“Fat girls aren’t ‘supposed’ to have short hair! People kept telling me for years, with varying degrees of tact, that it would make my face look too round, so I am eternally grateful for the hairstylist who finally did take the jump with me and hack all my hair off.
“I love, love, love my hair. Don’t let somebody else decide what you should or shouldn’t want to look like; your hair is yours, your body is yours, and you deserve to feel like a goddamn rock star every day, whatever that looks like for you.”
“‘Long hair is beautiful’ was something ingrained in me from a very early age, and with a relaxer my hair was long, wavy, and to many people around me, beautiful. But as I grew older, I slowly became disconnected from my relaxed hair. I started throwing around the idea of chopping off my hair to go natural, but I was told (in many different ways) that it would make me much less attractive.
“Since my hair is my business, I did it anyway, and I’m so glad I did! People might not like my shorter curls, but I do, and if I’m complimented on something I want it to feel like a part of me and not someone else’s narrow definition of beauty.”
“I shaved my head over the summer because it felt like the right time to do it, and doing it made me feel indisputably badass. I loved every part of it. Unfortunately when I returned home, my parents did not. My father said he thought I was turning into something frighteningly alien-like to him. My mother also told me that ‘women without hair are not beautiful.’
“As much as it hurt to hear them say that, we’re now at a point where we enjoy the limited time we have together when I visit them, and we don’t argue about trivial things like my hair.”
“I’d wanted to have a tongue piercing since forever, but I finally got it done when I was 23 and felt so badass that nine years later, I’m still very much in love with it. The rest of the world seems to disagree with me, though — my parents ask me every time they see me when I will remove it, I’ve had guys on first dates make jokes about how I probably love giving head because ‘you know, your piercing,’ and friends call me ‘the rebellious one’ when I’m, like, 0% rebel.
“Maybe some day I’ll get tired of it and remove it. Maybe I’ll die with it on as a 95-year-old lady. Who knows! All that matters is that I love it, and so does my dentist.”
“When I first went natural, a lot of people asked me, ‘Why’d you do that to your hair?’ Some would say things like, ‘You looked better with straight [chemically relaxed] hair.’ It stung, but not enough to make me consider straightening my kinky-curly hair again.
“Now, I’m 100% unbothered my people’s limited understanding of my Afro, and I honestly love it. (I’m kind of obsessed with it, actually.) It makes me feel beautiful, and I like that it’s big and thick and stands out wherever I go! Even when I’m quiet, I never have to worry about being forgotten or overlooked because my Afro makes quite the entrance.”
6. Augusta, Elaina, and Alanna
“I’m a lipstick person, and any color that makes my lips stand out against the rest of my face is a good one. Typically when I wear this color, I’ll get comments like ‘You look so intimidating with that lipstick on. Guys won’t want to talk to you at bars.’ Here’s my answer to that: IDGAF what dudes think of my makeup. I’m wearing this for me.”
“Every single time I wear my bubblegum pink lipstick, I get comments about looking like Barbie, or things along the lines of ‘that’s… bright.’ SO? I LIKE IT. It makes me feel like a little fairy princess hopping along in this sometimes dreary-ass world.” —Elaina
“I have a standard makeup routine, but sometimes you want to throw yourself and the world a curveball. Enter: blue lipstick. Once I wore it in a BuzzFeed video and some dude commented that I was a ‘SJW freak,’ which is quite a lot of information to glean from a three-second clip!” —Alanna
“I’ve been told many times that I shouldn’t part my hair down the middle because my face is too round. But since my hair naturally parts down the middle, I spent a lot of my early twenties trying to figure out how to rock a dramatic side part without looking like that one dog from Lady And The Tramp who is good at singing but not very good at seeing out of more than one eye at a time. I get it, a side sweep looks good — I just wish sometimes it were OK to let my hair just be hair and not try to turn it into a skirt with a high-leg slit that I need to be able to see out of.”
“Pretty much since high school my dad has been employing the phrase, ‘I know you work really hard to look unattractive.’ The thing is, I just want to look like me. Even if that means that ‘me’ resembles an androgynous John Hughes character, which is kind of what I have going on at the moment. I’ve never been comfortable with the overtly girly, and no amount of goading from my dad is ever going to change that.”
“I’ve been wearing glasses for the past 10 years. I usually wear them during the week or when I run out of contacts. Once, I was getting my nails done and the manicurist asked me to take my glasses off. As soon as I did, she said, ‘Wow! You could actually be hot if you didn’t wear glasses.’
“I wasn’t offended, I just thought her reaction was a bit dramatic. I like my glasses, and I’ll keep wearing them even if they make me look ‘less hot.’”
“I’ve worn my hair long and down around my face since middle school because I was self-conscious about my round face and cheeks, and to this day, everyone still tells me I look better with my hair long and down. But the thing is, I get ready in about seven minutes and give zero fucks about doing my hair. I’m normally running out the door rocking a fresh-outta-the shower, wet bun updo, even though I’ve been told it’s ‘sloppy’ and makes me look about 12. Last time I did adult things with the sloppy wet bun, a physician’s assistant asked me how school was going. As in high school.
“I’m still working on fully embracing my face, not hiding behind my hair, and not worrying about what people think…but I’ve also decided to own the high school thing and try to milk the shit out of student discounts.”
“Guys have told me they thought my hair in a low bun looks too ‘masculine,’ but I couldn’t care less. I wear my hair like this almost every day. It’s easy, and it makes me feel like a boss.”
“I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard that middle parts just don’t work for people with round faces — I’ve even gotten that it makes me look ‘extra Asian.’ In the past, I’d try one out every few months and then decide I couldn’t pull it off, but honestly, now I think that anyone can pull off anything. It’s totally up to you how it makes you feel — your body belongs to no one else!”
“Growing up in a predominantly white area, my multiracial curly hair was often perceived as messy, dirty, or plain ugly. Straightening my hair made the difference between being followed in stores, teased, and called names, versus being treated like a person. But a few years into college, my hair was so damaged that I knew I couldn’t keep up with straightening it anymore.
“I love my hair now, and having it look so beautiful is a big ‘fuck you’ to everyone who made me feel like deviating from a silky-haired beauty standard made me ugly. My hair is a signifier of my blackness, and THAT is beautiful.”
For more no-fucks-given inspiration, check out 13 Women Show Off Their Most Unflattering Outfits.
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