I'm not wearing those frames anymore. But as for the hair, it's interesting how firstly, people's perceptions of you change when you denude your scalp; and secondly, how the 'buzzed look' is differently interpreted according to how people 'read' other aspects of your body or physical presentation. Those seem like two halves of a coin, the latter informing the former.

For example, how is it interpreted when you identify/present as a man and shave or buzz your head, as opposed to when someone of another gender does it? What about racialised bodies--is there a difference in interpretation according to skin colour (not necessarily positive for white men--think of skinheads)? What about for those identifying as women? Do people make the assumption that without hair we must be Radical Queers or Punk Anarchists, or do they also see us as possible cancer patients? What about clothing, how does it change things if I am wearing a pair of khaki pants and a hoodie vs. a long black dress?

*Note: I was lucky, I discovered, in that my head was the right shape for baldness. Apparently one never knows what kinds of lumps and dents and all manner of wonkiness can be hidden by the hair on one's head. And yes, it can be odd-looking (as awkward as when I had purple eyebrows, I'm sure).

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