the word “life” in the English language starts with an “L” and no wonder why English speakers say “taking some Ls”: life is all about taking Ls. The career of your dreams might be not that glamorous as you thought it would be. Your love life suddenly breaks up due to overwhelming feelings and distractions. Your family, friends, the institutions you belong to, all expecting from and pushing you forward to something that you have no clue of what could be. They say it’s gonna work out, but all you see it’s absolutely nothing.
Well, I might feel this way now, this September 2018, but I’ve been on this loop already many times. Sure, this time love might be involved, academics may come up, but at least I’ve figured out who I am due to a drastic change: my big chop. And it was after a huge L.
Florence, 2015. I cut my hair. Why? Because I was tired of straightening it. That’s what I tell people, you know, in small talks. However, the reason why I did it was way deeper. Basically, I was noticing that I was paying too much attention to my looks, just to be like most of the girls I was surrounded: skinny, long straight hair, and make-up on fleek. For three years I did all of this, every morning checking if my hair was straight enough or just a little wavy, not too much though because I would look…different. Puffy was not a choice. It meant messy and unclean. It portrayed unprofessionalism and just out of ordinary. Who wants and needs to be out of the ordinary when all the fun you see comes from and originates within only a certain type of people? Fancy parties, connections, potential romantic princes at my feet: networking was never a huge strength back in the days. All I could aim was approval based on my looks, in exchange for love, cool friendships, and a good-looking profile in the establishment.
When I was debating if proceeding or not with the big chop I heard different opinions. My mother wasn’t sure it was the right decision, my friends didn’t care that much, and my dad didn’t know any of it. I had nothing to lose. All those years trying to look like the other girls and never had the chance to impress a boy or any in-person in town. I literally said fuck it, went to the hairdresser, and did the gesture.
Now that my hair was short I had no choice but to embrace my uniqueness in the midst of many white kids. Instagram was becoming more popular and I started following people who looked like me. On my own, I began finding a community, related to fashion, art, and literature, who was managed by people of color. Those people, mainly young women, were from England and the USA. The big chop introduced me to a new group of people with whom I could relate by looks, representation, and topics to discuss. Within a community, I started my own journey to self-love, and I will never regret the decision to cut my hair at that stage of my life.
So why would Netflix movie “Nappily Ever After” would be so relevant and relatable to me? Because a simple haircut makes Violet Jones, the protagonist of the movie, realize all her useless vanities, and the energy she is using to fuel them is converted into a new form of self-care towards her mind, spirit, and personal love. Violet Jones is a perfectionist, who calculates every move and thoughts she has in mind in order to live a successful existence. Nevertheless, success shows up when she starts being imperfect.
After a romantic break-up, she takes the courage to do the big chop and her life changes only for the better. Sure, obstacles and new settlements put her out of the comfort zone, but those experiences allow her to discover a new identity she didn’t know she could possess: an independent and self-conscious woman, aware of her body as a temple. She became open-minded to life and set up a new way to enjoy her existence by just being herself. She did whatever it took to gain her persona back.
And yes, a hair change sometimes is the best way to initiate a fresh, healthy, lovable lifestyle. And the best part is that it’s fully beneficial not only for you but also for the people who see you comfortable in your own skin and an inspiration to them.
Violet Jones may have lost a man who didn’t cherish her enough, a job that didn’t fulfill her womanhood, but she surely had the chance to make the sweetest lemonade of all times. She was able to find juicy and refreshing lemons from all the bad situations she was put in, the universe received those fruits and gave them back to her in form of lemonade. At the end, all she sips is an exquisite victory.
Right now all I am sipping is tea. I’m just collecting lemons for the next season.
la fleur bouclèe
PS: Between a cup of tea and a lemon in the face, I’m learning French. We’ll see how that goes.