I’ve Given Myself Permission To Be A Badass
By Jackie Weber
A little backstory before I begin my rant. I’m a tad obsessed with hair. Ask anyone that knows me well. I’m a self-proclaimed stylist. Braids, up-dos, styling, just experimentation in general- you want it done? I’m your girl. I sear if I didn’t dance, I’d be working in some sort of salon just tangling my fingers in locks till the sun goes down. I pretty much have a business going on at USF. Myself and few other very talented beauticians within the department do most of the hairstyling for the performances. Instead of money, I’m paid in chocolate. It’s a semester salary, but I ain’t complaining. Well a few months before we went on summer break I decided that I was getting an undercut. Don’t ask me how the thought entered my head. Perhaps it was my woman crush on Ellie Goulding or maybe there was a hint of rebellion itching to get out of me. Needless to say, it was a lot of talk and no action. I was fine with just admiring these beautiful and edgy women on Instagram and Tumblr. I wasn’t a stalker by any means, but there was definitely a bit of scalp envy going on. Right before I left for Paris, My sister Audrey decided to chop off about ten inches of her crazy thick hair and get a pixie cut. Michelle Williams and Jennifer Lawrence style. Ja feel? She had a fantastic stylist, Darren, whom has been doing my mother’s hair for the past 12 years, and he definitely didn’t disappoint. The girl looked like a complete rock star and her new do now matched this IDGAF personality that she had been displaying since birth. He asked me while chopping at her strands if I as going to do anything crazy to mine when I got home from Paris. My response of course was, “Well if I do, you’ll be the one to do it.” I’ll be honest; I didn’t think I was going to go through with that statement.
Flash forward to being in Paris sitting along Canal Saint-Martin and drinking some vino with my lovely “dreadful” friend Hannah Luckow, and what are we talking about? Hair of course, and how completely obsessed I am with her dreads.
Let me just take a second to make this known: Hannah’s dreads, as well as her friend Raven’s, are some of the most beautiful dreadlocks I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I’ve ever been so infatuated with someone’s hair. They’re gorgeous, and pull them off better than anyone I know.
Back to this conversation. So we happened to be discussing that Hannah’s “dreadiversary” was coming up and she started telling me that this hairstyle actually meant a lot more to her than many people realized. She said that having dreads was a statement, almost a refusal to conform. Now I can’t quote the woman verbatim, but I can tell you what I got from this discussion; As a woman with dreadlocks, she gets stared at by some and becoming okay with that is part of the process of allowing your hair to dread. Many people may think it’s a simple process, but the way Hannah explained it, it takes patience. I know as far as I’m concerned, I’d be itching to wash my hair every other day or to just comb them out, but if you want the locks to form you have to let go of this idea of having hair “cleaned” by products. I’m no spokesperson for having dreads, let me make that clear as well. I’m no expert; I’m merely a friend of someone with them. I can confidently say, however, that never has something so messy and naturally tangled looked more beautiful to me. For me, the most attractive thing about the dreads on Hannah’s head is that she is so confident about them. It’s almost as if they brought out this inner freedom for her to just be herself. If there’s anything that I was striving to attain more while I was abroad, It was that freedom to be confident in who I was, and the way she was talking about her dreads sounded exactly like that. Not long after this conversation, I was in the Harmonic dance studio in Paris and I saw a woman with a nape undercut. That was it. It was a sign. I had to have this done. So once again, I went on an on to everyone around me about how I was going to shave my neck and accomplish this hairstyle.
Once I got home, I made it apparent that this needed to be done. I decided that it was time to nut up and just do it. I had been talking about it for months, most likely annoying the shit out of everyone around me (and for that dear friends, I apologize) but now it was time to officially go through with it. That decision was followed with a few weeks of me just sort of sitting around and waiting for my mom to be in need of a haircut. It wasn’t until last Monday that my mother’s hair had grown out enough for her liking.
I sat in that chair and heard the razor buzzing and I will admit, I was really nervous. But it happened and there was no going back. Once the nape of my neck was free of hair and feeling amazing, Darren asked me if I wanted to just shave a side for fun. My response of “No, I’m too scared” was said about twice before I grew some balls and told him to go for it. And then after that was done we both decided, “What the hell- let’s create some sort of design in this bitch.” And so the triangles on my neck were formed. A few pictures later, the approval of my very opinionated sisters, a compliment from some old guy with a ponytail on my “awesome hair” and here we are. It’s sad how incredible I feel with just a chink of hair missing, but I gotta say, I feel way more inclined to speak my mind, dress the way I want, and be super confident in everything I’m doing.
Long live the undercut, Ladies and Gentlemen. I seriously couldn’t be happier with my skull. Wearing my hair in topknot is now stylish, and I’m more than okay with that. I feel like I know what Hannah was getting at hen she was saying that she felt like herself with her dreads. I feel less inhibited, almost as if getting rid of a few locks of my hair and going against the grind of the average hairstyle has given me permission to be a badass and do my own thing. I’ve been letting go of a lot of preconceived notions that I had about myself this summer, and this new do of mine is another step in that direction.
I’m really not sure what the point of this article was. Maybe to just inspire everyone to embrace their own style and to worry less about what others think of it. If you want a tattoo, go get one! Wear socks with your heels because it’s awesome! Put on that dark purple lipstick and stand out in a crowd! If you like it, then that’s all that matters. If there’s one thing I’ve realized it’s that confidence is the most beautiful attribute about a person. The most attractive people are the ones who own and take pride in every part of who they are. Embrace your likes, dislikes, quirks, and idiosyncrasies. They set you apart from the rest of the world. We’re all after originality but few of us realize just how original we already are. It’s true what they say, “We’re all a little weird.” Well while I agree, I have one correction for that statement. I leave you with this my friends, a final thought if you would: “We’re all a lot weird, but few let out the lot and only give off the little. So give away the lot and don’t keep the little, because the more you give the more you receive.”
Until next time my friends and in the words of Hannah Luckow, “Keep it weird.”