For women, all over the world, this is a known fact. Whether we reflect on it or not.
Our choice of hairstyle will often give people certain ideas about who we are, much like the impact of what we wear. Fashion, style and beauty has always been political and had social impact, especially for women.
In fact, for several hundred years, certain hair styles (including of course also male facial hair and male hairstyles) have been considered signs of affluence, royalty or authority. Fast forward to our time, where hair is again at center stage with the likes of Barbie (urgh, I am allergic), Elsa in Frozen and of course Becky with the Good Hair:).
So, it is no wonder that we mortals, who are not blessed with a 24 hour hairdresser at our disposal, are factoring in hair as an important part of our initial assessment (i.e. judgment with absolutely no foundation) of a person we just met. It is sad, but nevertheless interesting, how we allow all these superficial elements to thrive in our brains, before the person even opened her mouth. But yah, that’s a whole different discussion (and maybe even another blog-site)!
The very lucrative consequence of all of this are the many billions thrown into hair products every year. There are more hair-products than there are products for your new born baby, a bit messed up, no? The products all claim to do different things like strengthen, keep color, keep shine, keep straight, make curly etc, and then the “box colors” (as my hairdresser friend Didi calls them with great resentment) meant to turn your hair into pitch black or Elsa-platina. Given the fact that hair is something that will always keep growing out (for most of us women) and will not disappear just because we grow older, it’s an astonishing amount of money we pour into it every year. I understand skin products, given many women are desperately trying to hold on to those glowing, plump cheeks that time will attempt to bring closer to our feet, but hair, really? Anyways, enough rambling about hair in general, here follows some of the most common preconceived ideas we (as in the general public) have of women with different styles of hair, here goes:
Wearing your hair short, in a darker color, and presenting a borderline messy hairstyle is according to research going to give other people the impression that you are an intellectual woman, an academic perhaps, someone who spends so much time thinking that she needs a hairstyle that doesn’t need attention or fixing. It’s just there, effortless, and so is she.
Another big preconception surrounds the hairstyle dreadlocks. Automatically some people will think Bob Marley, weed and endless days of just chilling on a beach. Politically she is definitely extreme left. She wants everyone to love each other. A bit like the hippie of the 70s. (Jeeze, incredible:)
Girls just wanna have fun!
Ah yes, the classic assumption that blonde women are somehow interested in having more fun than others, and that they are more lighthearted and free-spirited. Not so “edgy” and “difficult”, some men would say in a survey. Of course, this is far from any kind of truth, as again it is based on stereotypes and generalizations.
It’s long, but not blond, it’s wavy, but not curly. It’s like a mystery and everyone loves mysteries. Ladies with long, wavy brown hair, are perceived as strong, independent and caring.
Balled? She has to be the type who opposes all systems, believes in the power of chaos to create freedom and of course, makes it her life assignment to challenge the patriarchy. Well, doesn’t sound so bad to me 🙂 But of course, and again, there is not one truth and one story to any woman.
So here comes the grand finale, the message: As women, we should aim to fight, not apply these preconceived ideas, and ensure that in our every day lives, when we meet other women in professional or personal situations, we keep an open mind. Remember to check yourself, so that no underlying, unconscious ignorance will ever reach the corner of your eye or bounce off your tongue when you open your mouth to speak.