Yes, folks, it’s even more on hair! Shapeling Heather Bailey recently sent us the story of her latest haircut, and it was too good not to post. –Kate
My hairstylist for the last three years has been a guy who’s a bit of a wunderkind stylist in this town, awesome with the shears. The problem started when I came to him last summer wanting to razor off my shoulder length hair to pixie, and he flat out refused. He said, “I don’t think that would be right for your face.” What he meant was: “You’re too fat for a pixie cut.” So I conceded and got a chin-length shortcut, feeling a little ashamed that I couldn’t pull off a pixie (a professional said so!). I believed him and told myself, yeah, I need this bit of bang covering half my face to frame it properly.
A few months ago, I got my dream job working in a library, where I am frequently found pushing around 100 lb carts of books, doing deep knee bends and reaching high to shelve things, lifting tubs of books to and fro. And guess what? That fucking hair, it just kept getting in my face and generally annoying the hell out of me. I started keeping it in a constant ponytail and then I was like, fuck this. I picked a different hairstylist. It turns out that she has also got skillz, double-mad. Also, when I showed her the pixie I wanted, she immediately said, “That will look so awesome on you. You have great features to show off.”
Fuck me, I’ve been going to a stylist making me crazy with pixie-cut fear for the last 12 months, and now I find out that it was him, not me, all along? And that with longer hair, I look the same size as with short hair (fat, fat)? And now that I got the cut, I have gotten several thousand compliments from stray library patrons who never spoke to me before? Apparently, I have really great glasses, amazing eyes, a lovely neck, a fantastic outfit, good posture, and one charming and elderly patron thinks that I am “just beautiful!” Plus, I am playing more with makeup and styles for my new hair, and I am generally in love with the confidence it gives me.
I’m a relative newbie to FA, but I consider myself pretty solid in the “diets don’t work, and Weight Watchers is a diet” mentality. I dress well, take care of myself with exercise, relaxation and enjoying the food I eat. I don’t think badly of my fat. I stand up for my body when others put it down. I found a doctor who asks me my habits rather than my weight to determine my health level. But this one area tripped me up: I believed that hair can magically make you look fatter/thinner and I was afraid of that. We are what we are, and if our culture wants us to “blend in” and feel that we have to hide the fat bits on our hips, thighs, faces – well, it’s up to us to tell them we’re not obligated to make them feel better by feeling bad about ourselves, and we aren’t going to disappear anything about ourselves.
The moral of the story is, all those dos & don’ts of the fat girl fashion & beauty diktat? Add up to one big don’t. Don’t listen.