Is hair just hair? To this day, that is the question I struggle with daily. Society has led us to believe that men will only love us if we have long, flowing locks. We even have stereotypes on hair color. Can brunettes not have more fun and can redheads not have a brain fart every now and again? Society has branded hair as the image of beauty, power, intellect and, sadly, self-confidence. Five years ago I was diagnosed with Alopecia Areata. Alopecia is an autoimmune disease.
The first time I heard the words, " Fat girls can't have short hair ," I was sitting at a salon in Medellin, Colombia. I was 15, and recovering from an eating disorder. I was starting to gain back the weight I'd lost, and because I felt like a "new me" was starting to creep out of the baggy layers, I wanted a new haircut as a personification of the journey — one that felt both literal and metaphorical in equal measure. But the stylist wasn't having it. Or, "You need long hair in order to hide those cheeks. At the time, that was enough to discourage me.
Enjoying the warm morning sun. A vacation in Tenerife was just what I needed. A week away from a stressful few months at work.