Stereotypes are so destructive.
For instance, I am 43 years old. I have a cat. I'm single. I have short hair. Want to know the stereotype that I have found myself fighting recently? That adding these things all together makes me a lesbian.
Listen, if that is what blows up your dress, fine. Me? I'm not a lesbian. I like boys. I always have. Okay, I'm 43 years old. I suppose I should say men. I like men! I always have. Tall ones ... muscular ones ... average Joe's ... exotic ones ... bald ones ... hairy ones ... I like men!
Just like most girls, I dreamed of being the princess and being sought out by my very own Prince Charming. I wanted the fairy tale. I planned my wedding. I had a picture in my mind of what fairy tale dress I would wear on my special day.
And that special day never came ... because my Prince Charming never came.
You want to know the other stereotype I fight? That there's something wrong with me. I am somehow damaged or not quite right or not marriage material or dating material or ....
I love Pink! I love her style. I love that she can be edgy and feminine and bada$$ and a mother all at the same time.
I strive to be her ... well, as much as a 43 year old 4th grade teacher can be. That sort of edgy, slightly rocker style has been my goal with my hair in recent years.
Listen, I no longer have the patience to deal with the drying and brushing and spritzing and whatever else must be done with long hair. My hair doesn't really look all that good with long hair. When I had it long (down to my shoulders long, mind you), it just sort of hung there, and I cannot abide stuff just hanging there. So, I would tie it up in a messy knot or a couple of messy knots ... and might I just insert here, these were not like the trendy top knots all the girls are rocking these days. My hair wouldn't cooperate that well. So, these were for realsies nasty, messy knots.
So, I cut it off.
Gradually, at first ... adding layers ... taking off a couple of inches ... making it a bob ... taking off more inches ... making it a shag ... going all the way to pixie ... no bangs ... then bangs ... then asymmetrical ... then plain shaved ...
All these cool, edgy hair cuts. I wanted in on it.
Today, I went short .... REALLY short. I walked out feeling great. Feeling free ... feeling edgy. Then I had a really rough reaction to my hair. Just a look. Hardly perceptible, but enough that I saw it ... I registered it in the eyes of the beholder and BOOM! I was crushed ... near tears.
The voices started: "No guy will like you with a hair cut shorter than his." .... "Why have you made yourself look like you're not at all approachable to men?" .... "It'd have to be a miracle for someone to find you at this point in your life." (<==someone actually said that one to me) "Men like feminine women that can't do it all on their own." (<== someone actually said that to me as well in response to my independent nature) ...
There is nothing I can do about my independent spirit. Apparently, I came into the world like that, and I suspect that I will exit much the same way.
I plan to continue this crazy, short hair business. My 18 bajillion cowlicks work with the short hair, and, frankly, I like it.
I am a woman. I strive to be feminine and sweet and kind and the fairer sex, but let's be honest here, I'm from the north. I have opinions, and I share them.
I'm from good, solid Scottish stock. There isn't a petite bone in this body.
But I love pink and make-up and dresses and nail polish and jewelry and I don't like icky bugs and I need help with "boy stuff" and I like to be cared for and I do try to embrace the feminine.
One day ... probably many moons from now ... stereotypes will be passe, and accepting individuals for their individuality will be the accepted norm ...