Growth is painful

On January 24, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

Yeah, I cut my hair again. (Did you really think I wouldn’t?) I may have to finally admit that long hair is for those who have long-hair lifestyles and long-hair self images. People who are able to ignore the pain and frustration of hair blowing into their face/eyes; who are not irritated as fuck when their hair gets tangled in their bag strap or zipped into a dress. These are the blessed, for whom being romantic and windswept looks natural, instead of laughable.

Unfortunately, my son is in the thick of his need for me to look “like other moms,” for which this hair cut does not qualify. The only other short-hair mom at his school moved back to the Netherlands (so now I’m the tallest mom, too! The obviousness of my sticking-outedness is mythological in scope. Grrr, Mrs. Kennedy SMASH!). Last night, after I came home from work and he saw what I’d done to myself, he stopped just short of begging me to wear a hat. But this is a child who also thinks I should drive a Mustang, wear knee-high boots, and take him to Disneyland for a week. I don’t really understand how any of that will help me blend in.

(Video made using Everyday.)



32 Responses to “Growth is painful”

  • So interesting that you would stand out with your short hair at your son’s school. In Minnesota, I would venture the majority of mothers have short hair, while the longer-haired moms stand out. Who knew? (Your hair looks lovely.)

  • Oh, thank heavens! You don’t know this, but we have been part of a sisterhood of short hair. Every time I see you with long(ish) hair I question my decision to keep my hair so short. I love the idea of longer hair, but the reality is the suck. I looked to you as a style guide. Once you started growing it out, all I had was Jamie Lee Curtis. Your rebellion against our secret (even to you, and Jamie Lee) club has had me very confused. All is right with the world again, and I will feel confident when next I go get my hair cut.

    Looks fab btw.

  • You had a couple of great hair days in there. You have to be who you are, and some people are just not long hair people. One day Jackson will appreciate you for your individuality. I know this because my mom was the only person who did not wear make up when we were growing up. Now I get it. She had 4 kids within 6 years. She was lucky if she got to brush her teeth.

  • Big hair had its day in the 1980s, but after we defeated the Soviet Union what’s the point anymore? We can all grow it out again should a new threat arise.

  • Sister, I am so with you on the short hair thing. It’s hard to get a date (men apparently only like long hair), but man, it is so much easier to take care of and live with. Besides, you look great with short hair. Too bad for your son!

  • I love short hair. Sadly, I can’t afford the every-five-weeks trims anymore (mine is not a hair type that takes well to self snipping), so I’m growing it out and it’s awful. I look like I belong in an Indigo Girls tribute band.

  • I have very little sympathy for what other people want my hair to be (including my kids and husband). It’s my head, you know?

    I, like you, want it to be simple and out of the way. But for me that means long and tied back in a knot.

  • I knew you wouldn’t make it! I win! I WIN! Oh god my hair looks bad right now.

  • Guess what you have: self-knowledge. It’s the rarest virtue (like blood type AB), and maybe it starts with the hair and then proceeds to cover the whole entire person (the self-knowledge, not the blood)!

  • I’ve been letting my hair get longer in response to my son’s pleas, and I feel really weird about it. Thank you for this post. I also may be chopping it all off soon.

  • I let my shoulder-length hair roam wild and free as god intended, which kinda stands out in this SoCal world of shiny, flat-ironed hair (and/or extensions). For a while my daughter bugged me to straighten it until the day I came home from the stylist and it was straight and shiny. Even she noticed how it made me look older–I think my Medusa hair deflects the beholder’s eyes away from my facial wrinkles– so now she’s totally on board with my stylin’ (or, actually, lack of stylin’).

    So I guess I’m saying you need to show up at your son’s school wearing a long, hideous wig. That’ll learn him.

  • As someone who has virtually the same hairstyle she had in high school, lo these many years later, I say stick with what works. It’s not that my shoulder length (and then longer what with my inability to get it cut with any regularity) pulled back with a barrette look has EVER been stylish, it’s just the only thing I can do. I don’t do styling, basically. I can wash my hair and I can let it dry those are my only skills.

    I tried very short hair back in middle school. It turned out that puberty had curled my hair and suddenly I looked like a small dog with oddly curly fur. I’ve not toyed with that again.

    I do worry what will happen as I get older, since I can only pin it up in a way that doesn’t look hideous about once a month. Maybe I need to practice that?

    I WISH I could cut it into something/anything that looks like I had a plan, like yours.

    Then again all three of my sons have been horrified at pictures of me with shorter (chin length, oooh scary) hair, so at least there’s that.

  • You can definitely rock the short hair. It looks fantastic on you!

  • Just wait ’til summer, when all those short, long-haired women will be moaning and complaining about how hot it is and how much time they have to put in to keeping their hair off their necks, and you’ll be all cool and collected up there in the breeze, saying “oh, I understand completely.”

  • I was wondering what was going on. You just seem more YOU with short hair and it is so becoming on you… I’ve met you all of once so I am clearly an expert on what’s best for you.

    I grew my very short dyed hair out and it was literally HELL. Not a process for the faint of heart. When I look back on the photos I cringe in horror. But now that it is long and gray (doesn’t that sound purty?) I love being able to haul it back into a knot and have the short hair feel.

    I do still find myself yearning for the short cut (especially in a sweaty yoga room) and am guessing one day, off it will go.

    Bottom line: it’s your head. Do what you want with it.

  • i remember distinctly my mother getting a fairly avant-garde short hair cut when i was in grade school. i was mortified, though not really sure why. i think it’s just hard to work out one’s ideas of gender/sexuality/norms at that age. whatev, my mom was cool, still is and i appreciate it all so much now. and as a new mom, i have short hair too and love it. i totally get it. it’s just so much easier, damn it, and it’s way more flattering than weird flippy or straggly longer hair. of course, every time i go in for the chop, i fantasize about emerging as jean seberg or mia farrow. and that just isn’t going to happen, now is it?!

  • I am a bob kind of gal, drives my kids nuts. Can’t tell you often I have heard,”Maybe you should try something different” Well, I have. Long for my husband, ,you know because guys have weird fantasies or my husband does and short because I wanted it short, I love short hair but short hair doesn’t work with my round pudgy face. Bobs fit me perfectly and at some point I said, “Screw all of you, I like the way I look in a bob and plus they are easy, they start a little short and I can let them grow a tad bit. So, it saves you money because I don’t get my haircut too often.” That ended all input!
    I still envy your short hair, you look great!!!

  • I think this is possibly the most humorous discussion I have read today. I LOVE it when I discover I am not the only one who craves short hair yet worries what other people think of it. Short hair DOES rock. Now if only I could accept the fact that my hair is totally grey and I should let it be so.

  • try a wild long wig, the shock of a ridiculous wig would probably override the wish for longer hair and be replaced with a wish for the original mother look. Nothing more embarrassing than a ridiculous looking mom. Plus wigs are super fun, and easy with such short hair, you may find them as much fun as I do, and I am a man. Or at least an older male human.

  • OK I have watched that evolution video 6 times now. You, Ms Kennedy, are so fucking cool.

  • (Spoken in the voice of Madine, a friend now gone): “Oh HOONey, all you need is those TWO LIL WORDS, HAIR SPRAY. Oh yeah, we need that. You gecherself summa THAT.”

    They now have this great stuff that works like cement and you only put it at the roots. It works like a barrette! no more flapping in your face! Try it when you regain the itch.
    And those boots? HECK yeah. I agree with Jackson.
    Drive a mustang? Why not.
    Disneyland for a week? Take a hike, kid.

    If it’s any consolation my mom was much older than other moms and different looking and acting. It was a little odd for me at times, but in the long run I realized she was much classier than all the moms of the kids around me. I respected her choices. I just wished she’d been a bit more free: I hope you’re not afraid to put on a swimsuit, for example. Nuff said.

    And frankly I can’t see you in long hair. That would be odd.

  • I am currently growing my hair out really long so that I can cut it all off for charity. I’ve made it to shoulder length and the only saving grace is that I can put it in a pony tail. This is where my hair spends most of it’s life. I envy your short hair and long for the day where I can cut my hair all off to just about that length. I think I have seven inches to go.

    Jackson obviously sees you as a super hero, hence the knee-high boots.

  • Did you plan that picture thing over a long period or was that just–well, you had to plan it right?

    You are making me realize how hard it is to be the mom of your child’s mental image of what a mom should be like. And I mentally can’t even believe I’m a mom even though my kid is 7 so it’s all sort of hopeless. She wants me to wear skirts then she hates my makeup then she wants it to be different. She’ll complain my face is shiny then when I wear matte she says I look too pale–it feels impossible.

    Oh God I just realized what a sad thing this is and how it sounds like I’m spending all this time courting my own child’s approval. I swear, I just dabble in that occasionally.

  • I can sympathize. I have curly hair and have tried to have it longish off and on for most of my life. I once had it really long and keep thinking I want it that way again – but it just won’t grow like that now! (I was about 20 when it was long long). I finally got really brave and had it cut really short about 2 years ago and my friends all loved it. I still have mixed emotions and go between really short (in the summer) and longer (but still short) in the winter. Either is better than that in between length when I tried to grow it! I love yours short.

  • LOVE it!

  • I’m jealous. If I had a face like yours, I would have short hair in a heartbeat. Alas, I am a pumpkin-head.

  • What Momo Fali said.

    Also, it’s good to know that I’m not alone in snipping at my own hair.
    Thank you for that.

  • I’m with you on the short hair thing. I have thick, curly hair and live in the South. My head sweats like nobody’s business. And I can’t stand my hair in my face, and definitely not on my neck in the summertime.

    And you totally rock that look.

  • i very gingerly trimmed (using point-cut method) the crown and sides of my hair this morning. growing out an angled bob in wavy hair…i’m at the “dharma” cut from dharma & greg right now (sporting a style from 1997!)

    loved the video. as always, i admire your guts in cutting it yourself…and fab frames, btw.

  • You’re gorgeous no matter what Jackson thinks. My hair is short and I love it, but I could never rock those glasses like you do. I’m jealous. Maybe if I were eleven feet tall, it would work.
    Off topic, but in the video up top there, your necklace is beautiful!
    Did you make it?

  • I originally came to your blog many years ago via a link from some jewelry maker who admired how you were documenting your hair growing then cutting. How many years ago was that? Then I stayed for the best writing on the Internet.