I have a few strong, beautiful women in my life who have all shaved their heads when they were around my age, and when the topic would come up in conversation I'd get dreamy eyes and say, "Oh, I should just shave all my hair off too!" They'd agree, and I'd promise myself I would eventually do it when I was ready. This seems to be a reoccurring process for me. I learn of some kind of lifestyle, hobby, diet, etc. that I initially admire but simultaneously think is nuts and way too challenging for me. The idea slowly grows on me over months or years, until I begin to really resonate with it and start to realize it's only a matter of time before I adopt whatever ideology, activity or life-change it is. Eventually, I do adopt it. Once that happens I feel like a better, improved, more enlightened version of myself. Not only have I overcome something I once thought to be too extreme for me to do, it's something that opens my mind more to the world around me, and probably makes me a more responsible agent of nonviolence, sustainability, strength, self-love, or whatever aspect is relevant to the change I've made.
Examples: going vegan, quitting shaving my pits and legs, quitting makeup, getting rid of nearly all my clothes and other belongings in place of only what I need, beginning meditating, buying organic food and clothing, going to the farmers market every week, getting back on my bike, lifting HEAVY in the gym, buying ethical clothing, writing a cookbook (and then two more), going nude in public, buying whole boxes of bananas, doing public recipe demos, cutting my hair super short, then shaving it all off... I feel like I am forgetting a bunch but ah well.
I wanted to shave my head because to me it symbolizes empowerment, independence, confidence, minimalism, and functionality. I was still too attached to my old worries about beauty for a long time, until finally a week ago I spent the day with Sophie - a lovely vegan human who was visiting from Australia - eating fruit, sunbathing on the beach and discussing veganism, gender and the lack of hair on her scalp. This was the third female in my life who had shaved their head and implored me to do the same. I was ready this time. Something had changed in me, I let go of those last few attachments to what I thought equaled "beauty". I texted Jack that evening and told him he was going to shave my head. He wouldn't be my lover if he was the type of person who'd think this was a weird request. We did it that night and when I looked in the mirror at the finished product I flipped out for half a sec. But then I got over it and have since fallen in love with the absence of hair.
In my opinion: I think makeup, colourful clothes, nail polish and all the rest of the decorations we adorn ourselves with are distractions from my central self. I am a minimalist and functionalist, although I do have my aesthetic preferences. At the end of the day, I want to get to know me better. And the less distractions there are, the more successful I'll be. As I strip away the layers of gender and fashion, I see more of myself looking back at me in the mirror. As I get to know myself more, I love myself more.
Self-love, to me, is real beauty.
My choice to shave my head comes from a place of minimalism but also a place of resistance. Resistance against gendered structures built around us since birth, and against the power of social norms and public acceptance. I'd like to point out that this is MY perspective. I can imagine how someone else would come to opposite conclusions using the same line of thinking. Example: covering yourself in colourful clothes, shiny nails and bright makeup could be just as much a stand against societal norms as me shaving my head; same goes for dressing and acting within the accepted binary but as the opposite gender to which you were assigned at birth. We are all unique - thank heavens - so I embrace the different routes each of us is taking to express ourselves. However, if this resonates with you, consider shaving your head. You'll look gorgeous. You'll feel new. It's fun to rub.
Onto cherry nice cream. It's the bomb dot com.
VANILLA CHERRY NICE CREAM
Serves one or two
4 peeled, frozen, chopped bananas
1/3 cup pitted cherries
1/8 teaspoon whole vanilla bean
1/3 cup pitted cherries
To make the nice cream: blend it all up until it's like soft serve. Yum. Top with the left over cherries and eat. If you don't have whole vanilla bean, use 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract.
This post was my contribution to a blog series called The 30 Day Beauty Detox, put on by Jacqueline Parker from Beauty Reawakened. Did you like this post? Then *subscribe to my blog* and get all my posts by email!