We collab with our dear, darling friend Marine from A Privileged Vegan and The Vegan Vanguard podcast about our hair journeys; an episode years in the making!
This week we go off about the ableist, classist and individualistic responses to the tragic passing of Chadwick Boseman, as well as discussing the body policing he experienced while he was still alive.
What kind of bird never needs a haircut? (Thanks, Tara!)
Main Topic: Talking short hair, gender and The Patriarchy with Marine!
This week we do a long anticipated collaboration with our dear friend Marine about our various hair journeys and how we feel our hair reflects (or doesn’t) our gender. We pull some great quotes and history facts from the resources linked below, and then dive into our very different experiences. Nichole has found freedom and gender euphoria through her buzzed head; Marine was challenged by the endless policing around her look and ended up not enjoying having short hair as much as she hoped, which created a lot of feminist conflict for her; and Callie speaks on her experience as someone who grew up in a larger body and therefore felt a lot of pressure to have long, feminine hair and obey “fashion rules” about what cut looks good on what face.
- Laurie Penny on hair: Why patriarchy fears the scissors – for women, short hair is a political statement (New Statesman)
- FASHION HISTORY LESSON: THE BOB HAIRCUT, FEMINISM’S ULTIMATE STYLE STATEMENT (Fashionista)
- Now You Know: How Did Long Hair Become a Thing for Women? (Time)
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Nichole [00:00:27] Hi, everybody.
Marine [00:00:29] Hello.
Nichole [00:00:31] Couple minutes behind today, but we’re here. We’re good. We’re queer.
Marine [00:00:38] Did we mention that?
Nichole [00:00:39] And we’re going to talk about hair.
Callie [00:00:41] Yeah, I was just going to be like, what episode is this again? I could do another comphet, that shit was fun.
Nichole [00:00:48] It was fun. Could talk about that all day. I bring it up all the time.
Callie [00:00:54] Same.
Nichole [00:00:54] I’m like comphet… It’s a plague on our people. So welcome to the Bitchy Shitshow podcast. I am Nichole.
Callie [00:01:12] I am Callie.
Marine [00:01:13] I’m Marine.
Nichole [00:01:15] And today we’re bitching about…
Marine [00:01:17] Short hair, don’t care! Do care…
Callie [00:01:20] Or do care.
Nichole [00:01:23] Or do you care? Yes, and Marine and I have been threatening Callie that we’re gonna do the entire episode and baby voice, so.
Marine [00:01:33] Because we know how much she loves it.
Nichole [00:01:35] Yeah. Because it’s her favorite.
Marine [00:01:38] She thinks it’s hilarious.
Nichole [00:01:39] As we were discussing before we went live, Callie actually sincerely hates, versus my jokes which she does also hate, but also enjoys.
Callie [00:01:54] Shh! You’ll upset the kids, they think it’s real!
Nichole [00:02:00] I mean, it is real.
Callie [00:02:01] I mean, yeah.
Nichole [00:02:02] You just like that I do it. But you do not like when I do a baby voice.
Marine [00:02:06] No, but I notice when we go into baby voice, there is no, like, even sliver of sarcasm in Callie’s voice when she’s like, stop that, I hate it. I do not think it’s funny.
Callie [00:02:14] I do.
Marine [00:02:21] We’re like really? She’s like no.
Callie [00:02:21] I don’t know why I hate it so much, but I sincerely do.
Nichole [00:02:25] Yeah, she does. So practicing good consent, you know.
Callie [00:02:30] Or not.
Nichole [00:02:33] Taking it to that edge, you know.
Marine [00:02:36] The learning edge that we’re about here on Bitchy Shitshow.
Nichole [00:02:40] Yeah. So now I feel bad for laughing because I just wanted to acknowledge and mention that… Callie?
Callie [00:02:51] I forgot what the pop top was about.
Nichole [00:02:57] Can you be profesh?
Callie [00:02:57] That was a clunky segue. Not your fault but, you know.
Nichole [00:03:02] Yeah. OK, so we wanted to mention and acknowledge that Chadwick Boseman passed away. I was very shocked when I saw that on Twitter. Apparently it was from colon cancer or I think complications due to colon cancer. So, you know, just. It’s very sad. I was like, really taken aback when I saw it. But we also wanted to bring it up because a lot of people are using his death as a way to perpetuate ableism and also to, you know, rugged individualism. So there’s a lot of people who are like, oh, if he did all this sick then like you can do whatever. “No excuses” kind of hashtags going around. And that’s really gross. I don’t know much about him. I would like to think he’s someone who would not be happy with that. But regardless, it’s not okay to use, you know, someone’s illness, someone’s death, even someone’s recovery, as a way to shame people who might not be able to do certain things.
Nichole [00:04:17] On top of that, there’s a lot of, you know, tweets and stuff going around and people saying, you know, go get screened for colon cancer. And it’s like, again, in the United States at least, it is very, very difficult to get screened for colon cancer under the age of 40, even if it runs in your family. And it’s very hard to get it done without insurance, you know, it’s expensive. And even with insurance, it’s very difficult to get it done. So to me, that’s people kind of like indirectly blaming others for their own situations. Like, oh, well, if you don’t get screened, then it’s kind of your fault. Right, or that, like, screening is going to prevent stuff. Yeah early detection is always great, but we just have to stop thinking that, like, everyone can just go to the doctor and get screened for things that they may or may not even have. It doesn’t work like that.
Callie [00:05:18] No. For a lot of reasons. I mean, not only do people have the barrier of either not having insurance or even with insurance, the cost of treatments and tests being too high. But so many doctors are resistant to just checking into things. Right, and running tests and it can be really difficult. And yeah, I’m really glad you brought up Chadwick Boseman because obviously he, his work touched a lot of lives. I mean, Black Panther was revolutionary for a lot of people. I just saw tweets about like, my kids are going to be crushed, you know, like they… And it just, it’s always sad, right, when we lose someone whose work has brought some representation and a lot of fun into people’s lives.
Callie [00:06:14] But it was really sad, I didn’t know that he had been battling cancer for a while. And then to find out that he had actually deleted all of his social media in the recent years like running up to him passing away because people were shaming him for, like losing weight and looking too thin. And now people are like, oh my god, it was because he had cancer. And it’s like, that’s why you don’t fucking comment on people’s bodies like you don’t know what someone is going through. You don’t know if weight loss or weight gain is due to a good thing, due to a bad thing. And honestly, no matter what reason, it’s none of your fucking business. And the fact that he was so bullied by people that he had to delete his social media while everything, like while he’s battling cancer and I’m sure struggling in a lot of ways, just like really breaks my heart. And now those people are like, oh my god, I didn’t know.
Marine [00:07:13] [sarcasm] Oh, that’s OK then.
Callie [00:07:13] And it’s like, you shouldn’t, it shouldn’t matter. You should have never needed a reason, you know, like… So, yeah stop fucking commenting on people’s bodies, y’all.
Nichole [00:07:26] Yeah, for real. So, yes, we just wanted to touch on that today, because that, you know, it’s very sad but also we always try to take these opportunities to point out the ways that, like, oppressive behaviors are normalized. And I think with the passing of a celebrity, there’s always a deluge of fat-shaming, you know, ableism. The vegans love to come out in droves and talk about how if someone’s vegan then they wouldn’t have died. That’s got fuckin stop.
Callie [00:08:06] I forgot about that!
Nichole [00:08:08] Yeah, every time. Every fucking time.
Callie [00:08:11] Fucking vegans.
Nichole [00:08:11] And it’s like, not now.
Callie [00:08:16] Yeah.
Nichole [00:08:17] So, yeah, it’s just really sad. And yeah, it’s sad that he had to work hiding his condition. It’s sad that, like, we don’t have art that’s more pliable. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately because I have, as I think about consent I always think about like actors and the ways that they kind of have to do stuff with their body for a paycheck. You know, and I’m just, just kind of processing through, like, how… What would that look like to me in my utopian, like anarchist world? And I think the solution would be that, like, every piece of art would be collaborative with all the people making it. And so maybe Black Panther could have been turned into someone who is struggling with illness. Right, and still like having to perform this role and that could have been written into the piece of art and helps people process it. And have better representation and helped an actor to not have to, like, hide his condition in order to get a paycheck and perform this role. So, yeah.
Callie [00:09:27] Well and the expectations that we’re now putting on male actors, you know?
Nichole [00:09:33] It’s ridiculous.
Callie [00:09:34] It’s getting really, I mean, it’s out of control and it’s getting really harmful, you know, like…
Nichole [00:09:41] The Superman Batman movies have gotten so fucking ridiculous. It’s like, what are we doing?
Callie [00:09:47] Yeah. Yeah, I know their bodies are just like really unreal proportions, in the same way that for a long time, right, female presenting bodies just are supposed to have these unreal proportions to them. And now male bodies are a lot, getting a lot of that same pressure. And even like the non-superhero movies, I feel like the guys just have to be, like, completely fucking jacked with that, like, you know, that triangle shape of just like huge arms and shoulders and like a six-pack. And it’s like you’re like a dad and like you’re just like this friendly neighbor. Like you’re like a mailman. Like, why are you… You know, like, this is ridiculous. And I, yeah I just think stuff like this, you know, is a good moment to like, reflect on someone who, you know, shared their gift with us all, but also like was, unfortunately, kind of an example of how the industry and just beauty standards in general are getting really bad for male presenting bodies too.
Nichole [00:10:53] Yeah.
Callie [00:10:54] And the point was never to shame men the same way we shame women. It was to stop fucking shaming women. It was to raise up, not lower the standards for everyone, like…
Marine [00:11:08] Right.
Nichole [00:11:08] Well, in this late stage capitalist fucking hellscape, everyone needs to hate their bodies. Everyone needs to be paying for supplements and programs and trainers. So yeah. Plus the rise of toxic masculinity and having to, related to today’s content, control those crazy women cutting their hair off, being all wild, wearing menswear. Gotta get them, get them in line.
Marine [00:11:43] Yeah. I also think a lot about how that unrealistic portrayal of like male beauty and just being, yeah, having these unreal expectations of what, like, muscular body types look like is really, it’s so harmful to younger like boys. Like I see my students who are in high school talk a lot, like in our dialogues when we get sort of deep about body image. They so many times talk about the fact that like, well, women have it bad, but at least like they feel like girls can talk about the fact that they’re really struggling with their body image, but that there is such a strong stigma around like boys also saying they have a negative body image that it’s like super toxic and they don’t even talk about it between each other. And that it’s deemed like, you know, like even more unacceptable and feminine to talk about the fact that there’s these unrealistic body standards that you need to attain.
Marine [00:12:44] And I think that that’s also true of actresses like so many times we’ve heard actresses come out and talk about like their eating disorders and the toxic body image in Hollywood. But that still isn’t really a conversation we have around, like male stereotypes of bodies. And so I really hope that we’re going to have more conversations. In that show, Man Enough that’s, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen it. It’s like they’re short films directed by Justin Baldoni. But episode three is on Male Body Image and I’ve seen it like three times. I thought it was so well-made and so interesting. And part of the reason I’ve seen it so many times is because there’s really not that many resources that talk about that particular issue.
Nichole [00:13:27] Yeah, well, I think I remember reading somewhere that it’s very underdiagnosed in boys and men because it’s kind of like, we just talked about with like neurodivergent diagnoses. You know, it’s literally kind of crafted around like women and so it goes undiagnosed. But I’ve known, I’ve been very close to several men in my life who have eating disorders and sometimes they’re aware and like a lot of times they’re not. And I’ll be like, bro, you like have an eating disorder. And they’ll be like, what? And I’m like, how is this shocking? Like, you only eat once a day or, you know, whatever the behavior is. But it’s like, yeah, you like literally have an eating disorder and it’s just like blows their mind, you know? It’s really sad.
Marine [00:14:15] Yeah. I relate so personally to that example because I feel like as a woman my behavior around food has been like hyper monitored in my family. Just because I’m on the thinner side and because it’s so, I guess discussed, that women in their teenage years and like young adulthood can develop eating disorders. And like so I’m hyper scrutinized. But like one of my brothers, who won’t listen to this podcast so it’s fine, but like has a, has like extremely, I think, unhealthy behaviors around food. And it’s just something that, like my family kind of laughs about or that we never talk about, even though he goes on these like, he’s always like in a binge-restrict, binge-restrict. He always talks about dieting. He always talks about food. Like, I’ve never really heard him talk about food in this healthy way. But people like… I don’t know, it’s never talked about as like a genuine concern for his health. But, yeah, it makes me really sad.
Nichole [00:15:17] I’ve known a lot of guys who emotionally eat, like overeat as well. And it’s so funny how that is just completely feminized. But like a lot of guys struggle with that. Like I’ve dated people where we kind of like binge together. You know, and it’s like, I know that I’m bingeing, but they know that they’re bingeing. And it’s like, yeah. It’s wild. Yeah, the way we talk about food and bodies. And also I just don’t… Yeah, I could go on about this for a long time, but like a lot of men also want to be thin and I don’t think people like understand that because there’s so much pressure to be jacked. Yeah, but like I’ve known a lot of guys who are obsessed with just like wanting to be like very thin. And that gets completely, like people always just think it’s like their natural body type, you know. Or that like they don’t eat because they’re nervous or have like a certain personality and they just don’t get any attention or care for those issues.
Marine [00:16:17] Right. And I think it’s more also assumed that they just don’t really care about their bodies. And if they’re thin and they’re not eating much, then it must just be because, you know, buying groceries is difficult and like, they don’t know how to cook their food or something like that. I think it’s way more like assumed to just be something, like that their body looks that way out of, like, neglect for the way that they’re caring for it. But women, it’s like, yeah, I think are way more, like everything that they do with their body is thought to be probably like intentional. So it’s like either, you know, they are a bigger size and all these stereotypes are associated with that and how they feel about taking care of themselves, or yeah.
Marine [00:17:05] Yeah. But I think that’s super, it’s really, really harmful to young men who grow up and like never talk about… Because that’s something that has, yeah again, that has come up in my classes, like when the girls will talk about like, well body image is like so hard for women and sometimes the boys get defensive and they’re like, well it’s like really hard for us, but we can never talk about it. And it’s like, well, it’s hard for everyone and we just need to stop objectifying bodies.
Callie [00:17:30] Right, yes thank you.
Nichole [00:17:31] Yeah, let’s try that! Cause it does spread over into the trans and nonbinary community as well. Like, that’s a lot of conversation. Even there’s a trans woman in our neighborhood that I bump into sometimes who’s homeless and so I’ll buy her meals. And she’s always talking about like, oh, you know, I started hormones and I’m trying to lose weight. You know and it’s just it’s like wild how much that factors into, like, everyone’s gender identity. But like, we only talk about it in this one, like, very narrow way with, like, cisgender women.
Callie [00:18:07] Yeah.
Marine [00:18:08] Yeah, very true.
Nichole [00:18:10] So yeah, on that happy note. So Callie, so Marine…
Callie [00:18:15] Yes.
Nichole [00:18:18] What kind of bird never needs a haircut? This one’s obvious, but just say you don’t know.
Callie [00:18:26] I don’t know. I really don’t know.
Marine [00:18:28] I don’t know either.
Nichole [00:18:30] A bald eagle!
Marine [00:18:32] OK. I got it!
Nichole [00:18:36] Do you get it?!
Marine [00:18:36] I got it the first time around!
Callie [00:18:40] Yay!
Nichole [00:18:42] I was so stoked that I actually had a haircut joke.
Callie [00:18:46] That’s perfect.
Marine [00:18:47] Oh yeah! Well done.
Nichole [00:18:49] That one was given to me by Tara over Facebook many moons ago. So, Tara, if you’re even still listening, thanks. You too could possibly have your joke said on the show years after you’ve sent it, if you send it to email@example.com. We have a special email set up. Callie won’t see it. It’s for my eyes only. So send it there. Alright, so I think, do we have some people to thank?
Callie [00:19:26] We do. We do. I just want to shout out, friend of the show Mexie who is watching live and just commented that, “Lol my partner just shouted out the answer from the other room.”
Marine [00:19:38] Oh man.
Callie [00:19:41] Which is just like fucking great. That’s incredible. Oh my god. OK, OK, so continuing the theme of being real real late with something. I possibly missed thanking these Patreon donors like literally back in May.
Nichole [00:20:04] Whaaat?
Callie [00:20:06] I know. I was going through and cleaning up our inbox and they were not in my special Patreon folder, so I think I may have neglected to thank them. So very, very special and very late thank you to new patron Eric E for becoming a patron. And then also, I think it’s Ashlea. But it’s like a s h l e a. So, Ashlea, Ash-lea maybe? I’m not sure. Increase their pledge significantly. So they were already a patron and then started giving a lot more. So thank you both so much. And I’m so very sorry to be thanking y’all so late. And then we have just some other people to thank as well. So new patron Felicitas, thank you for becoming a patron and new patron Paige, thank you for becoming a patron. And then also, Stephanie increased their pledge. And I believe I thanked this person and I think you’re watching live. But I did not realize that you actually sent us a pronunciation for your actual name and not your fun internet name. So Gavnap is Arune. Yes, I probably did not-
Nichole [00:21:37] And we know we’re not doing the rolling Germanic “r”.
Callie [00:21:42] Yes.
Nichole [00:21:42] I’m not even going to subject any of you to that attempt.
Callie [00:21:45] Yes.
Nichole [00:21:47] But yeah, we love a phonetic pronunciation. It is the jam.
Callie [00:21:50] Yes! You sent us a whole, like, explanation. You talked about how people don’t say it right. You sent a video, like a YouTube clip with the pronunciation. I was like, this is what I love to see. So thank you so much for being a patron. And then also helping us, and you’ve done a lot of free labor for us recently with the Discord server. So sincerely, thank you for all of your contributions to the Bitchy Shitshow.
Nichole [00:22:19] We appreciate it. You sounded like Benjamin Dixon there.
Callie [00:22:23] I know. I realized I was copying him.
Nichole [00:22:25] You need like the little bop in the background.
Callie [00:22:28] I felt kind of bad. I do not want to be, like, stealing his thing, but I know, well that’s a thing he does that-
Nichole [00:22:33] You’re just a colonizer, you can’t help it. It’s the white cis-tyranny.
Callie [00:22:40] Oh no. That is something I really like that he does. He thanks like each person and I’m like, I want to, I need, I’m still, like, trying to find my groove with, like, how to thank people. Because it’s always really nice. He’s like, he will say each name and then be like, thank you for becoming a patron. And I’m like, oh that’s cool. Instead of just like reading a list of names, but I don’t want to steal shit so I need to…
Nichole [00:23:03] I know. Well yeah, I love his song too, and that it’s a party. I’m like, I want to do that but I don’t want to like steal it.
Callie [00:23:11] Yeah.
Nichole [00:23:12] Well, we’ll work on it.
Marine [00:23:12] I don’t know who you’re talking about, not gunna lie.
Nichole [00:23:17] Oh, he’s a wonderful podcaster, Benjamin P. Dixon.
Marine [00:23:21] What is the podcast’s name?
Nichole [00:23:24] It’s The Benjamin Dixon Show.
Marine [00:23:25] Oh, oh I see, OK.
Nichole [00:23:27] Yeah, we really like his stuff. And yeah, he does a little party in the middle where he thanks his new patrons and he has this whole, like, Patreon bop.
Callie [00:23:36] Everybody just bop! I’ve listened to a lot of his episodes recently.
Nichole [00:23:42] And every time it comes on I’m like dancing around and I’m like this actually makes me really enjoy this section, whereas like a lot of times I’m kind of like, eh who cares? Except for on my own show of course.
Callie [00:23:53] Right. Well, when you’re a listener, you’re like, yeah, whatever, you know.
Nichole [00:23:56] Yeah. Yeah. You’re like, yeah, good for you. But with his I actually look forward to it so I’m like I want to figure out a way for us to make it fun as well.
Callie [00:24:05] Yeah. I do, I do really love that he makes it like a really fun patron party. He has the music on, like, yeah, he literally is like it’s a patron party, and welcome to the party. He’s like, you know, shouting out each person individually who like, starts to donate. And then it’s funny because he’s like, all right patrons shut the door behind you, like the rest of the episode is just for… I don’t know I just love it. He has very great, very great style. So yeah.
Nichole [00:24:34] So moving on, short hair do care. We didn’t introduce because I feel like you all know her, but this is Marine.
Marine [00:24:46] Hi.
Callie [00:24:53] That was the most unenthusiastic! You’re like, yeah, yeah, whatever.
Nichole [00:24:55] So beyond just being our very good friend who we love so much, you know, Marine has a YouTube channel, A Privileged Vegan and is a co-host on the Vegan Vanguard with Mexie, who’s here watching live. And the reason we wanted to Marine on today is actually Marine and I have been having conversations about hair for years now since her hair was just somewhat longer than my hair and you can see how long her hair is. That’s how long we’ve been talking about it. So, yeah, we wanted to, I thought it was really good timing since I’ve gone on my own recent hair journey and, you know, have much different feelings and experiences than I had when we had started having this conversation. I thought, what a perfect time. And I gave Callie the option of being here or not because she hasn’t really done anything drastic with her hair in the same way. But realizing that she had a lot of thoughts and feelings, as, you know, someone in a larger body and the way that gender is policed around weight and feminine presentation, I thought she had like actually some very amazing input. So we’re here to just fuckin dish about hair.
Nichole [00:26:12] I don’t want to get too formal with this. I do want this to be mostly us just talking about our experiences. But I did find three interesting articles that I will link in the show notes that just kind of give a history of hair. I will say that they’re very white-centered and I didn’t have time, I kind of did this last minute, so I didn’t have time to try to find something that might touch on nonwhite hair stuff. But this at least gives a general, pretty good history of hair length and y’all, this shit is like pre-biblical. Like people have been policing women’s hair and men’s hair by, you know, by association for literally like ever. They’re talking about like in ancient Greece, like even then it was like you were supposed to, men were supposed to have their hair shorter than women. It says that in the Bible, like your hair is supposed to be shorter than women’s hair. So there were, I think, more acceptable, like longer hair lengths for men, but they still were supposed to be shorter than women. And a lot of this, surprise surprise, is wrapped around fertility and classism because to grow-.
Callie [00:27:28] Ugh.
Nichole [00:27:29] You knew it was coming.
Callie [00:27:31] I know.
Nichole [00:27:31] It always comes back to your fucking uterus. Because to have long, thick, healthy hair, you require rest and you require nutrition and you require hydration and you require a lot of things that you won’t have if you’re not, you know, a person of some means. And also as we move through history… So that that’s what people say, their best guess as to why women’s hair has always been so heavily policed is because of, you know, displaying that you are fertile and also to show class. And then, of course, like if we look at people who have more complicated, intricate hairdos like that also displays wealth and access to resources. And then as we get further in history, we see that this is a way to determine who is performing their gender role in the acceptable way and who is not. Which I think it always also was, but I am sure it was also like very heavily tied up into procreation, whereas now the stuff that’s based in procreation has become more political, even though that’s the root of it. Like, if you really break stuff down, it usually does come to, you know, displaying that you’re a fertile vessel just ready for that man seed. Just give it to me. Let’s make all the babies and I’ll just be quiet and I’ll just clean the house and everything will be great.
Callie [00:29:05] This really should have been like a Calliemosa day and not a coffee day I’m realizing. For a lot of reasons.
Nichole [00:29:13] I know. I actually would totally be down for a Calliemosa today. I actually am dragging a little bit today, so I would do like a Irish coffee kind of day where it’s just like, let’s just throw it all at the wall and see what sticks because alcoholic coffee is probably the worst thing I could ever do.
Callie [00:29:34] Yeah it honestly may be a real bad time for you.
Nichole [00:29:42] So, yes. So in one of the articles that I’ll link to, it’s a Time article called The History of Long Hair, one of the historians notes that the practical difficulties of long hair, in order to have long hair, you have to have your needs in life taken care of. So long hair is also a status symbol, especially when it comes to complex hair styles that require someone else to help you do them, which implies you have the wealth to do it. So it’s no coincidence that short hairstyles like the bob came into fashion during the 20th century in regions where women are beginning to push back against the idea that they needed to be taken care of.
Nichole [00:30:20] In another article from, this is the one Marine, that you sent me. Why Patriarchy Fears Scissors. It takes creams, serums and tongs and irons and spray and moose and a deft, time-consuming blowdrying technique to get your hair to look like Kate Middleton’s, and that’s the point. The point is to look like the performance of femininity matters enough to you that you’re prepared to work at it. I was like, yes.
Callie [00:30:50] That explains so much.
Nichole [00:30:52] Yeah. And then relatedly, in this same article, this week a writer going by the handle Tuthmosis? I don’t even know how to say it. Put out a short article explaining why girls with short hair are damaged. The piece has now received over 200000 interactions on Facebook. Going through the layers of his logic is pretty interesting. He writes that long hair is almost universally attractive to men when they’re actually speaking honestly. P.S. That is not true. I mean, sure, majority. But like a lot of dudes find short hair hot. Women instinctively know this which is why every American girl who cuts and keeps her hair short often does it for ulterior reasons. Short hair is a political statement, and invariably a girl who has gone through with a short cut and is pleased with the changes in her reception is damaged in some significant way. Short hair is a near guarantee that a girl will be more abrasive, more masculine, and more deranged. And apparently later-
Callie [00:31:56] Deranged?!
Nichole [00:31:58] Yes, deranged. And apparently later in the article, he talks about getting a handy from a girl with short hair who is like texting with one hand and like jerking him off with the other. And somehow that, like, proves his thesis. And I’m like that just proves that you’re fucking boring. Anyway, she goes on to say, “Tuthmosis is right for all the wrong reasons. Wearing your hair short or making any other personal life choice that works against the imperative to be as conventionally attractive and appealing to patriarchy as possible is a political statement. And the threat that if we don’t behave, if we don’t play the game, we’ll end up alone and unloved is still a strategy of control. The idea that women might not place pleasing men at the center of our politics, consciously or unconsciously, makes a lot of people uncomfortable. Sometimes it makes them angry. I’m regularly asked whether I think that feminism ought to be rebranded in order to threaten men less because anything a woman does even attempt to chip away at a massive, slow, grinding superstructure of sexism must appeal to men first or it’s meaningless.”
Nichole [00:33:08] So I thought that all was like amazing, perfectly sets the stage for our talk today. And then there was another article, fashionista, and it was kind of like the history of the bob haircut. And I just thought this was funny. “Bobbed hair became associated with the shocking behavior of young women who drank alcohol, wore makeup, and bared their knees.”
Callie [00:33:34] Bared their knees?!
Nichole [00:33:34] That like, killed me. I was like, I have to pull that out.
Callie [00:33:39] Their knees, my god.
Nichole [00:33:41] Yes.
Callie [00:33:42] What is the world coming to?
Nichole [00:33:43] You know, it’s all knees and elbows nowadays, and it’s just like no wonder.
Marine [00:33:53] That was one of the main reasons why I cut my hair, Nichole, I don’t know about you, but it was mostly to bare my knees.
Callie [00:34:00] You were just tired of long pants.
Marine [00:34:02] Yeah, and then I let it grow because I was like there is just not enough knee bearing for this to be worth it, you know?
Callie [00:34:09] Oh my god.
Nichole [00:34:11] Oh and yes, I have a new internet stalker, James McKee who’s here. I figured you would be. So I don’t know if we have any mods on here, but let me know if I need to block anybody. Hi, James. Welcome to the show. So we were, well anyway, we’ll talk about it later. So we, we’re here today, one of the reasons I wanted to have this talk specifically with Marine is because I feel like she has a different experience than I had. And then again, Callie has her own experiences. So I wanted Marine to kind of kick us off with her experience of cutting her hair super short and how it might kind of weave into a lot of the information that I just read.
Marine [00:35:03] All right. Yes. So Nichole and I have been talking about this for a really long time. I think when I met you I had, did I have a pixie cut or was I already starting to grow it back?
Nichole [00:35:17] I feel… I can’t remember.
Callie [00:35:19] I feel like you had recently cut, had short hair. Like we met you when you had, like, short short hair.
Marine [00:35:26] Short short hair. Yeah, probably. I think that’s right. In London that first time? But I had, so this was like four years ago and I had been wanting to cut my hair for maybe like a year and a half before that. And I was always very attached to my hair and how I perceived that it related to my own femininity, and how other people perceived my femininity. And I think as I got more and more interested in feminism and started to deconstruct my own gender stereotypes and the way that I had constructed my sense of self around these ideals, I just, you know, had this idea on the back of my hair that it would be really challenging and really liberating and scary and stuff to like, cut my hair. But I think that was the appeal for me. And so I started like, I yeah, I started maybe I was mulling it over for like a year.
Marine [00:36:27] And something that also confirmed my desire to cut it is that every time I would mention wanting to cut it, I had like the most just extreme horrified reaction from people, like especially men, who were just like, why would you do that? It’s going to look terrible, like, why are you cutting your hair, etc.. And like, that would piss me off so much that I was just like, fine, I’m going to do it and I’m gonna go shorter and shorter because, like, you’re an asshole and whatever. And I read the piece by Laurie Penny that you just read, about Why Patriarchy Fears The Scissors very shortly before I cut my hair. And that kind of pushed me over the edge. Like I had all the right theoretical, like feminist reasons for wanting to cut my hair. And so but yeah.
Marine [00:37:16] So I would say that it was like a political decision and one that I knew that was going to challenge me and one that I sort of tried to convince myself I also just wanted to do because it would be really liberating and so much less work and it would be really comfortable, etc.. But I didn’t really, I was not really doing it for esthetic reasons. And when I cut my hair, I cut it, it was like a yeah, it was a pixie cut, and so I just ended up like as… I also rewatched a YouTube video that I made just this afternoon in order to prep a little bit for this podcast and I had made the video like a day or two after cutting my hair. And I was like, so kind of gung ho about, like I explained the Laurie Penny article and I was like, yeah, it feels like so great to have my hair cut. And it’s gonna be so much more comfortable and like blah blah blah.
Marine [00:38:17] Just as the weeks went by, I just realized, like I was overcompensating in kind of all these ways. I was like watching so many videos about how to style it in, like a cute and feminine way. I was wearing more makeup. I also realized that I, to keep it that particular pixie shape I was having to cut it every three weeks, which ended up being so much more money and care than if I just had my hair long. I also realized that I had all these cowlicks in my hair that I was not previously aware of.
Nichole [00:38:49] Relatable.
Marine [00:38:49] So I had like a Tintin fringe in the front and like, just like also cowlicks in the back. And so I would spend like all this time, like wetting it and like blow drying it. But still in public, I’d be like, yeah, it’s so great. It’s like way more comfortable and I love it. And I think I, I also really noticed that people’s like especially like in public, I guess, as opposed to having like really long blond hair and then having like just short hair because also it was like way less blond because it was so short and my roots are much darker. I just noticed that like the male gaze definitely changed around having short hair. And I think noticing that and noticing that part of me felt like insecure about it was also something that I ended up feeling really kind of like angry or ashamed about. And so I kept it short for maybe like two, three months until I started growing it out. But it was so short that it takes a really long time to grow out. And then also I overcompensated in these ways where I was like bleaching it. And that was also really expensive to bleach it all the time.
Marine [00:40:07] And I had yeah, I guess it’s been interesting in our conversations to discuss, like to now openly discuss actually how much I hated having short hair and how much I wish I did not hate having short hair when I did. But to the point where I wasn’t even like that, that attach to my hair before, but I would have dreams like several times a week that I would wake up and my hair was long again. I was just like, this is, this really extreme, like, why do I care so much, you know? But, I don’t know, do you want to talk about your experience Nichole? Because maybe then we can talk about how hair relates to gender expression, perhaps, and like how I think that a lot of that actually became clear to me when I cut my hair. I will say that now, every time I see someone who I haven’t seen in a while and they haven’t seen that my hair has grown back, they always comment on how much better it looks now that it’s long again. Oh my god and it makes me so angry.
Nichole [00:41:18] That makes me so mad.
Marine [00:41:18] Like, why do you feel like… I don’t, I’m not commenting on, like, the ways that you physically changed since I last saw you, you know? But something about, like everyone just felt like completely OK with telling me also that, like, the people who didn’t like the short hair felt like they could tell me because it was like I was kind of like looking for that because I had done this thing of like this like violent political statement of cutting my hair. So, like, you kind of had it in for you if that’s what you did. And so I also, I’ve never, like people have never made that many comments on like, my physical appearance as when I cut my hair. And so much so that actually like maybe a month into it, I would get a lot of comments about, like, oh, wow, you cut your hair, like why’d you decide to do that? Or like jokes about like how men weren’t going to find me attractive anymore. And in this urge to like, push even further, I was like, I want to buzz-
Nichole [00:42:14] Oh no! Yeah, no I’m just saying, oh no, I’ll just have to not date men who don’t like my hair.
Marine [00:42:17] Yeah, oh yeah, yeah, yeah, devastating.
Nichole [00:42:19] What a loss.
Marine [00:42:20] And I wanted to buzz my hair for a while, even though I knew I didn’t like it really short. I was like, well, I’m so close, I might as well just like buzz it and, you know, before I let it grow back. But I got so much pushback for that as well. And I mean, I told you, like, my you know, my parents were like Marine like, we’re not like, we’re not going to talk to you if you buzz your head. I mean, they would have but like, they were like, you’re going to look sick and like it’s so violent and aggressive. Like, why would you do that?
Nichole [00:42:49] Violent.
Marine [00:42:53] Just it was violent, yeah. It’s violent. So anyway, I feel like I could, I have many more thoughts, but I want to let you share and then…
Nichole [00:43:04] I forgot to ask if I should pull up pictures so people can see.
Marine [00:43:08] And also, I mean, the funny thing is like it was such a feminine short haircut, which was actually interesting that I really wanted to retain that even when it was short.
Nichole [00:43:19] Yeah. Yeah I have a picture from Facebook. Do you, would it be okay if I share it?
Marine [00:43:24] Oh yeah, sure.
Nichole [00:43:25] Of you. I just think it would be fun since we have the visual on the livestream.
Marine [00:43:30] Visuelle.
Nichole [00:43:30] I thought you looked hot as shit.
Callie [00:43:32] I did too.
Nichole [00:43:32] I always thought your hair looks fucking amazing. You were one of my like hairspiration people.
Callie [00:43:37] Hairspiration!
Marine [00:43:37] Yeah. I mean, I thought it was, you know, I thought it was cute. Which one are you going to pull?
Nichole [00:43:48] Look how cute!
Callie [00:43:50] Like that’s so hot! I just-
Nichole [00:43:51] It’s so cute.
Marine [00:43:51] Thank you. I also was like, excited because I thought that it would… I was like, oh, my god, I’m just going to have, like, so much attention from the queers now. But Paris is like so friggin heterosexual, heteronormative that I feel like I just got negative comments from men and not more attention from women so it was a lose-lose situation.
Callie [00:44:13] Somehow that really surprises me. I, I would have, I don’t know, I guess I would have assumed that they’d be chiller.
Marine [00:44:20] Yeah. The men?
Callie [00:44:23] No, just in general that you wouldn’t have such a, like demanding heteronormative like culture in Paris.
Marine [00:44:29] Yeah. I think, I think also I, I… The people that were the most like, you know, opposing of it stick out in my memory the most. Especially because since I didn’t like it, I think those voices spoke louder to me than… I mean, I’m not going to say that. Actually when it was short and it was like well-groomed, when the cowlicks got under control, I liked it. I just thought, it ended up being like, really expensive and high maintenance to keep it, so.
Nichole [00:45:02] Yeah, I’m going to, I did film me buzzing my head for the first time. And at some point when I have my channel up, I’m going to publish that. But then also do a series, I think after, of like things I learned having short hair, like things to know before you buzz your head and stuff like that. Because there is… So like my journey has been basically similar, but the opposite of yours in a lot of ways where I love it and I’ve finally found as a genderqueer person, I feel like I finally feel a lot of my body dysmorphia, which I think was actually gender dysphoria, has been relieved. So I just, I love how I look. I don’t give a shit what anyone says about it, honestly, because I just think, like, I am so happy that I could care less.
Nichole [00:45:58] But I think, something that has surprised me that kind of lines up with what you’re saying is that when you have short hair, you are constantly thinking about your hair. Whether it’s dyeing it, whether it’s buzzing it or getting it cut or whatever it is, like, just like logistically, you’re constantly having to deal with your hair. And then also you’re going to have everyone else constantly reminding you and pointing out the fact that you have short hair. So I do think that it can be really difficult if it’s something that you’re trying to do, like you were just trying to do it maybe, you know, to try it out or whatever. And I think it’s hard to have that process of maybe like you don’t love it as much as you thought. And then, like, you’re not going to be left alone to process that experience. You’re going to have to process it with the input of other people.
Marine [00:46:53] And you’re constantly having to defend your choice too, yeah.
Nichole [00:46:56] Exactly. And I can see if you’re sort of like, well, this isn’t as great as I thought it was going to be, this is a little more difficult. Because I had that, like I love it, but I definitely have had a lot of times where I’m like, I don’t, part of why I did this was so I wouldn’t have to think about it so much. But now it’s like I’m constantly having to trim it. I’m constantly dying and I’m constantly doing stuff to it. And because it’s short, it’s easy and I’m able to do it myself so it’s not expensive or as expensive as it could be, but it is not the like breezy lifestyle that I pictured. This may not make sense to people and I’m still working through it myself, but I’ve realized one of the things that gives me dysphoria is my natural hair color. So I feel like part of my self-care is to have it be some other color. And so that’s part of like, why I always have it dyed or bleached or whatever because it just literally makes me feel better.
Marine [00:47:57] So can you tell us a little more about that? Like it’s part of your gender dysphoria?
Nichole [00:48:04] I don’t know if it’s gender dysphoria or body dysmorphia, but I just notice when I start to look at myself and I feel really bad, and it’s hard to explain the feeling like you’ve had it or you haven’t. But like, you just feel like you don’t look right. You feel like you don’t deserve to be alive. You don’t want to be around other people. And literally I’ll dye my hair and it’ll go away. So it’s like something over the years, I’ve just realized that that is a thing. And part of why I wanted to buzz my head was because I thought maybe if I had my hair super short, then I wouldn’t mind my natural color. But unfortunately, I still really do. So it’s just become… I would feel ridiculous saying that, except I follow enough other noncis people to know that like, like tattoos can help with gender dysphoria. Like there’s this wide universe of things that can help you with how you feel in your body. So I’ve just really noticed that, like, for whatever reason, that’s my thing.
Nichole [00:49:03] So a really easy way for me to feel like five hundred percent better every day is just to have my hair a different color. So, and you know, and I feel like maybe not the same for you but I do think like dyeing your hair platinum, like that was… It is interesting how much color can factor in to how we feel and how much like a color story actually says about us and our gender. Because I think maybe part of why it helps relieve some of my dysphoria is because I tend to dye my hair queer or trendy colors. So it’s kind of signaling that, like, I’m not you know, I’m not like a cis straight person. And I know for you, like, yours is very fashionable and you looked very high fashion with it and so that probably helped you feel more like, protected and guarded against, like, people’s comments, you know?
Marine [00:49:59] Yeah, definitely. And then feeling weird around the fact that I was like, well, if I’m cutting my hair for it to be lower maintenance and to be this almost like political statement against the beauty standards of patriarchy, why am I going to such a big extent to look like, more sophisticated and more feminine having the short hair?
Nichole [00:50:19] Mm hmm. Mm hmm, Mm hmm yeah. And I know that was something I struggled with right, the first like week or so was, I definitely did fall into that trap of like, oh, I have to wear a ton of makeup, and I have to like have big earrings and all this stuff. And now, like, I still do that often because I enjoy it as like a way to play with expression. But I’m very comfortable without it. And, you know, the first like week and a half, I was kind of like not wanting to go outside my apartment. I didn’t want to see my neighbors because I just didn’t want to deal with people’s like input. I was still processing how I felt. But now I’m just like, I’m out there all the time. I don’t give a shit. Like, and if someone brings in my hair, I’m like, yeah what? You know, like, I just, I don’t care because I feel so good. There’s just no way for someone to say anything that is gonna make me upset.
Marine [00:51:16] Yeah, yeah. That makes sense.
Nichole [00:51:20] Yeah. But I know for me, I was doing it definitely as a political statement, but it also, the reason I did it during lockdown was so that I could… So it was as a political statement in a sense. But really the political act of it was to do something for myself. And knowing that I struggle with body dysmorphia/gender dysphoria, whoever knows what it is, I knew that I would need time to, like, process my appearance. And that it might take me a while, and that it might have been difficult for me to work through it. So it was really liberating to have this time and space where, yeah, we livestream but our audience, for the most part, is like fucking awesome. And they’re all fucking queer and shit, too so like, we’re in good company and I knew, like, they would just be excited for me.
Nichole [00:52:21] Even though it was still a little tough because like, you know, I still didn’t know how I felt about it. But I think, like, I just really loved that line from the article that, like, someone basically doing something to try to broadcast the fact that they are not interested in performing their gender as expected, was really powerful. And I wanted to have time to, like, wrap my head around how I felt and get my feet under me before really having it become a political statement and a statement of my gender and my sexuality and everything else. And so I can see I’m lucky in a sense in that that I don’t have family, I don’t have, I didn’t have a partner at the time. Like, I really, truly had the space to just do it and feel how I felt about it without a bunch of external input.
Nichole [00:53:18] And I think a lot of people are going through that process right now in lockdown. They’re taking advantage. You know, we’ve heard from so many people that they’re taking advantage of the time right now to like do this where they’re not having to be in an office with, like, literally every single person stopping by their desk and like, oh, you cut your hair. Why did you do that? You know, and putting in their two cents. Like nobody fucking cares Mandy, keep walking. And I know for me, like, I wanted to think that I was tougher than that, more radical than that. But I just kind of knew, given my issues that I struggle with, that it would have been much more difficult and probably less joyful to try to do this in a situation where, like, so much of my appearance was going to be policed by other people.
Nichole [00:54:09] Especially given that I had a job that was so client-facing, you know, like I wouldn’t have gotten fired or whatever. But like, there is that extra pressure of like I’m representing my company, right? And I’m in a traditionally male-dominated traditional industry. Right, and how are people going to react to this? And like, having to process all of that is really difficult when you’re the type of person who, like, needs time to process changes to your body on, you know, in your own head. And I think that that is by design. I think society does that by design to make it harder. Like, if you’re going to do what you want to do with your body, here’s this giant hurdle that you have to overcome. And we’re gonna try to get inside your head and make you think what we want you to think before you have time to think for yourself.
Marine [00:55:00] Yeah. It’s interesting how everything that is like, how prioritizing comfort is by default unfeminine, like down to, I mean, needing to wear shoes that are like uncomfortable to walk in that you can no longer run in. Like needing to keep your hair long, needing to wax or shave or grow your hair out. So like the fact that, I think that short hair, everything that you said about fertility and relating it to like class because you, also it’s maybe a sign of like good health, etc. to have long hair. I think it’s also seen as feminine because it’s literally less convenient than having, like, a buzz cut, you know?
Marine [00:55:48] And so that’s so interesting that having short hair, even just if it’s a little bit less convenient, like if you’re at least going the extra length to, like, dye it or have it shaved a certain way so that you need it to get cut more often, like that on the spectrum also makes it more feminine. Like I almost see, like the spectrum of gender as like on one end being like, doing everything to align with your own comfort. And then on the other like actually doing everything counter to like what is most comfortable, what is most comfortable to wear or to sound like or to, you know, as being like more associated always with femininity.
Nichole [00:56:29] Yeah, absolutely. I know, like I dated someone who is very into traditional gender roles, don’t ask me why.
Marine [00:56:39] We’ve all been there.
Nichole [00:56:41] Yeah, exactly. Internalized misogyny, we all have it. Yeah but I just remember him, he would say stuff like that all the time. Like, why don’t you wear heels more often? I’m like because they fucking hurt, why? You know, and he’d be like, well isn’t that the point though, like aren’t you supposed to do things like that? And it’s like…. I… No?
Marine [00:57:03] I mean that’s what long nails is about too.
Nichole [00:57:04] I mean I guess I’m supposed to but I don’t want to.
Callie [00:57:08] “Isn’t that the point though, that they’re supposed to hurt”…
Nichole [00:57:11] Yeah. Yeah, and he very much like felt that way that, you know, how you’re showing up in the world should be communicating how much effort you put in-
Marine [00:57:22] Yes.
Nichole [00:57:23] To be there and to be performing roles in the way that you’re expected to. So like, he put a lot of time and effort into his appearance as well. And I was always like, do you. I don’t care about that. None of that is doing anything for me. But if that’s what makes you comfortable, fine. But he, like, had very much internalized, you know, like if you’re a woman like you wear makeup, you have long hair. He wanted me to have thick, curly, like Jessica Simpson type hair. And I’m like, I literally don’t have that hair, though.
Callie [00:57:58] Oh, my god.
Nichole [00:58:00] I was like my hair like, literally doesn’t do that. And he’s like, well, can’t you, he’s like, I’ll pay for it. Like, can’t you get extensions? Can’t you do this or that?
Marine [00:58:09] Oh my god!
Nichole [00:58:09] And I’m like-
Callie [00:58:09] Yeah, I was just gonna say, neither does Jessica Simpson’s hair. Like long, flowy, perfectly curled waved hair, it’s like that shit is all fake.
Nichole [00:58:18] Yeah, golden blonde. It’s all fake.
Marine [00:58:20] Yeah.
Nichole [00:58:22] Yeah, and that’s what I would tell him, like she doesn’t even have her hair, you know? And he would just be like, well yeah, so that means you can have it, you just have to pay for it and I’ll pay for it. And I was like, no.
Marine [00:58:34] Oh my god!
Callie [00:58:36] Wow.
Nichole [00:58:36] I don’t… I was like, buy me a fuckin Xbox. Like, don’t, I don’t want to have like fake hair on my head. And no judging anybody, I’m just like the lowest maintenance person ever and I was like, that sounds terrible. That sounds like the opposite of anything I want. And just as I’ve like gone throughout the last few years of my life, I’ve just, probably the last five years, I’ve just gotten so and so and so much more radically committed to just being comfortable. And it is amazing how political that is. When you’re like, I just want to feel comfortable. I just don’t want to have pain in my body because of what I’m wearing or what I’m like walking in or what I’m, you know, I just like, I just don’t want to have pain my body throughout the day. And people are like, “What?! That’s so immature, grow up!” And it’s like it’s immature to not want to be in pain?
Marine [00:59:32] Yeah. I think about that also with the like trend of having, and I know that with the trend of having really long nails. And I know that like that has like certain like cultural significance for, for certain people but I’m speaking like not about that. But I see like again, since I teach in high school, it’s always what I think about, but like a lot of like the girls there have like these long fake nails and like end up having like a lot of trouble typing or not being able to participate in P.E. and like ,I just feel like the act of like making an esthetic choice that makes it more difficult to just do daily tasks is like in itself a demonstration of how committed you are to femininity.
Nichole [01:00:19] Yeah. And it stems from, you know, classism. It stems from having the ability to be able to not participate in certain things, even if that’s not your actual experience, that’s what you’re like replicating, is the look of someone who can opt-out of certain physical activities because they have someone else to do them for them. And yeah, and like somehow we’ve attributed the ultimate in femininity is not actually, I think we think of like a housewife, but like I don’t think that that is actually it. I think it really is like the rich white lady who’s laying around and just has, like, servants around her but is like always perfectly put together. Because that speaks to the success of her husband, right? Like, she literally becomes this billboard for success and wealth. So I think that that’s all very interesting, too.
Nichole [01:01:18] And I think that’s why I’ve always been kind of drawn to the more punk esthetic or something that is trying to, like, challenge that and be more like homegrown and DIY and like not, you know, things that are more practical. Like, I love a pair of boots. You know, like boots, you could go kick someone with or stand around in or walk in or whatever, like they’re very useful. Like, I just really love practical things. But I had a long period of time where I kind of didn’t know that about myself because I was… I just remember, I think all through my teens, my 20s, just struggling. And I think like I’ve always had a closet that’s been full of like 500 different types of looks. And I think a big part of that is because I did always want to be comfortable. And I always was actually more drawn to practical things. But I was convincing myself that I wanted the other side. That I wanted to like, that I actually enjoyed and liked the look of like high heels and all this other stuff.
Nichole [01:02:26] And not to say that I don’t, but it’s been interesting, I was talking to Callie about this. Since I cut my hair and I’ve been having gender euphoria and been like, so happy, more and more and more of my clothes are giving me gender dysphoria. And I know that that might sound bad, but I think it’s actually good because I think it’s like for the first time me finally actually seeing myself the way that I like, feel and seeing these clothes around me and like how they don’t actually represent how I feel inside. But I think that was also confused before with like knowing that I was different and wanting to do my own thing, but also still like having to perform in a professional capacity and dating and having someone else’s input on my appearance. And, you know, I think now like getting further and further from that, I’m just finally starting to whittle it down into what is actually my style and what is actually feeling good for me.
Nichole [01:03:34] And it’s wild. Like I could probably give away like two-thirds of my clothes right now and that makes me angry. Honestly, it makes me angry that I just had so little sense of my true self. I was telling Callie like I used to get dressed and even when I thought I looked good, I would still just not feel right. And I just could never, it was like, is it my earrings? Is it a necklace? Do I need to fix my makeup? And I would just spend so much time like tweaking and just still never quite feeling right. And now I can put on a t-shirt and have, you know, nothing on and just be like I look like the shit, I’m so excited. You know, like I’m just walking around my house all happy. And I think a big part of it was like not having the right gender presentation and not understanding like what was me versus what was me trying to interpret social norms for myself.
Marine [01:04:27] Yeah, that’s really interesting because it’s almost as if like cutting your hair off allowed you to really align with what you wanted from your gender expression and now you’re actually seeing more clearly like the clothes that are around you and how they make you feel. And it’s also so interesting for me to hear because I’m like, wow, that was the opposite of my experience.
Nichole [01:05:00] I know, which is why I wanted to have you on!
Marine [01:05:01] But almost like, I feel like your experience is almost giving me permission to feel what I felt. Also, just to know that, like, being able to cut your hair can make you like align in a new way with your gender identity and see your stylistic, like, actually realize your stylistic vision of how you want to portray yourself to the world. And I feel like, for me, it did like, it really like, set me off balance and made it… And also I was just, yeah, it was just this constant frustration of like, oh, I want my hair to be like more minimal until like and to align with this political reason for why I cut my hair. But actually, like, everything I want to do is counter to that and that being like an uncomfortable place to be. So I don’t know, that’s, yeah, that’s fucking awesome. Yeah.
Nichole [01:05:45] It’s been great. Yeah, I was gonna say, like, I even wanted to wear this little thing today and I love the pattern and the colors, but it just, I was like, it doesn’t feel right, you know? Yeah. It just sucks. If it was a button-down shirt I would be wearing it. But it’s like one of those kimono tops and I just was like, I tried to make it work. I played with my makeup. I play with my earrings. And I finally was like, girl, it’s the fucking thing, just take it off. And once I did, I was like, oh, I feel so much better, you know? And just thinking like, yeah, the enormous amount, like I just took out, I also tried to wear a jumpsuit because I love a jumpsuit moment and none of my jumpsuits feel right. So I’m like, okay, now I have all these jumpsuits I want to like, sell or give away.
Callie [01:06:33] And you were so focused. Like you and I spent like a year where you were just like constantly looking for the perfect jumpsuit. You just so wanted a-
Nichole [01:06:42] I never found it either.
Callie [01:06:43] Well jumpsuits are very tricky, you know.
Nichole [01:06:46] They are, they are.
Callie [01:06:47] But yeah, many a conversation of this perfect speaker outfit you would find where it was like this fire jumpsuit.
Nichole [01:06:55] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, and you know, I’ve talked about it on the show, but my big boobs like make things still difficult. So, you know, that’s still a struggle. But I feel like I can kind of tell now when it’s like my boobs are throwing me off and that I can at least deal with it because I can name it and kind of understand it. But yeah, it brought me a lot of clarity and a lot of peace. And I just wanted to have your story out there because I want to let it be known that it’s okay if it didn’t do that for you. And I don’t think we have to pretend that like what’s empowering for someone else is also empowering for us. You know, I think you being able to, like, be honest that you wanted to have long hair again and work your way back towards that is just as valid as my experience of like, I don’t know if I can ever have long hair again, you know? I don’t know, I’m not saying I won’t, I just like, right now it’s not something I can picture and I’m just allowing myself to, like, revel in that.
Callie [01:07:53] Yeah.
Marine [01:07:58] Callie, how has it felt for you to buzz the side of your head?
Callie [01:08:03] I have loved it, honestly. I’ve had a lot more mixed feelings about it since being in quarantine because I feel like my hairstylist being able to cut it with scissors like I feel like I’m discovering, I don’t know if it’s like cowlicks or I just like am using the buzzers wrong?
Marine [01:08:22] Cow fuckin licks.
Callie [01:08:22] But I have like these weird spots, you know? Like I just, it’s not even. And it annoys me. But yeah, I love it. I mean, it’s definitely become for me a really cool, I did it honestly because I got my ear pierced a year ago, these two little cute little studs that Nichole suggested that I fucking love and like I got my hair cut a few days after that because I realized with, you know, trying to heal a piercing, especially around your ear, your long hair, especially when you have as much hair as I do like, my hair is so thick and stuff, it was just going to be constantly tugging on the piercings. And I’m like, I’m just gonna go, like, shave this whole side of my head so my hair wouldn’t be in the way and it would also show my piercings off better. And I’ve just loved it ever since.
Callie [01:09:13] It definitely has become like a way that I’m kind of like asserting some queerness, you know, because like to have bright pink hair and to have one side shaved has been really fun. But, yeah, it’s been really interesting listening to you two talk about this. And it’s funny because Nichole and I have had similar conversations many, many times. But this is like, it’s making me think a lot about my gender presentation because it was interesting hearing the quote about like performing femininity in these certain ways isn’t just about the way you look. It’s about like telling people that you’re willing to spend that much time on your appearance. And I’m like, that’s something I have, like, never done.
Callie [01:10:07] Like, I think that’s why I am constantly joking about how difficult it is for me to like, do my hair because it’s so much fucking time for me. I know compared to other people, they do their hair a lot and I’m just like more power to you. But I just, I hate it. Like I really resent having to take the amount of time to, like, wash and style my hair and all of this stuff. But there’s been this resistance, to… I mean, I’ve definitely had shorter hair in the past. Interestingly, it was when I was in a smaller body. Like I feel like there’s something… Long hair kind of lets you hide if you want. Right, like, for a lot of reasons, I feel like you don’t really stand out. You’re not really sending this political message that you’re like telling fuck you to the system or our gender roles. And also you can just kind of literally hide behind your hair.
Marine [01:11:05] Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Callie [01:11:08] And I feel like it’s kind of an expectation for people in bigger bodies. You know, this idea that like, oh, it kind of hides, you know, if your face is a little bit rounder or something like that. Right, you can just kind of literally have this, like, beautiful flowing hair and fly a little bit more under the radar and be more acceptable to the mainstream. But, yeah, it’s interesting that, like, I’ve been so resistant to the idea. Like honestly I would love to, like, not have hair. Like I think about this all the time, but I don’t actually want a shaved head. And listening to this conversation is making me kind of like process all of that and you know, like reevaluate. Not necessarily like wanting to have a shaved head, but just like the really the true reasons why I think I’ve been so resistant to having, like, cutting all my hair off, you know, because it-
Nichole [01:12:11] Well they’re definitely. Sorry, go ahead.
Callie [01:12:12] No, go ahead.
Nichole [01:12:12] Well, I was just going to say, I mean, there definitely is expectation on bigger bodies, especially female bodies, that you are going to make up for that by showing that you’re putting in a lot of time and attention into the esthetics. Right, you’re gonna be well-dressed, you’re going to have beautiful hair, nails, makeup, like everything is gonna be on point so that you can say, okay, I broke this one rule, but I am otherwise like obeying the standards. And so I do think that there, and also like Vergie Tovar talks about this, I mentioned it before, but like she talks about how larger female bodies are masculinized. I think this happens to black women as well. Like, I think that there’s, I think that there’s something there with trying to police who is allowed to have access to femininity in this like white Christian way that we have like for our standards.
Nichole [01:13:15] And yeah, so I think that that, and we know, like, fatphobia is tied to racism so it like, you know, all comes together. But I think that there is a lot of that. You see that a lot, that like people in larger bodies feel the need, like women, feel the need to like over-perform in order to like, pass right? To be allowed access to still, you know, some social capital. And so, yeah, I do think that like, because I know, like, you know, as someone in a plus-sized body, I’m having a very hard time with all of it with my gender, because I feel like my shape genders me in a way that I don’t want to be. And I’m just trying to work my way through that, like, figure that all out.
Nichole [01:14:06] But I know that, like, that is part of what feels very radical to me. Like I’ve been selling stuff and I’ll go out to meet the buyer and I’m just wearing like jean shorts and a t-shirt and my shaved head, no makeup. And I’m just like, you know, I just I’m aware that for a lot of people, that’s going to look like lazy, masculine, queer, but like in bad ways, you know? And it’s something that I have to, like, still constantly process. And so even everything I said before still applies, like, I do feel really good. And I feel that I would be able to like, say, enter a workspace with a lot more confidence and not, and not be as, have a hard time with it as I would have in the beginning. But I am also still navigating professional spaces or society’s expectations in a lot of ways.
Nichole [01:14:59] Like today I had a, I sold something that was pretty valuable and I was like, should I put on makeup? Like to be honest, that’s even why I pulled the jumpsuits out because I’m like, oh, maybe I’ll throw one of these on to be more presentable, so this person will trust me more, you know? And then I was like, oh, that’s still there, interesting. So it’s like, yeah, no matter how solid you are in your own thing, I think we all know that we’re constantly still trying to have access to some measure of privilege and some measure of passible presentation, while also trying to express ourselves. And that’s hard and society makes it hard on purpose.
Callie [01:15:40] Yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s always interesting, you know, hearing you bring up Vergie Tovar’s experience, right, of when she was younger being really masculinized because of her bigger body size and now she performs this like really extreme form of femininity, right as kind of a fuck you to a society that pushed her into a gender expression that she did not choose and was not comfortable with, and how like queer and radical and amazing that all is and stuff. But it’s interesting because my experience, it’s not, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was like the opposite of that, because my parents, like, always kind of put this sense of, like, you have to be, you know, you have to present, like, femininely. So I was not really masculinized, but also…
Nichole [01:16:34] But don’t you think them pushing you to present so femininely was masculinized you?
Callie [01:16:40] Maybe, yeah. Yes.
Nichole [01:16:42] It was them saying we’re afraid that if you don’t hyper perform femininity, then you will not have access to these.
Callie [01:16:49] Yes, for sure. For sure. Yeah because, like you said it really well a minute or two ago. It is kind of this like, oh, I’m not doing this thing that I’m supposed to so I’m gonna like, make up for it in all of these other ways, you know? Like I’m sorry, I’m in a bigger body and I’m taking up too much space and I’m not doing what I should be by, like, presenting myself in this, you know, thin feminine package, so I’m going to, like, make up for it by doing all these other things. What’s funny to me is I’m now realizing, like, I don’t do those other things either, but I still feel like I, I have to, but I like, don’t. And I’m like, well that’s interesting. I don’t really know what that means then.
Callie [01:17:35] Cause like I’m not, it’s been interesting like working from home more because like obviously you’re, no one sees you so you’re dressing a lot more for comfort than you are for anything else. And so now it’s like getting myself to go out and run errands is a struggle in and of itself. So if I can, like, get myself to the grocery store, I usually am a lot more gentle with myself, as like whatever you can manage to put on your body to get you out the door is fine. But I’m not necessarily, like, comfortable. Like, if I go to the store in like, leggings and a T-shirt, you know, I’m not, I don’t feel good about that but I also don’t feel like bad about it either. It’s been really interesting, I feel like. It’s making me really wonder, like, how I actually want to present, you know?
Nichole [01:18:32] Yeah.
Callie [01:18:32] And I don’t know, to be honest. This is making me question everything!
Nichole [01:18:41] That’s what we’re here for.
Callie [01:18:43] Yeah, that’s very interesting.
Nichole [01:18:48] Yeah, it was cool, I did go out on Instagram and solicited people’s stories, like about their hair journeys and stuff, and it was almost, I think it was universal that everyone said it was just really empowering for them and that they really liked it. But a lot of people have also grown their hair back out and talked about how they wanted to cut it again. And I do think there’s something in that as well that is, I think, part of right now why I can’t picture having long hair again is because I think people would see that as me like, changing back.
Marine [01:19:24] Yes! I mean, that is something I run into all the time where people are like, oh, well, at least you tried it. And I’m just like, I never told you that I tried it and that I didn’t like it so I grew up back out. But that’s like their default assumption. I mean, that’s kind of true but I don’t want to tell them.
Nichole [01:19:42] Right. I don’t want to validate your opinion. No and it was interesting because a lot of people mentioned that for them, a big part of it is just enjoying the change or maybe liking having longer hair to have different options for how to style it and play with it and just it being another piece of expression. And I feel that way as well. Like, I think I’m satisfied right now because I’m playing so much with color. But I could see like at some point, I love changing my hair all the time and so I could see growing it back out just to be able to do different styles. But not being like, oh, that was a phase and now I’m over it. And that would be really annoying to me and I just know that that’s what people would think like oh, thank god. Like, I can’t tell you how many dudes I fucking met who are like, not with this hair but with my previous asymmetrical haircut or like when I had what was basically a pixie, they’ll be like oh it looks so good, whatever, and then immediately are like, are you gonna grow it out?
Marine [01:20:45] Yes. Yeah.
Nichole [01:20:47] So like, is it safe to like you or date you because eventually you’ll have long hair and for now I can be cool that I like the girl with short hair?
Callie [01:20:56] But it’s only going to be short-lived. Eventually you’re going to settle down and we’re going to be normie.
Nichole [01:21:01] And it’s like, yeah, I might grow back out, but I’m gonna tell you right now I’m going to chop it all off again at some point too. Like that is my jam. I love changing my hair up.
Callie [01:21:10] Well, and the funniest thing is that that immediately makes me think of, and I feel like you should tell this story, but like we had a friend who told you a thing about her hair. And so the idea of like a guy liking someone with short hair and then being like, oh, but she’ll grow up back out again. Do you know who I’m…?
Nichole [01:21:30] What was the thing? I need context.
Callie [01:21:33] Her name starts with an a. Famously she talked about her hair length and dating.
Nichole [01:21:42] Famously… How she was going to trap someone with her long hair?
Callie [01:21:45] Mm hmm, yes.
Nichole [01:21:48] Yes. Yeah, I have, we had a friend, I’ll use that word loosely, who was like your typical like SoCal like Southern California, like blonde yoga queen type person. And yeah, she would always talk about how she had a pixie cut before and she loved it and she like wanted to have her hair super short, but she was keeping it long to get a husband and she was going to cut it after she got married, and it was like, everything about this is offensive to me. Because I’m like, your partner should not care what you do with your body.
Marine [01:22:26] Imagine like, what a low bar that is to stand for your future, put up for your future partner.
Nichole [01:22:33] Yeah, yeah, seriously.
Callie [01:22:33] Well and then it just makes a laugh because a guy being like, oh, I like you when you have a short hair but you’re going to grow it back out. And then the idea of like them dating someone with long hair and her being like, just kidding, I trapped you now fucker! And then like cutting all her hair off. That just brings me endless enjoyment. In a very fucked up way. I acknowledge that.
Marine [01:22:54] I feel like that is the one thing that I liked about short hair too. I was like, this is just such a natural filter. I mean, granted not and a super radical one or anything, but like, OK, at least if I have a dude that’s gonna comment on like, that I’d look better with long hair, like I was never like, oh damn I missed out on like a chance to meet a great guy! You know, I’m like, okay, well thank god, he can, you know, yeah.
Nichole [01:23:16] I know. I had a bouncer at a bar once, you know, he was like I.D.ing everyone coming in and I used to have very long hair, like down to my butt, and the I.D. I had at the time, like had me with that long hair. And he was like, “I miss your long hair.”
Callie [01:23:34] Ew!
Nichole [01:23:35] And I was like, I don’t. I was like, if you want, I can send you a bag of it. If you want it.
Callie [01:23:42] Ew, god.
Nichole [01:23:43] It was so weird. Like, it just, it’s endless the way people will police you. Like just random people saying random shit for no fucking reason. Like random bouncer at a bar, like why, who are you to me? Literally no one, and yet you need me to know-
Marine [01:23:59] Because you’re just asking for it if you cut your hair. I’m allowed to, yeah.
Nichole [01:24:04] That’s the thing. That’s the thing. People think if you do anything with your body, that you are soliciting comments and opinions. And that is something we need to do away with. Connects back to like what Callie was saying about Chadwick Boseman and like just stop commenting on people’s bodies. You never know. Like I’ve heard of, I haven’t had this happen to me yet, but I’m just, like, waiting. But I’ve heard of so many people saying when they buzz their head that people, like, come up to them in the grocery store and be like, are you sick? And it’s like, what if I was, you know, like everything about that question is so fucking weird to me.
Marine [01:24:42] That was a big thing with my parents. They were like, if you cut, you can’t cut your hair because you’re too thin, people are going to think you’re sick. And that was a big, you know, and then I was like, oh, I mean, I was really mad at them for telling me that but then I was like, oh well, I mean, are really people are going to think I’m sick?
Nichole [01:24:58] Then you think about it, right?
Callie [01:24:58] Dude rip to whoever is bold enough to say that to you, Nic, like they’d be dead and buried.
Nichole [01:25:06] They will be. They’ll be like, “Clean-up in aisle 5, there’s this smoldering pile of bones on the ground.”
Callie [01:25:17] Yeah, god, I just…
Nichole [01:25:23] Well, we just blew Callie’s mind.
Callie [01:25:25] You really did.
Nichole [01:25:27] I can see you’re doing your wheel turning face.
Callie [01:25:30] It is my wheel turning face. Yeah. Yeah. I don’t, I really don’t know what to make of any of this. In a good way. But it’s so funny because I don’t really know why this conversation somehow, like, penetrated deep when like so many others really haven’t. But it is, it is all, my wheels are definitely turning. Because yeah, like I just really want to get to a place, I think, where I… Well, and also I feel like I have to say too that I think part of what’s been interesting with my recent hair journey is really wanting to like present more queer because I want a girlfriend.
Marine [01:26:20] Same.
Nichole [01:26:21] I love that for you.
Callie [01:26:23] Thank you. And it’s like it’s been interesting because as much as I, and I famously bring this up every episode, I think now, talk about the lesbian thirst traps on Tik-Tok and how much they have been affirming my queerness and my attraction to people besides cis het men. But it’s been interesting starting to try to figure out like what like specifically I’m attracted to and who I’m attracted to and all of that stuff. And realizing that, I think in a really complicated way, there’s so much like labeling that goes on in the queer community that like kind of, doesn’t with like straight couples. I mean, you’re kind of all expected to present a certain way. But I’m like, am I a femme? Like, I don’t really think I want to perform femininity to like that extreme because that triggers some stuff with like being a person in bigger body and my parents always pushing me to present ladylike, you know, so I can, like, trap a man and like…
Nichole [01:27:27] You just trap em!
Callie [01:27:28] Trap them!
Nichole [01:27:29] You just catch them and you don’t let them go.
Callie [01:27:32] Just lock em down, yeah.
Nichole [01:27:35] That’s why we do kegels. So we can trap a man.
Callie [01:27:40] Literally, with our vaginas.
Nichole [01:27:42] Literally. Like, I gotchya!
Callie [01:27:45] Oh my god. This is definitely a mimosa day. I missed such an opportunity.
Nichole [01:27:54] I know. I wish I had tequila right now, it would be perfect.
Callie [01:27:57] Oh my god. But it’s just been really interesting because now I’m like, oh, I really want to present more queer. And not just to like, you know, I just am excited about kind of the freedom of like, oh, I like trying to escape some of like the compulsory heterosexual behavior, right, that we’re all brought up with. So it’s like I really want to present more, but I’m like, oh, it feels like I have to, like, pick. Like, I have to know, right, like how I want to present so that, like, people know I’m, because then there’s this whole thing where people don’t really ever think like femme lesbians are lesbians because they just look very girly and, you know, men hit on them and then yes, stem lesbians don’t think that they’re… So it’s just been all very interesting I feel like, because I am, I think I’m gonna get my haircut and I am like, oh, but like that’s not like super femme. So it’s like I want to be more queer, but I also, like, don’t know how to do it in a way that like puts me neatly in a box that it seems like queer people want you to kind of fall in, right? So yeah.
Nichole [01:29:08] I struggle with that too with gender as well.
Callie [01:29:10] Yeah.
Nichole [01:29:11] And sexuality because I’m kind of like top energy of course, daddy. But daddy for daddy. So it’s like what does that esthetic look like? I don’t even know. But really I mean it is, it is very… While I was exploring my gender, trying to find a label that explained my experience, it did start to feel like I had to sort of pick. And I’m very lucky that we are friends with some other activists who identify as transmasculine and have had journeys that have been a model for me to follow. Where they’re not really, one person probably is a bit more traditionally masculine at this point. But like, they’re not really following any set path of anything. And that has been really, really helpful for me because otherwise, I agree, like when I go out and look at different social media accounts, it does kind of feel like there’s specific esthetics or specific labels, and you kind of just like fall into one of these.
Nichole [01:30:21] So knowing people who are like, I’m not going to be boxed in, I’m doing all this stuff. Like one of our buddies, like someone we’re, you know, friendly with when we see them at conventions and stuff, conferences and stuff is, I think, using he/him pronouns now. So he buzzed his head initially to kind of go on you know, the standard nonbinary trans masculine journey and now has grown his hair out pretty long and is just like I now feel like my hair is the most masculine part of me. But I kind of had to go on this whole journey to get there. And I think that that is really powerful.
Nichole [01:31:03] And I think too, when we look at like people of color, black and indigenous people, you know, hair is obviously extremely political in nonwhite spaces as well. And I think that it can be really powerful to, like, come back around to your hair and find, like, whatever expression in that for them, because, you know, it’s just such a heavily policed thing. And so it’s just been interesting to think about all of that. And like, yeah, I agree, like, I don’t know how, like, if I was to go on the apps, like, I don’t know how I would like, identify myself because I don’t really fit neatly into any particular box necessarily.
Callie [01:31:54] Yeah. Well, I mean, you’re very much-
Nichole [01:31:55] And yeah, there is a lot of pressure for that.
Callie [01:31:56] Yeah, oh I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt you.
Nichole [01:31:58] You were gonna say? Were you about to call me a daddy?
Callie [01:32:00] Yeah, I was just gonna say you don’t need to label yourself as anything now, if you were to go on the apps. They’re gonna look at you and be like, definitely top/daddy energy.
Nichole [01:32:10] Giving you top energy.
Callie [01:32:10] You don’t even need to say anything.
Nichole [01:32:13] Yeah.
Callie [01:32:14] Yeah.
Nichole [01:32:15] Yeah I’ll just post a bunch of pictures like of my white t’s and my tank tops. No bio. Yeah, you know what? I’ve earned enough masculinity that I don’t have to write a fucking bio because that’s what these lazy boys do. They don’t write any bio. And you’re like, excuse me sir, can you tell me one thing about you? Would that be too much effort?
Callie [01:32:37] Yeah. Yeah, it’s interesting. It doesn’t make it complicated. I feel like the only thing I like about my hair is when it’s pink. I’m like, I don’t really know about the length. I don’t want to do anything with it. I just know that I want it to be pink because that to me feels like it doesn’t, it makes me happy and it doesn’t make me kind of question like, have these big existential crises of like how, you know, am I more on the femme end, am I not? Like I’m obviously not on the masc end, but like being in a bigger body? Like, what does that mean, you know? It’s all a lot.
Marine [01:33:20] I will say. I’ve been thinking about two different points. Like, the first one is something that I meant to bring up earlier when I was saying, like people were like, oh, well, you tried your hair short and I guess, you know, you just tried it and now you realize, like, you don’t like it or something? And I made a passing comment like, well, yeah, they don’t realize that’s true, but I don’t want them to know. But it’s not true because I never did it because I thought it would look better. I did it as a challenge also to myself for like, OK, what would it, what you know, what is it going to feel like if I just chop off like a foot and a half of my hair, you know? And I think that, like, it did it… And I think that, like the challenges that I felt like internally at the time, like I never resented it or it was just like, well, I just want my hair to be long again. Like, I knew I wanted to grow it out. But it was very much, like I feel like I did learn about myself during that time and I just observed the discomfort that I felt. And so I definitely don’t regret cutting it.
Marine [01:34:19] And so I think that’s also why it really annoys me when people say, like, oh, you’ve decided to, you realize you didn’t like it. Because it’s like, can you not do something with your body that isn’t in line, like it has to be in line with whatever is going to be most attractive to men.
Callie [01:34:40] Yes.
Marine [01:34:42] So I was thinking about that. And then… Man, I feel like I was thinking of something else. My point has escaped me. Pink hair…
Nichole [01:34:56] Very relatable. Happens to me all the time.
Callie [01:34:56] Yeah. But no, it’s true. I mean, I think that’s why I have like a hard time, because I very much grew up under this, like, oh, everything you do has to be like working towards this overall goal of like making sure men are attracted to you. And, yeah, that can really fuck with your sense of like, what do I actually like? Like, I don’t know. I feel like the only thing I can think of right now that really makes me happy is that green flowered kimono top I’ve worn on a couple, for some reason that makes me so happy.
Nichole [01:35:32] Well it’s beautiful.
Callie [01:35:33] I’m like, maybe that’s my gender, I don’t know. Just that shirt. Just that.
Marine [01:35:39] A green kimono top.
Nichole [01:35:40] Just that shirt. I love that.
Marine [01:35:40] Yeah, well, I just remembered. Oh, go ahead, go ahead.
Callie [01:35:43] Oh no, I was done.
Marine [01:35:47] No no no. Are you sure?
Callie [01:35:47] Yeah.
Marine [01:35:47] Well I just remembered the other point that I was gonna make, which is that I feel like whenever you take… I remember on one episode you talked about this, Callie. You were like, now that I’ve taken, now that I sort of like buzzed my hair and it’s pink and I’m fine with just being loud and taking up more space, like there’s something that’s like kind of empowering about that process where every step that you take that is like removing you from the traditional performance of, like, your correct gender, it gets kind of easier to take that next step. And I felt like that was sort of the urge that, like, when I cut my hair and I didn’t really like it, that’s why I was like, well, I want to buzz it now, and now maybe I want to get a tattoo. And now, like… You know?
Marine [01:36:30] It was because it was the first thing that I did that wasn’t, that was, because I present as, like, very kind of traditionally feminine and like, and not really like transgressing any norms with like how I present. And so I think that, like, I definitely felt like I like, even though it was an interesting thing to go through, I felt like I sort of lost something when I cut my hair. And that I could like, if I just grew up back then I could be back to, like, the very comfortable sort of like ticking off all the boxes. I mean, it sounds like probably worse than it actually… It sounds bad when I say it like that but I think you get what I mean that like there’s something about like, maybe it being like, yeah, every step you take away, like that’s, I’m always like, really…
Marine [01:37:32] When you were talking about the woman who was in a larger body who decided, like, well, I’m going to present super feminine also as a fuck you to those who tell me that, like, it’s not feminine, the way that I act. And like maybe having even more liberation just come from like, OK, well, I’m already not ticking off these boxes that you want me to tick off so, like, let me just, like, fully explore what it means to me to be liberated.
Callie [01:38:00] Yeah. Yeah. Well and like as you said, like cutting off your hair, you do lose something. You lose a measure of privilege. You lose a measure of safety, right, of obscurity in a way.
Marine [01:38:13] Obscurity, yeah.
Callie [01:38:14] You know? Like because yeah, you’re still, there’s, you obviously get attention as a person who’s like, you know, a conventionally attractive person will get a measure of attention in that way. But it’s like a very different kind of attention when you’re someone who is like very willingly like standing out, you know, by having a bright hair color or short hair or a buzzed head or, you know, a goth look. I mean, there’s so many ways that people, especially that are perceived as female, can like really be kind of glaringly like flipping off society that will stand out, right? It’s just really sad that it feels like there’s nothing we can do that like, will just let people leave us the fuck alone, you know?
Nichole [01:39:09] Yeah, give me that haircut.
Callie [01:39:12] Yeah. Yeah, I saw a Tik-Tok by this beautiful woman and she was talking about, she was like joking, she’s like honestly like I just want to be able to like go outside and like no one fucking talk to me. She was like, I just want, she was like, what is that? Like what, how do I get that? You know, because I think she was talking about, like the story started about how like she told this guy to like, you know, not talk to her. And he’s like, oh, I guess I just won’t talk to anyone. And she’s like, yeah, literally. I want no men ever talking to me out in public ever again. And I just was thinking about that in context of like this conversation and the fact of, like, you’re either conventionally attractive to a point where people like are gonna be cat calling you and harassing you in public or constantly commenting on your looks. Or you’re not presenting in the way you’re supposed to and then people are also gonna be commenting on your look. And there just doesn’t ever seem to be this like, just let people fucking be, you know?
Marine [01:40:17] Yeah.
Nichole [01:40:19] Yeah. Yeah. But that’s the job of social norms, right? Is to, it’s a built-in policing mechanism to make sure that anyone who’s crossing the line-
Marine [01:40:31] Retributed for it.
Nichole [01:40:31] Get just constantly reminded about it and has to defend it and think about it constantly. Cause, Callie, I think like for you, that’s why your pink hair is so radical because you’re a person in a larger body celebrating yourself. You are putting time and money and effort into not performing the way that you’re expected to, right?
Callie [01:40:55] Yeah.
Nichole [01:40:55] You’re supposed to not take up space. You’re supposed to apologize for your existence. And like a head of bright pink hair-
Marine [01:41:02] Mm hmm, does not signal that.
Nichole [01:41:03] Is the opposite of that. Right? Like you are putting time and money into it, but you’re putting time and money into fuck you, I’m having fun and this is how I want to show up in the world.
Callie [01:41:14] That just… Ahh! That felt so good! I didn’t even think about it in that way. That makes me so happy. I mean, I knew I loved it but like that’s true. That’s very true.
Nichole [01:41:27] Yeah. And same with your makeup. You know, you’ve talked about your makeup a lot, and it’s the same thing. It’s like I’m taking the time to watch these YouTube tutorials and like, I’m spending the money on this makeup and I’m taking the time to do the makeup. But it’s not to be pleasing. Right, it’s to actually, in a way, not that you’re doing it to call attention to yourself, but you’re doing it in a way that does call attention to you. Instead of apologizing for your existence, you’re there celebrating it. And that’s very radical. Even if technically you’re still performing the same actions, right, as someone who is performing femininity in the correct way
Callie [01:42:08] Yeah, I saw the funniest conversation or media, I can’t really remember what the context of it was, but it was something like people with bright hair, especially like feminine presenting people with bright hair, like it was some fuckin, like, dude who is like, they’re like the poisonous animals, you know, that like have like wild, you know, like a poisonous frog or whatever that’s like a bright color. And so other things in nature are like, oh, shit, like don’t fuck with that. And there was like this girl responding and she was like, that’s fuckin right, like, don’t approach me. It was like this hilarious, like yeah, stay away. All the people out there with bright fucking hair colors, it is a warning, stay the fuck away.
Marine [01:42:56] That’s so true. I feel like all the tropical poisonous animals are like the brightest, like yeah.
Callie [01:43:03] Right? Yeah.
Nichole [01:43:03] They’re pretty, yeah.
Callie [01:43:04] Yeah. Yeah. I mean and you think about like snakes or you know-
Marine [01:43:07] Frogs or…
Callie [01:43:08] Other kind of animals like spiders and stuff. Like usually it’s the things with like the brightly colored markings that it’s like oh don’t fuck with, don’t fuck with that. So yeah. So she’s like yeah, it does keep all the, all the little people like you that are gonna be like oh my god, that fucking blue hair. She’s like, that’s right. Keeps you all away. Goodness gracious.
Nichole [01:43:34] Well, I think I’ve said everything I have to say.
Marine [01:43:39] Me as well.
Callie [01:43:40] Well, I’m very honored that y’all included me in this conversation. I think it was a very interesting one. And I think it just goes to show that, like, again, like people checking in with themselves and figuring out what’s going to make them feel good. Whether it is like cutting their hair off, even if it’s temporary, you know, and they end up choosing something else, or if they end up finding some gender euphoria like this babe over there. But yeah, very, very cool.
Marine [01:44:14] But yeah, I did feel like when we were exchanging voice notes about this, I was like, well, I don’t feel like my experience is very interesting. And it’s kind of lame in a way because I cut it and then didn’t like it. But y’all were really affirming and were like no, I think that is a valid thing to talk about and that’ll be interesting to talk about.
Callie [01:44:34] That’s super interesting!
Nichole [01:44:36] Yeah, because I do, like in spaces like this, it is tempting to erase that narrative, right? It is tempting to be like, no, this is just affirming. That is the only valid experience of this. And I think it’s cool to, like, talk to people who are like, you know what, it actually wasn’t for me and I went through this journey and this is how I felt about it. And it’s so interesting too, like some of the stories we got, people were like, oh, I just bleached the shit out of my hair and it was all fried so I just buzzed it to like, start over. You know, just like everyone’s path to doing this is so different. But reading story after story, it just was so clear that no matter what your reason, doing this is very political.
Nichole [01:45:24] And I’ve been thinking about that a lot since our queering anarchism episode. Because in that I said, you know, performing queerness, like it should be from a political space. And then I just kept thinking about that and I was like pretty much anything we do is political if we’re doing it because we truly want to or, you know, we’re playing with something. So, yeah, like, it was amazing how many comments we got that people were like, yeah, I just did it because my hair was fucking fried, and then I realized, like doing this for my comfort, doing this because I wanted to, like how affirming it was and how political it ended up being. So I thought that was really cool.
Callie [01:46:05] Yeah. Wow, yeah. Well and I think there’s just too much pressure on us all to like, like if you do a thing, whether you meant it to necessarily be political or not, that you like, can’t feel bad about it. It’s almost like, oh, if I do something and then I do feel bad in the way society wants me to feel bad, that I have to like hide it or keep that a secret because then I’m like not a good feminist or I’m not a good queer person, you know, because I’m like bowing to the pressure. And it’s like, no, that’s fucking real. You know, like, Marine, your experience is so real. And I think it just points to, like, how pervasive and how much pressure there truly is on people to, like, present themselves in a certain way, you know?
Callie [01:46:52] And whether you have long hair because you just genuinely love it or because you are like, I’m fucking tired of people being in my face about having short hair and I just don’t want my hair to be a thing anymore. Like both of those things are valid, you know? We just make people like, it’s that toxic positivity culture kind of experience, right, where it’s like you can’t necessarily be struggling with things because, and it’s like, well that’s stupid. Like these cultural pressures work for a reason, because they are so, like complex and so pervasive.
Nichole [01:47:31] Nonstop.
Callie [01:47:31] Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so…
Nichole [01:47:36] Mm hmm.
Callie [01:47:36] All right.
Nichole [01:47:39] Yeah. All right.
Callie [01:47:44] We’re done.
Nichole [01:47:46] That’s it, that’s the show. So, if you liked what you saw, thank you. Like, hit the bell, subscribe. Not that order. Leave us a comment below. Leave us like a hair flip or a haircut emoji if you have nothing to say. That feeds the algorithm. Share us with people. If you’re listening to the podcast, thanks, we love you. Yeah and we will be back next week with Professor Flowers for our Dismantling Whiteness collaboration. We are very, very, very excited about this. It’s going to be awesome.
Callie [01:48:31] Yes.
Marine [01:48:32] Cool.
Callie [01:48:33] Yeah.
Nichole [01:48:34] Yeah. Yeah so we’ll be here to do that next week. So thank you all for tuning in and we’ll talk to you then.
Callie [01:48:40] Buh-bye.
Nichole [01:48:41] Bye, thanks for having me.
Callie [01:48:43] Bye!