Humans are great at hiding. If all the species played hide-and-go-seek, the bears would have hibernation skills, the lizards would have camouflage skills, and the humans would have an arsenal of avoidance skills. We can’t change colors to blend in, so we hide behind our bodies, our situations, and our excuses.
I’m proud of my strength. I have big muscles that do big things. But at times I worry about looking too strong or too tough. I grew my hair out like a curtain, thinking that being one of those girls with long, loose curls would take the edge off.
Reality check: I don’t even know how to use a curling iron.
My long hair lived in a sweat-soaked braid shoved under bike helmets or in a mop on top of my head. But it was my “girly.”
We all hide behind something; hiding is easier than accepting who we are, where we are in life, honoring our fears, and holding ourselves accountable for our actions. Many women hide behind their weight and subconsciously hold onto a fitness level that disappoints them. Gaining strength and that sense of accomplishment radiates beyond the gym, which can be a nerve-wracking game changer. How would your interactions and relationships change if you felt like a stronger woman? What would you do differently if you proceeded with pride and confidence? These thoughts alone can be terrifying, much less acting on them, so we avoid them altogether with another chocolate chip cookie and a side of excuses.
I went into the salon and told her to cut it all off. Cut off every inch of my fear-filled attempt to “tone it down.” I am a strong woman, I look like a strong woman, and it was time to let that radiate throughout my life. I am no less “girly” without ten inches of hair, and any interactions that perish because of my appearance were insincere, flashes in the pan. There’s certainly an adjustment period (the percent of doors being held open for me has dropped exponentially, good thing I have my own biceps), but every time I feel through my pixie cut is a reminder that I can no longer hide, and I am presenting myself just as I am.
When we pause to ask ourselves, we know what we hide behind. It’s not easy to accept and address the curtains we’ve put up, but you deserve more than being a hide-and-seek champion. Take a step outside your shadow; go cut it all off.