Maya Rosette Khan
It would be nice to experience human relations in which you sex or gender doesn't determine behavior. A step in that direction would be to stop giving importance to our orientation and appearance.
I believe that we are mature enough to realize that as humans we are all the same, and the things that we believe differentiate us are concepts constructed by our own volition. My grandfather told me I should now grow my hair out because the virtue of a woman resides in it.
I can't believe that a thought like this can still cross the mind of a human that lives in this day and age.
To believe that hair represents your moral standards seems such a ridiculous and far-fetched idea that it’s almost hard to take seriously, but we must not forget that thoughts such as this are continuously being implanted in our minds and common culture by countless commercials, television, religious indoctrination etc... It’s not only for the he gives so much importance to hair, which is the lesser part of the deal, but by the thought that a woman, or anyone for that matter, must have virtue. To believe that one must have virtue is to perpetuate the practice of our self induced condition of mental engagement. It is so beautiful to be free, I invite you open your mind and go beyond the implications of being a man or a woman. That's not the only thing we can be, we are so much more than that.
"It’s not about what gender I belong to, but more about what I like. I am a girl and I like having short hair. People say that I don't look like a girl anymore but that doesn’t matter. What matters is my happiness even if that mean I have to prove I am a girl when I take the “Mahila Seat” which I often do.
There will be people saying long hair is every girl’s dignity. Being me and being comfortable however I like is my dignity.
"My hair has always been an important part of my identity. From hating it as a child to holding onto it like it was a personality trait as a teenager, I've done it all. I shaved my head because I needed some change in my life. I was tired of my hair and everything that came with it. I wanted to know who I was without my hair. And it has definitely been great. There hasn't been a single moment where I've regretted the decision.
As a lazy person, the best part is the low maintenance. Of course, experimenting with different lengths and styles has been fun, but it's so much more than that. Shaving my head taught me so much about accepting and loving myself. It's brought me awesome opportunities and experiences and the chance to meet the most amazing people. With all this also come the inevitable stares and glances from strangers, the misgendering, the constant nagging from relatives to grow my hair out, the assumptions and gossip, and the eventual 'but you looked so pretty with long hair' by well meaning friends but I think that's a small price to pay for the happiness I get every time I look in the mirror.
"Now that I'm growing my hair back, sometimes I feel like I'm missing out on all the fun things 'short hair-ed girls' could do. It might sound corny, but my previous haircut truly helped me discover a completely new side of myself and those around me.
I must have exchanged bazillion wry smiles with my relatives and strangers alike. Every time I’d go out for a walk, I could feel people’s eyes on me. Do not even get me started with bumping into an old friend after a long time. Yet, these awkward incidents are what ultimately make up my short-hair journey, and over time, I have learned to embrace and accept them. The seemingly simple act of cutting my hair short became a real test of my patience.
Man, short hair, long hair, does it even matter?"
"I get either of the two reactions for my short hair: people have "concerns" about my sexuality, or they think I'm "brave". As a straight woman, I don't find it insulting to be "looking like a lesbian", it's rather homophobic. Our perception of masculinity and femininity are so limited to the boundaries we have in our heads.
And it's not really about courage either to cut hair off for me, I just like short hair. I cut my hair short before as well and tried growing it out in between only to learn that I just prefer it this way. It's just so much easier, and I love it!
I don't think my hair should speak anything about my sexuality or the kind of person I am, rather it speaks volumes about what kind of people they are.
"I finally cut my hair!
I was only afraid of one person and she thought my hair cut suited me. Nobody else's comment mattered to me after that. People were curious, they were a bit skeptical at first but your people will ultimately say that you look beautiful and accept you no matter what.
Since I am a single child, I am both son and daughter to my mother. The funniest yet the most exciting part of cutting my hair short was relatives asking me "Bratabandha gareko ho? Haamilai kina na bolako?" I feel so proud that I cut my hair. It's an experience that I will never forget in my whole life."
After getting misgendered yet again, Jyoti Shrestha took to Instagram to voice her frustration. She wrote about how people staring at her, trying figure her out was getting too much. Her sadness was not due to the fact that they were staring, but because of the mindset that they had, because they thought this was fun. She invited women like herself to share their stories. But first, here is her story.
"It started from my household. My mom is very tomboyish; she has dominant personality. My dad on the other hand is very soft, he has a feminine personality. I was always drawn to my mom because I felt like she was very strong. I was also very tomboyish ever since I was really young, I never wanted to have long hair but I always did because my mom loved it. I always yearned to have the 'tomboy hairstyle'.
I was so accustomed to my mom's personality, but when I went out everyone, even my relatives, would say how I need to act feminine. I always thought of how my mom didn't do all that. There was always a clash between the private and the public spheres. I got clarity once I started studying gender.
After joining social work in my bachelor's, my favorite subject was gender studies. We got to learn such interested theories- I really felt like this was my thing. I got to learn so many theories that went beyond masculinity and femininity. And, learning all that, a new dimension opened up for me.
I always wanted to cut my hair, ever since I was a child but I never had the guts because my mom was very strict. But I've always been a stubborn child. My parents would tell me to come home early but I'd arrive late on purpose. And then I realised that they would yell at me but through the repetition of this behaviour, they would get used to it. That was how I planned to cut my hair. I slowly started cutting my hair shorter and shorter. I also realized that once you do it, they can't say anything because whatever they say, it's not going to change anything. But I did start getting a lot of comments. Even my young cousin would tease me, constantly calling me a boy. But I couldn't say anything to him because he doesn't understand.
I started doing photography about a year ago, and so I thought why should I, and people like me, keep our stories to ourselves. Instead of fighting with the people who make those comments, it felt more effective to post our stories like this so that they understand even if it's a little bit."