Why I Chopped My Hair Off, And Why It’s None Of Your Business

17421_10100779924901339_1463528657775580375_nIf you ever want to test out just how shallow society is, I highly encourage you to cut your hair. Last January, the day before my birthday, I went to an amazing hairstylist in NYC and asked her to chop ALL of my hair off. It took two different visits to her to finally convince her it was truly what I wanted. I posted a picture that day of the changed do, and the debate of Marji’s hair began. From Twitter followers to family members to coworkers → EVERYONE had an opinion on my new hair. I even had a woman go as far as Tweeting me and asking me to write a blog post on how my chopped hair affected my career → WTF.

Here’s the deal → Since it seems to be such a hot topic, there are three reasons as to why I cut my hair (that was already kind of short, I might add):

  1. I am obsessed with Claire Underwood’s hair.
  2. I always wanted to know what short hair would look like on me, and was tired of society pressuring girls to have long hair.
  3. My mom had cancer and lost all of her hair during chemo. Growing back her hair has been challenging for her, so I cut it to honor her own struggle.

Number three is particularly important to me, especially with the chattering that has surrounded my decision. My mom didn’t have a choice, she lost all of her hair to a terrible disease. For the past two years, I have watched her find fancy hats to cover up the remnants of her fight with cancer. Now, my mom looks incredibly beautiful with short hair. In fact, I would argue she looks even more beautiful with her high cheekbones and bright blue eyes accentuated by the new cut. I tell her this constantly, but she still insists she hates it.

I didn’t fully understand it until I was talking with my hairstylist about it. She said something that absolutely changed the way I thought of my mom’s trendy hair: “Your mom didn’t choose her hairstyle. She was forced to have it because she got sick. Even if it’s the best hairstyle in the world for her, it wasn’t her decision and is most likely a reminder of her fight everyday.”

Duh.

So, I chopped off my own hair. Partly because I was obsessed with Robin Wright’s hair, partly because I’m a bit of a feminist, and mostly because I wanted to know how my mom felt and wanted her to know that she has someone with her in this war against short hair 😉

Now, if the Tweeter who told me to write a blog about how my short hair now affects my career saw this post, I’m sure they would retract their statement. Now it seems like that already crass question was a bit of a bitchy question– right?

Point? IT’S JUST HAIR. To be quite honest, the only place I’ve seen an impact has been on Twitter with people asking me about it. Most of the feedback IRL (in real life aka in person) has actually been quite positive, which some of it is still a condemnation from someone trying to put me back into a box.

I can tell you, that with all of the buzz (negative and positive) around it, I have a little more perspective into what my mom is going through. I honestly would have never believed that so many people feel that they have some investment, or say, in what you do with your hair. I would have thought my mom was a bit crazy if she told me people actually went out of their way to give a strong opinion on her hair.

But, hey, wasn’t I one of those judgmental people to her? Even though it was a positive compliment, I gave a hefty opinion on what I thought of her hair when she was going through her own struggle of accepting one last remnant of her fight with cancer. I didn’t even get that it actually was not my business, and my opinion of her hair was irrelevant. (FYI- My mom is now going on three years cancer-free 🙂 🙂 )

How many less people would we cast heavy judgment on if we knew the backstory? If we actually took the time to look beyond the physical and listen to their story, their testimony? I challenge you to do something that puts yourself in someone else’s shoes, and then I challenge society to not judge others for stepping outside of that perfectly wrapped box.

PS- To the Tweeter who asked –> Chopping my hair off has had little effect on my career, unless you are referring to the inflow of Tweets I now get from new followers about how great my out-of-the-box hairstyle is.

– Marji J. Sherman

19 thoughts on “Why I Chopped My Hair Off, And Why It’s None Of Your Business

  1. It’s interesting how people obsess over hair, but I can’t claim to have always been of a different thought. These days I’m just glad my hair grows back when I cut it, but I went grey early on in life and for years used to color it. That is, until my dad got sick and didn’t survive cancer, et al.
    Truth is we get used to seeing people a certain way, and when they change up it’s a shock to our system. Look at all the press Emma Watson got when she cut her hair after making the last Harry Potter movie. Luckily, no matter what’s done with hair, most of us get over it.

  2. Hi Marji, My daughter tagged me with your article, because I shaved my head in March, for a St. Baldrick’s fund raising event for children’s cancer research.
    It was enlightening how I was received. Before the shave and after.
    Some tried to talk me out of it, some said do it.
    One 21 year old told me “YOLO”. I had no clue what that was. When she explained the acronym, I said “That’s it, I’m doing it!”
    The thanks and praise I was given “for bring so brave” seemed too much for just shaving my head.
    I also told many, “I had a choice to lose my hair. Many have none”
    It has been a freeing experience. And I will do it again, to remind others of their good fortune.
    Mary Frances Walker

  3. You are brave Marji. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Once you do something different from the crowd they judge and discuss. However passing this experience makes you stronger and I’m sure it was the support for your mom.
    An ability of doing instead of just talking makes you special. Every time when you have such challenges it makes you stop, slow down your life and think about the value of it.

  4. Speaking on a superficial level, your mom looks great, and your short hair is stunning, it’s a great look. But more importantly, what truly counts, who you truly are inside, how you react to and deal with what’s taking place in your life, that’s what really counts. Are looks important? Sure, they can be. What you see on the outside ‘can’ reflect what’s going on inside, but that’s definitely not always the case. The true essence of a woman is so much more than just what you can visibly see. -Tim

  5. Marji,It is ironic I read this topic because when I first joined twitter 5 months ago, I honestly felt you had both the cutest and the most beautiful hair on all of social media. To me the look and style belongs on the cover of Glamour Magazine.
    So all of your reasons were excellent, but now I can’t imagine you with long hair.
    By the way, this may be just me, but when I see you, to me it’s New York.
    I love your website!!!!!

  6. The best thing you have done is caring about your MOTHER. I don’t think there is anything else more important to give your(our) mother the support they need especially during a frightening period.You are a care giver…concentrate on what your are doing.I understand your post and it is proper to worry about other peoples,at list to understand their thinking.This peoples are healthy.As a care giver give yourself to the patient that you try to help and don’t look or don’t think about anybody other that your MOTHER.Your patient our patients are needing your attention.Do I am selfish….no,no,no.I am responsible.GOD BLESS YOU and your mother

  7. First and foremost…You are a beautiful woman, not because of your hair or your outer beauty but because of who you are. Your life struggles have (I don’t know how to say this, but here goes) made you more beautiful. You have embraced and learned from them and have become a warm compassionate woman. Whether you have short hair or long or are bald you are a beautiful woman. So is your mother, she is a elegant woman.
    Our hair is not who we are even if society thinks it is. I had hair down to the middle of my back (my BF loved long hair) when we split up I cut it off. I too had to fight with my stylist but finally overcame HER objections, I donated my “virgin” hair to Locks with Love. But more importantly I felt free. Funnily enough I ran in to my ex Boyfriend right after I cut all my hair off and the look on his face was priceless, his jaw literally dropped to the ground. He looked at me and said how gorgeous I was, that I was more beautiful than ever because it brought out my eyes. But what made me truly beautiful was how I felt about myself.
    Whatever your reason for cutting your hair (yours was the best reason) you are a lovely woman and so is your Mom. She has to be, she raised you!

    1. First off, I love your story (especially the ex-bf run-in 🙂 ). Thanks for sharing this with me! Extra thanks for your kind words. You truly made my day! xo

  8. Must say.. I am not that much on twitter, Fb and so on.. Buuut! Topics about cancer and reasons showing hatred to this plague draw my attention ( my mom passed away in cancer may ’15)Seeing what you do and show is beyond words! You are stunning in that cut, gorgeous look!
    <3 your posts ?
    /Magnus

    1. Thank you for sharing this with me, Magnus. I am so sorry to hear about your mother. I can’t even imagine how hard that must be.
      Thank you also for reading my posts and for the lovely compliments. I hope all is well.

  9. You’re Lucky Marji. I’ve lost most of my hair. Bold as a Cute, so I can only have 2 hairstyles. Long with a 10cm wide centre parting, or short with a 10cm wide centre parting.

  10. What is going on here? Am I living in another world or something? Since when is a woman with long hair considered more beautiful, attractive, whatever, than a woman with short hair?
    First off Marji, you look fantastic. I mean that sincerely; you are gorgeous.
    Secondly, in my opinion, as women age, long hair accentuates their age whereas short hair makes women look younger.
    And finally, to anyone that would ask any woman how her short hair affected her career, please remove your head from your ….. and have a nice day.

  11. Marji: Of course, you know I think you look beautiful with long hair, pink hair orni hair. I think you have beautiful hair so whatever you do you will be beautiful. I have a very rare cancer, Waldenstroms, and despite all kings of chemo and side effects, my hair stayed. Which is unfortunate because I have thin hair and my whole life wanted to wear a wig! Now, I wear a lot of hats. Anyway, the is about you, not me. You are an inspiration, you are beautiful, and so very cute! Though we’ve never, met, I feel like your second or third Mom, or maybe an aunt? I love you, hang tough, your har is great, and so is your spirit! ❤️?

    1. You can be my third mom! You are such an incredible person and I’m so happy that we met. Thank you for your kind comment. That is amazing that your hair remained through chemo, even though you wanted to wear a wig 😉 I hope that you are feeling okay and your treatments are going well, Jenn. Sending love, M.

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