“It looks…different” said my ex-boyfriend, upon seeing that I’d cut off my shoulder-length dark hair into a shorn look inspired by Michelle Williams and the never-ending encouragement of my already pixie-cut friend Hannah. Different? “No shit?” I replied. Of course it looked different. It was different by six inches. He followed with another classic: “I just can’t believe you cut it. It’s gone.”
Change is hard. I get it. But hair grows back, and it’s a style choice in the same way a tee-shirt or a piercing is. I’m among what seems to be a small constituent of people who think that a short haircut on a girl isn’t shockingly unnatural. My mom had a pixie cut in college, blown out and big from the winds of the ’80s. Women in the ’50s sported shorter bee-hived coifs, taken up from the chin-length bob that was essential in the ’20s and ’30s. So what’s with our new obsession with less-than-luscious locks? And why does Miley Cyrus’ now-amputated bun have its own twitter account?
Currently, 23,000 people are following Miley’s Bun, a parody account in tribute to her new haircut. While the idea is hilarious, the real horror displayed by emotional fans on Twitter is kind of disturbing. From comparing her hair to a dead rat to homophobic slurs, it seems that no one has something nice or normal to say about her head.
Perhaps it’s just social media that heightens the backlash on the pixie. But I can’t help but notice that it went from a normal, en vogue look that Audrey Hepburn sported to what many ignorant people associate with being a lesbian. It’s a pigeonholing stereotype, just like anything else associated simply with someone’s physical features.
I’m not saying pixie cuts look great on everyone, or that they tend to be worn in a more daring fashion. It’s cool that they’ve become so diverse, from shaved patches to classic shags. But in the end, hairstyle isn’t a signification of gender, sexual orientation or going insane, as many have cited as the reason for Miley’s haircut. It’s just hair. Calm down.