My first memory – a sincere desire to have long hair!
I have a couple of vague memories from the time when I was very little, maybe from the time I was only a baby (but hard to verify). Apart from those baby memories, I suspect that my first memories derive from the time when I was about four years old – as in the picture here to the left (where I was not recently cut but actually had a little length to my hair).
One of my very first memories/feelings concerned my sincere wish to have long hair instead of the short hair that I was forced to have. The British model Twiggy was popular at the time, and also her hair cut which was unfortunate for me.
The picture is from a wedding and I remember that there was another girl just like myself on that wedding. She was about the same age, and she was also blonde with blue eyes. The difference was that she did not have short hair like I did, but she had longer and a little curly hair. If I would be allowed to have longer hair, that is what my hair would have looked like. Still, at this time I did not care about hair color or even hair type. I just wanted longer hair!
Did I long for long hair just because other girls had long hair? No, I was not the only girl with short hair during this time in the end of the 1960’s, but then again there were also girls with long hair and I wanted to be like them. I believe that I naturally longed for long hair and that it would be my true wish even if every single girl around me had short hair.
Having hair long enough to be able to braid it or put it up in a pony tail would be too good to be true for me, and therefore I did not even consider it as a possibility. I felt that it was totally out of question so I only dared to dream about something within my reach; as in at least not having short hair. In shops I would sometimes see pretty things to wear in the hair but I knew that I could not even wear the smallest types of barrettes in my very short hair. I envied girls who wore various hair ribbons or barrettes.
After some time (after a visit at the hair dresser) my hair started to grow out a little and I remember how I liked to sit in the bath tub (we kids took a bath every Sunday …) with my hair dipped into the water so that I could feel it spread out, even if it was still very short. My hair grew each day but when I started to feel successively more content it was time for a visit at the hair dresser again together with my brothers, and I felt so depressed and sad after each visit. My brothers and I actually had a similar hair cut. I remember that I sometimes placed a cardigan on top of my head as a veil and pretended that it was my own really long hair that I felt on my back.
I just felt so unnatural and ugly. It did not help that my brothers and/or their friends occasionally teased me about being a boy. In order to compensate for my short hair I liked to wear skirts and dresses to feel more feminine, but I sadly did not have that many. I do not even remember owning or wearing a dress during those times, apart from the dress in the picture above. I do remember wearing a skirt occasionally, and I just hated wearing trousers which I had to wear from time to time. I complained to my mother that people would think I am boy with my short hair and trousers, but she did not believe me. However, it turned out that I was right about my fears.
I remember once when I went out shopping with my mother when she ran into an acquaintance who later in the conversation asked with reference to me: “What’s his name?”. I was really hurt that she thought I was a boy but how could someone blame her? I had short hair and I wore pants, so why would she not assume that I was a boy? For some reason my mother seemed to think that this woman should have known better.
Another time I sat with my brothers on the stairs in front of our little village shop, and a girl (maybe someone who knew one of my brothers) asked me if I was a boy or a girl. I replied “a girl”, whereupon she requested that I should sing to prove it (!). Just as though singing a tune would be able to prove my gender. I was hurt (and I did not sing for her). This girl apparently was allowed to have long hair, so why was I doomed to have short hair?
When I started school there were at least a couple of other girls who had short hair like myself, but not all girls had short hair. There was particularly one girl with very long hair and we told her how beautiful we thought her hair was. I do not think she cut he hair for the whole duration of our school years together …
There is a lovely picture of my mother at around the age of three, and she looks just like Shirley Temple with long curly hair partly tied up with a large bow, and she was wearing a lovely dress. I believe she was even holding a doll to top it off. How I wanted to look just like that! Maybe she grew up being tired of all the hair brushing, the hair ribbons, the dresses and the white socks that she had to wear. Maybe she wanted her own daughter to look more modern/casual and took the chance when the Twiggy movement came along.
I do not believe it is unnatural for girls to long for long hair. It is true that it is sometimes harder to maintain long hair when growing old when the hair becomes more fragile and gray, but that is another story.
1 Cor. 11:14 Doth not even NATURE ITSELF teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
Today our neighbors have one little boy and one little girl and both children have really long hair and look like girls. As far as I know, and from what I have heard myself, they are both called “boys” by their parents (unless they perhaps take turns and sometimes call them “girls”). It is more common today to be “gender neutral” towards children, but I do not believe this is beneficial for the children.
I believe it was the British super model Twiggy who influenced my mother and other mothers during this time to cut their hair short, as well as their daughters’ hairs. Twiggy apparently started a new phenomenon, but at least she had bangs which I did not have. In our family we even named our dog Twiggy. Later in life I had a daughter myself and I would not dream about cutting her hair short.