Does Caitlyn Jenner Look Better Than I Do?
Women ask this question and it's not just compared to our most famous transgender athlete.
As women, how we look plagues us for a lifetime - or it certainly can. When our daughter was a baby, my partner and I jokingly wondered aloud, “what if she’s ugly?” We both responded, “then we'll make her confident as hell!”
Jon Stewart of the Daily Show mockingly welcomed Bruce/ Caitlyn Jenner into womanhood, a world in which your life’s work can be boiled down to your attractiveness. That said, I am not looking forward to the pettiness around this issue during Hillary Clinton’s run for President.
These stigmas about femininity, and what our hair - among others things - says about our femininity and our relevance as a woman in the world, sting. Most women feel their hair is a powerful symbol, and one of the most feminine symbols we have.
Look around us today – everywhere you look people are “wearing” their hair long, colored and with extensions to make it bigger, longer, fuller and more attention-grabbing than ever. Hair is big business and people want their's to look good.
During my many years of hairdressing, women who requested short hair cuts always prefaced that they don’t want to look “dyke-y” or “like a man” or “butch,” as if a short haircut would change their total appearance and level of attractiveness to the public... or somehow automatically remove their ovaries. Which is why so many women who are really losing their hair become obsessed with this loss and live a small life because they fear going in public. They fear that they will be ridiculed or judged as a sickly person, a mangy person – not feminine and attractive. In a world already seemingly inhospitable to sickness, lack, negative stereotypes and under-feminized personae, where does a woman with thinning hair go?
This plagues ALL women. Women who sit in my chair with Kardashian amounts of hair — ponytails the size of a child’s thigh - manage to complain that their hair is thinning. So, if women with lots of healthy hair are convinced that their hair is thinning and they are scared and unsure of what to do, those with visibly thinning hair are really struggling.
We live in a world that fights for “Real Beauty”- a la the DOVE campaign while simultaneously setting standards of beauty, manufactured beauty … including that of Caitlyn Jenner.
We women are so much more than our looks -- SO MUCH more than our hair! We are complex – we are mothers, sisters, friends, business owners. We get to live so many lives in these bodies and we cannot stop living because our hair is going down the drain. The truth is that our more significant attributes and traits – humor, wit, kindness, creativity, curiosity, generosity, intelligence, courage - are our most important assets.
Everything else is just a drag show. It's hype and it doesn't serve us to buy into it and believe it. Most certainly, it does not serve us to be ruled by it.