As a young girl I had long hair. Then, my mother decided to give it a cut. I can’t say how old I was, maybe 7. What I remember perfectly well is that we met a nice gentleman once who complimented my mother for the lovely boy… I was so upset that I never had it cut again.
I grew up with ash blonde curls. I liked my curly hair caressing my back. For me they were a sign of my femininity. I had learned it from my mother, who wore long hair, from Aunt Adele who always wore long hair and red nail polish, from my dolls, all with long hair!
I wore it long until the age of 29 and I loved it, but cutting it was like a liberation.
Growing up I had learned to get rid of unnecessary clichés and conventions. I had learned to accept my faults, I had looked into who I was by searching for my identity in solitude and finally I could reveal myself without uncertainty. With that cut I had freed myself of many things, I could grasp the essentials that excited me every day and I chose to discover the long neck and to fly lightly towards what makes my life bright.
As an adult, I’ve learned that femininity is not closed in a curl, but in the shape that makes me a woman, in what makes me feel good.
I love my short hair and I find it really feminine; far from all the influences of a child, I have learned the beauty of being able to express myself without fear of being judged or not being understood.
Yet, in recent years, when I had my hair cut, Mom would say with a reproachful tone: – I didn’t make a boy! – but she was no longer herself. I have also learned to accept this very comment recalling when she loved seeing me with short hair.
I can choose every day, I am a lucky woman. I live in the free part of the world; and after humanity has overcome the limits that we are capable of self-imposing, I now enjoy true freedom.
I am still waiting for many other achievements though, because I live in Italy, in Sicily, in Palermo…, but I cannot deny that I am lucky compared to some areas of the world where women are still subject to violence and abuse. Women who cannot show anything of what they are and must be careful not to make mistakes.
This freedom that we take for granted for others is an achievement. And some events seem so far from us, as to be horror stories that we find it hard to imagine, that are not of this world. Still, they are true, and it is a harsh reality to digest for people like me who love to express their freedom and identity. It collides with a world that deprives women of everything.
This silly tale about my hair is dedicated to the women living in Iran, to the fights they’re carrying out, to the hard-to-understand events that are happening after Mahsa’s death.
I can choose who I am every day, I live free from any constraints, but I don’t want to forget that my taken-for-granted freedom is an everyday struggle for other women like me who were just born in a different part of the world.
Our support goes to them, we remember that while we can choose to show who we are through our choices every day, this is an absurd dream for those who can only adapt or fight for their primary rights.