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On Womanhood & Shaving My Head



I think women hide behind hair. We have been taught that our hair is our crown. I think that's part of the reason why I began cutting my hair when I was 12, and why I recently went bald. I never quite believed that my hair was my crown. I never believed that my hair length or style determined my femininity (or the lack thereof). I never believed that wearing jewelry made me more of a woman. I never believed that makeup and overdrawn eyebrows determined my beauty. Since cutting my hair off, some people have made it their job to remind me to wear earrings so that I "look more like a 'lady'" or to make sure my makeup is on point at ALL times, as if those things define me, my beauty, and/or my womanhood.

I never cared much for the opinions of others and I can be a bit crass and nonchalant when it comes to displaying my lack of affection for another's opinion of me. Because I'm a performer, I've been living for other people (onstage) my entire life. I've been painting my face for the spectators since my first dance recital at 3 years old. So, if I decide walk out of my apartment with my BALD head AND with NO makeup or earrings on, trust that I am more than comfortable with my beauty, my womanhood, my sexuality, my spirituality, and how others may perceive those aspects of me.

I learned at a young age that my hair had nothing to do with my crown, that the two are not synonymous, and that my royalty is more connected to my soul, and not the hair follicles sprouting out of the desert that is my scalp.

Come to think of it, even as a young girl, some people who 'loved' me would always say and do things to try to manipulate my budding womanhood. "Maybe you should wear perfume now that you're a woman." "You need eyeliner." "You should wear more feminine hairstyles for basketball games so you won't look like a dike." In retrospect, it's comical; but I grew accustomed to the disrespect--the trashing of MY womanhood which didn't look like anyone else's. Shaving my head has brought me back to those moments, but I'm wiser now. I feel the earth more vigorously, now. In losing my "crown," I gained the most in-depth self-love that I have ever known. That's true victory; I am still royalty. I am still woman. I am ever-evolving, hair and all, and I am to be continued.

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