I’ve had this bee in my bonnet about short hair ever since I posted that picture of Ben and me from 2002 the other day. Here’s another picture of me and my hair from sometime in 2002.
I cropped Ben out of this picture because I needed a picture of just me for something. How rude! And I can’t find the original version.
Anyway, look. I was quite a bit younger in 2002 than I am now (um, duh?) but aside from the bobby pin, this isn’t so bad? Sometimes I think I’m one of those women who kind of (maybe?) look better with short hair than long hair. Like Halle Berry? Only totally nothing like her.
And of course now I have, like, the longest hair ever because I’m a crazy mountain hippie, but whatever.
The problems I have with short hair (for myself) are numerous:
In my experience, my hair needs a bit of “product” when it’s short, lest I look like a middle-school gym teacher (no offense to middle-school gym teachers, at all — you’re awesome and that’s a difficult age to work with), which is not really my jam. But I hate hair that feels like there’s product in it.
You have to get trims all the freaking time.
Sure, if you have a short enough pixie cut, you don’t have to do much to style your hair . . . but, I always found that I couldn’t just roll out of bed and look presentable (arguably, my default ponytails and side braids these days aren’t the height of presentable, but you know).
Short hair and giant glasses might not be as good (“good” being a relative term here) a look as long hair and giant glasses.
I don’t really wear eye makeup any more.
I like my hair either very long or very short. I hate having mid-length hair. If I go very short, I’ll either have to stay that way forever or be miserable for years.
Because the prevailing wisdom as I understand it has generally always been that as women get older, they “should” have shorter hair, I of course, as a tedious contrarian by nature, want to have longer hair as I get older.
But . . . but . . . but . . . (and, for the record, I had nothing to do with watching Oscars shit last night but I don’t make fun of it either, because if there’s anything more boring than people who get all bitchy on Twitter making fun of what other people do for entertainment I don’t know what it is, although now that I think about it, it might be sending your Foursquare or whatever updates directly to Twitter or being a professional athlete who tweets shit like “What up twitfam?” or “I just ate and now I’m watching tv”) then I see something like this and I’m all, oh, I should totally do that.
Getty Images North America
And I’m no Michelle Williams. And I totally shouldn’t do that, probably. But it is incredibly cute.
The fact that I’m posting this picture of myself publicly on the internet is a problem, but I have to show you something. My bangs are at the most awful stage bangs ever experience, which I refer to as the “Aaaaah!” stage in the Cycle of Bangs. This is where I spend 60% of my waking hours pulling them to the side, calculating the distance between their current length and the length at which they will remain behind my ear after being put there and then estimating the number of months left until that magical day arrives.
Clearly, whatever “unstyling” thing I’ve been trying to get going with my bangs is not working. Cut me a little slack because I ran 6.24 miles earlier today and haven’t showered yet. I know, gross. But trust me when I say that my bangs looked this bad all day long even before I hit the gym. I’ve been willingly inflicting this shit on people for weeks now.
Today I finally realized that I look like an older, low-rent version of Peppermint Patty.
I mean really, why. I need to get some freaking barrettes (my hair is too fine to sustain bobby pins on a reliable basis) and vow to never, ever, ever get bangs again.
It’s as certain as death and taxes. As soon as my bangs finally grow out and I am freed from the prison of having annoying hair in my face all the time and the associated problems including but not limited to greasy bangs (and the existential dilemma of whether to wash them more often even though I know that just makes them more determined to be greasy) and sweaty bangs that bug the crap out of me while running (I can’t wear headbands because they, like, move around and also my head is gigantic have you seen it) and bang separation issues, I’ll go right out and get them again.
I made an illustration of my relationship with bangs using my toddler’s LARGE washable crayons. I call it “The Cycle of Bangs” and it is destined to repeat itself over and over and over in my lifetime.
I’m currently in Why?!! territory, headed toward Aaaaah!! Fun times.
This was originally published on August 11, 2008.
Dan Steinberg is my new favorite person on the internet. Yesterday, he discussed the fact that Lithuania’s Fans Are Balling. I love this so much, because he recognizes something that has made me very proud for many years — My People are freaking awesome. We love our basketball. And we have the tie dye (well, “we” in the sense of, as a people, some Lithuanians represent by wearing tie dye although I personally do not because, well, ew) to prove it. Also, many of us have green eyes, which is rare (I learned this the other day). Random, but cool! Like Lithuanians! We’re also known for being stubborn, which is a blessing and a curse, let me tell you.
Craig Sager is one of those guys who I notice every time he’s on TV, but I don’t really know anything about him. Whenever he’s reporting from the sidelines of an NBA game, I yell at B, “Dude! Check out what he’s wearing! When you’re old you need to dress like this!” His wardrobe is the shit and in life, he’s attained a certain level of awesomeness.
My thoughts on the Craig Sager interview are twofold. First, I think that, once you’ve achieved a certain level of awesomeness in life, you’re allowed to say some crazy shit and that adds to, rather than detracts, from your awesomeness. Second, I think that there’s nothin’ wrong with appreciating anybody’s hotness. I’m not going to blame anybody for finding, say, blonde Lithuanian women hot. They are! There’s nothing wrong with recognizing that.
I also love the wardrobe discussion. Quoth Sager:
Yeah. I brought all sorts of different underwear that match my shirt. That’s the only thing I can do.
Anyway, my favorite part of the interview isn’t anything Craig Sager said. It was something Dan Steinberg said. Here’s a snippet (Steinberg is in bold):
The dunking mascots missed all of their dunks off the trampoline.
You’re not supposed to miss your dunks off the trampoline.
Well, see, I can give you perspective on that too, because I was [Willie] the Wildcat at Northwestern.
Of course you were.
No really, I just died from laughing so hard. Craig Sager, international pimp and appreciator of Lithuanian sexy women (is saying “Lithuanian sexy” redundant?) is talking about all kinds of shit and, just to show how he thoroughly out-awesomes you in every possible way, he tells you that, in addition to being married to a Luvabull and being too busy to pay attention to dunking mascots while he provides his earth-shattering commentary on athletic festivities, which is how he makes a living and is much cooler than whatever you do, he throws in that he was the mascot at Northwestern. To this, what other response could there be but, “Of course you were.”
I’m going to find a way to work “Of course you were” into my everyday conversation when possible.
I was the attorney who worked tirelessly to exonerate the innocent defendant with the help of newly discovered DNA evidence.
Of course you were.
I was really drunk and actin’ a fool at the Rockies game before they put me in the little self-contained jail within the bowels of Coors Field.
That first haircut thing didn’t happen last weekend.
Long story short (!) we ended up being super busy all weekend and the one day there could’ve been time for haircuts (for Soren and Ben) was spent doing other stuff around the house.
Toddler boys with long hair just kill me. It’s so cute! And rare, at least around here. Soren is the only toddler boy with long hair I ever see in real life. Every other boy his age has had like 57 haircuts already. As a tedious contrarian by nature, the more everybody does something, the more I want to do something else, and the same thing is happening with cutting my kid’s hair.
One of our weekend activities was a party where there were a bunch of kids and babies in attendance. Several of the kids referred to Soren as “she,” I assume because of the hair (he was wearing a vaguely patriotic “little firecracker” tank top and shorts — not “dressed like a girl” or anything).
I don’t know. I don’t want to turn my kid into a political statement about my hippie agenda or societal expectations about gender and have him suffer ill consequences as a result, but dammit, I love his hair. Even if I’m always running around pushing it out of his eyes (hey, if it gets much longer, it’ll go behind his ears and we won’t have to worry about that any more). Even if it gets all tangly and hard to comb after being washed, which has to happen pretty much every day because he’s going to get food in there (we share a bottle of detangler).
Just remember, kids: long hair does not equal girl.
My first haircut happened at a place called Chez Feminique (!) in Arlington Heights, Illinois on May 21, 1975. I was 4. Here is the page from my partially completed baby book commemorating the event. With the baby book is a Chez Feminique envelope containing a lot more hair. The fact that I have old hair from the 70s isn’t remarkable, but the amazing (to my dorky self) thing is that I held the hair up to Soren and his hair is the exact same color. That’s nuts!
(This post might not make much sense without the photos of Soren.)
I don’t care that family members think he looks like a girl. I don’t care that he sometimes is referred to as “she” when we’re out and about. Whatever. I don’t think he looks like a girl, wouldn’t care if he did, and who the hell still has an expectation that boys have short hair? Boys have whatever hair they want. Not that Soren is old enough to give a crap, but still.
In any event, Ben wants Soren to have a haircut and I suppose I’ve held out long enough. So there’s a good chance that, sometime this weekend, Soren will be going to Chez Benjaminique for his first haircut. (Ben cuts his own hair and he’ll cut Soren’s hair, and don’t worry, it won’t be a bowl cut.) I’ll save some of Soren’s hair and put it in his as-yet nonexistent baby book and maybe one day, a million years from now, he’ll get it out and hold it up to his kid’s head and be completely fucking blown away by how awesome it is.
Okay, feisty felines, I did it. I got bangs. This happened despite the fact that my better judgment and at least two very wise people told me not to do it. Sometimes what happens is that a girl gets a bee in her bonnet about doing something (that might be ill-advised) to her hair and once the snowball starts rolling there’s no stopping it until after it results in an avalanche that flattens the tiny, unsuspecting village below. Fortunately for me, this is the worst thing I’m going to do to my hair, which is really saying something when you consider the fact that I used to do things like (in chronological order) get perms, dump straight peroxide on my hair, get “lines” and elaborate designs cut into my hair, shave the underside of my head, dye my hair blue, dye my hair white with professional-grade products I don’t think I should’ve been allowed to buy until it actually started to turn green, and then shave it to the bone and give it a new start (just kidding on the last one, but that’s the course of action my dad has been recommending for years, right after he recommended playing “far far away” [my dad is awesome]).
I even went so far as to get the wrong bangs, the blunt ones that lay flat and make you look like an 8-year-old or a hipster. I think my bang-getting philosophy is along the lines of “go hard or go home,” so this is what I always do. I go hard and then I go home. And cry. No, I don’t really, but I did sort of pretend cry at the salon right after she started snipping. The woman who does my hair is super-awesome and has been through many years of bangs-getting, bangs-regretting, and bangslessness. My relationship with her is one of the bedrocks of my life in Denver, if you want to know the truth. If you have someone you trust with your hair, anything in life is possible. Right?
Anyway, a big part of the reason I made the leap is the fact that you guys voted for bangs here (this is true even though I voted “no” from two computers) and I promised I’d do it. I’ll have to keep this mechanism in mind the next time I have a decision to make. Should we have another kid? Vote here! (Just kidding. We’re not having another kid.) And also I realized that I look atrocious with no bangs and my hair up, which is how I wear it the vast majority of the time because I’m a lazy evening showerer, which means that if I want to do my hair in the morning it requires the straightening iron, which isn’t all that bad but most of the time I don’t really have that 15 extra minutes, or actually I do, but I’d rather spend it talking shit on the internet instead of standing in the tiny bathroom straightening my hair. (In our bathroom’s defense, it does have a stellar setup for hair straightening, because the mirror over the sink and the mirror on the medicine cabinet can be aligned such that you can perfectly see the back of your head, which actually is quite fantastic.)
I’m not sure about these bangs. I concurrently think they should be longer and sideswept, shorter, thicker, and nonexistent. Whatever I think, I better get used to bangs, because I’m going to have them for the next 57 years because that’s how long it takes to grow them out.
Song: Let Me Bang by DJ Deeon (Warning: This song is probably offensive to most people.)
Here is something from my old blog, written in 2007:
There are two types of women in the world.
I’m not saying that women aren’t incredibly complex, nuanced creatures, or that any particular woman fits into any neat and tidy category. Except this one.
There are women who need bangs, and women who don’t.
For whatever reason, I’ve long thought of myself as a woman who doesn’t need bangs. This dates back to my early twenties, when my haircut of choice was a bob, longer in front and shorter in back, no bangs. I’m not sure why I came to this conclusion, seeing as how I have, to put it kindly, an oval-shaped face (or not so kindly, a looooong face). Also, referring to my forehead as a fivehead is probably an understatement. It might qualify as a six-and-a-half head, but I still labored under the delusion that I am a woman who does not need bangs.
I have nothing against bangs, but I really, really hate having hair in or on my face. It’s really annoying, especially when working out, and I am not the headband-the-bangs-off-your-face type, even at the gym (I hate having anything around my head even more than I hate having anything on my face). I also have this fantasy that my quasi-wavy air-dried hair could look sort of beach-sexy disheveled when it gets a bit longer, and the thought of having good hair with almost no effort is very appealing. However, I hate wavy or curly hair with bangs.
Right now, I’m kind of in bang limbo. I’ve had bangs for a while now (I’m not sure what possessed me, but the second I got them I realized what an idiot I’d been to go without them for so long — apparently it takes me a while to learn). I’ve been growing them out, though, and now they’re sideswept bangs that are almost nonbangs, almost long enough to push behind my ear but not quite. This is the worst possible length for bangs to be — they’re always in my face and it drives me crazy. In just a few months, they should be long enough to stay out of the way. I’d be liberated from the bangs.
But then yesterday, cruel, cruel reality slapped me upside the fivehead. We were on our way home from the Nuggets game, and I was feeling bad about never taking any pictures. We also were stuck on Market Street in the most ridiculous traffic I have ever seen (a million people were out for St. Pat’s day, decked out in ill-fitting green t-shirts and sparkly Mardi-Gras-looking necklaces, being drunk and really, really annoying), so to entertain myself, I started taking pictures. The first problem with this is that Ben gets the goofiest look on his face every time he’s having his picture taken. The second problem is that in every shot, I looked like a Russian mail-order bride who had been held captive in someone’s basement for a year before escaping. If you think Tyra Banks has a fivehead, well, yeah, so do I. That thing took up the whole picture, dwarfing the rest of my face, and made me look like some kind of malnourished skeletor (I’m glad I didn’t look fat, but still, this is not appealing).
So the reality hit me right then. I am a woman who needs bangs. I will never again deny this ultimate truth. This Saturday, I will once again have bangs, real bangs, not bangs I just shove off to the side and wish they weren’t there. A while ago, I wrote about discovering my style icon, Jane Birkin. She will be my bang inspiration — I’m going all-out — thick, straight, not sideswept bangs.
I hope you all can learn from my mistakes. If your first response to this post was to think, “Ha, I don’t need bangs!” — are you sure? Really sure? I didn’t think I needed bangs — I thought they were nice, but I looked just as good without them. Not true. I bet most women look better with bangs than without, especially with hair up, because hair up, no bangs is not a look for everyone. Yes, bangs can be annoying — but I suppose I’d rather be annoyed by bangs than live the rest of my life looking like a “before” picture.
Okay, back to present day here. I went back through my photo archives and found the post-Nuggets, mail-order-bride photos from 2007. Here’s one of them. I know it’s not a good photo and this might be the least of my worries, but it’s the kind of picture you’d see on the internet and think, shit, that woman needs some bangs. It’s even worse in the crappy Hipstamatic picture I posted the other day, which is what got me thinking about this stupid issue again in the first place.
These are the kind of pictures you look at and say, oh, how sad for her that that’s going on with her hair, the poor thing. Here, have a hug and some scissors.
The problem is, as mentioned above, I hate having hair on my face. I hate it so much I’d rather look like, well, like I look. I know. It’s bad. And I like thick, blunt, Jane Birkin bangs. But I learned only recently that very thick, blunt bangs can make a long face look even longer. They also make me skew a little — I don’t know — Broncos fan who drinks a lot of terrible beer at bars like the Stumble/Float/Roll/Drift Inn (the kind of place you pass in the middle of nowhere while you’re going somewhere else and say hey, let’s just hang out at the Stumble/Float/Roll/Drift Inn instead of going to whatever super-awesome place you’re going, but you never actually hang out there, ever).
The other problem is that I sometimes have unfortunate bangs. I mean, seriously, what the shit is this? And I swear, this is not me taking an unwarranted opportunity to post a picture of me with Joe Sakic, because seriously, nobody in her right mind would want to post a picture of herself looking like this, Joe Sakic or not. Then there was the time I decided to trim my bangs after having too much to drink and while watching Kansas get eliminated from the NCAA Tournament the year I picked them to win the whole thing. This was during the mysterious dark-brown-hair years, and the result was less Bettie Page, more unfortunate baby-banged moonface girl who’s not even cool enough for roller derby no matter how much she might try.
Part of the problem, too, is that I think in general, bangs look better with dark hair than with blond hair (unfortunate non-roller-derby me excepted). But there are some blond women who look awesome with bangs. Reese Witherspoon, for example. Or Sarah Burke. I think I do okay with not-too-long, thickish, sideswept bangs, even in dorky pictures where Ben and I both look like we just smoked a big fatty outside my cousin’s wedding.
The other problem (Good lord, how many problems could there be regarding something as inconsequential as what I do with my stupid hair?) is that I’m not always sure about the intersection of bangs and glasses, and I wear glasses 99.99% of the time these days (because I like them and because glasses are the lazy woman’s eye makeup). And then there’s the fact that you have to, like, style bangs.
So I don’t know, internet. I hate having bangs and there’s a good chance they could go horribly wrong, but I kind of think I need them. If you’ve managed to read this whole thing, which is probably the most shallow, ridiculous thing I’ve ever spewed on the internet, I want your opinion and I will absolutely do what you tell me.