Monday, October 1, 2012


I got my hair cut super-short the other day.

I was liking it.... though at first I wasn't so sure.
I so wasn't so sure.

Then I started liking it.

Then I went to the dry cleaners to get some clothes I'd left there and my friend, Kathy, the Korean owner of the dry cleaners, said, "Nancy, you got your hair cut!"
Then she said, "Nancy, in a few weeks it will look a lot better, okay?!"
And then she added, "Don't ever get your hair cut that short again, okay?"


What could I do but laugh and say, "Okay, Kathy. Okay!!"

Then I got in my car and tried to detach. 

I only tell you that she's Korean because the point of this post is that maybe Koreans are like Brazilians: they tell the truth and nothing but the truth.

When we lived in Brazil we got used to people saying things like, "You look like you've gained weight."
"That color doesn't do anything for your complexion."
"You should not pick at your nails. That makes them look so ugly."
They'd ask questions like: "How much did you pay for your car?"
"What size do you wear?"
"Who is that ugly person there?" (in the family photo album you were showing them)

So when Kathy was so blunt about my hair cut, well, I was surprised.
I had thought Asians were more polite.

And yet I liked her honesty.
It showed me how good a friendship we had developed.

And I felt as if I were in Brazil again.

AND (and this is my main point) it showed me that at 60 I AM liking myself ... and that it does NOT depend on whether someone ELSE likes my hair. ... what matters if I - me, myself and I - like my hair.

This is not an earth-shattering blog post, I know.

But I think it's worth saying.


I used to base my worth on my perception of other people's worth of me.

Good grief.

I'm glad I've outgrown that.

(I have a new crazy poll up (upper right) (which I should have proofread).... thanks for voting!)
Here's a cartoon-related-to-the-topic ...

  Does anyone relate?


Pat said...

How about a picture of your new cut?

Bailey said...

For what it's worth, even though it shouldn't matter what others think, I thought your hair looked adorable in our last video chat!!!

And I can certainly relate. That was one thing I hated about teaching, because kids (teenagers included, sometimes even worse because of their fashion sense) are sometimes just too brutally honest about how you look.

When I got my hair cut pretty short this last time, with bangs and short bob, I was so nervous about going to work and hearing what 180 different students had to say. It was quite a different look for me, and I wasn't sure I liked how the cut worked with my face shape. Lo and behold, the first comment of the day was a student who always speaks her mind saying, "WHOA. WHAT did you do?? WHY did you cut your hair??"

You don't really know what to say to that... "Uh, I cut my hair because I wanted a hair cut... shorter for the summer... blah blah blah..." But inside I was so hurt and dreading the comments that the rest of the day would bring. When anyone would walk in the room for class to start, this girl kept saying, "Look what Mrs. Carmack did to her hair!!!" And people were like, "Um yeah, she cut it..."

So most of them didn't really care, and most of the comments that I did get were positive, or just people (students and teachers alike) saying how they thought I was a substitute because I looked so different. But I did get the occasional negative comment throughout the day, probably about 3 or 4 of them, and each one made me sit just a little bit lower in my chair because I felt worse about myself.

It's especially hard when you're on the fence about how something looks, like you and I both were about our new hair, and then people start reaffirming the bad side of the fence. By the end of the day, though, I started thinking, "Ok, so some people LOVE my hair, some people HATE my hair, some people don't care either way." And when I decided that I really did like my new hair style, that's all that really mattered.

It certainly helped that this was THE WEEK before summer, so I never had to see any of those people ever again. But still.

sara [at] journey of doing said...

This totally made me laugh out loud... It's all so true!!

Our Korean parents are very blunt, too. "What's with the blonde girl? Oh. Your girlfriend? You can't marry her until you get my kids into college. You'll get distracted."

Or the parent who called me last week, "I heard one of your students is having a hard time getting adjusted to college. What's the problem? She's shy? My niece is shy and she has friends. She just needs to make friends."


But I'm sure your hair looks fabulous - and you're right - as long as you like it, that's all that matters! ;)

laura said...

Good post! When I chopped my hair off, I was super-sensitive about other people's comments about it (like when the 1st grader asked if I was a boy or girl....). But then I just DECIDED I would like it. Sometimes you just have to decide stuff like that for yourself.

It's fun to get a new haircut. Shakes things up. And it does always grow out.. so you can do it again!


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