Hair

Hair is more important in society than you might think. If you or I see a woman with a shaved head, or a man with hair down to his feet in a braid, we would automatically think, "rebel." There are very defined images of exactly what a "normal" person should look like. Males have short hair, women have long hair, or if their hair is short, it is layered, poufy, and feminine. (Whatever feminine is.)

Hair is also somewhat important in matters of therianthropy from my point of view. As Swift notes, "My first shifts with short hair were much more satisfying than the ones before." Swift didn't cut her hair short to broastcast herself as a jaguar to the rest of the world. However, the styling of hair can bring satisfaction to personalized therianthropy. If hair is long, it's more soft-looking, covering, more feminine I suppose, and more hiding and protecting than the bare look of short hair.

I, personally, don't find long hair to be "feline;" more specifically, I am biased toward this length because it reminds me more of fur. But there is baggage that comes with women and short hair.

Insular people often assume that a female with short hair is butch, a lesbian, an outsider, a transsexual. They don't assume that the bearer of said hair is not human. Short hair, no matter how feline it may seem to me, is considered human enough to the outside world. There are difficulties enough with the way I get along in the normal world already, and my hair is very long right now. I am filled with doubt: should I cut my hair, fulfilling my own wishes, or should I keep it long, hiding my true self? It isn't really the hair that matters, since this is a purely personal thought. However, to broaden my point, often it seems that animal people have wishes that go against the norm.

I will cut it. No matter what everyone else says: my friends insist on how terrible I would look, my mildly conservative parents might raise an eyebrow. However, it isn't as if anyone is actually stopping me from cutting my hair. Mere cowardice prevents me from actually going out and doing it this minute. The concerns of many people in my community mean nothing to me in this case. I will be more me with short hair, and though long hair is more socially accepted, I am a cat. The majority's opinion means little to me, and I have my own mind.

Though unspoken social taboos and such forbid it, I will practice a quiet civil disobedience. I will cut my hair: and who you are, where you are, it is critical to remember that (though this phrase is oft-repeated) perhaps you should just be yourself.

N.B.: Yes, I know Swift has written an essay on the same subject matter. She was interested to know my twist on the subject, and I have full permission--indeed, encouragement--to write and publish the previous paragraphs.

—Quil
6.1.04

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