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[warning: it gets deep towards the end of the post]

I just got really tired of paying people to ruin my hair. I think I picked up this habit from my best friend, Ann. She’s been cutting her hair ever since I met her and it just never occurred to me to actually give into my impulsive tendencies and cut my hair when I want to. The thing is, I don’t think I’ve gotten a single decent haircut since 2013. It’s just never exactly the way I want it to be. Well, they weren’t THAT bad, I think. My past haircuts were livable but I’ve never had that feeling you’re supposed to get after you get a good haircut. You know… that rush of going out of a salon feeling super pretty and strong like you could conquer the world and launch a thousand ships. None of that, at least since I started college. I don’t think it has anything to do with college, to be honest. It was a series of bad haircuts and bad decisions on my part.

This is my second time cutting my own hair. The first one, I posted on instagram (1,2,3) in the form of a three-part video. Saying that I’ve always wanted to cut my hair this short would be an understatement but I never got the courage to do so because whenever I researched online or asked my friends and family if I should, I’d always hear the same thing. “Aria, you have a round face, your face is going to look even bigger if you cut your hair that short.” And, I’ve always believed that.

I’m not sure what was so different this time or why I decided to cut my hair anyway despite everyone discouraging me to do so. Maybe, it’s just my tendency to do exactly the opposite of what people tell me to do. Maybe, I was trying to prove a point. Maybe, it was scrolling through the Mathilda Leon tag on tumblr that made me do it but I’m now too busy loving how this haircut looks on me to even think about why I did it.

Point is, it’s important to listen to the people around you especially when you’re young but ultimately, when you’re a grown man/woman, you will know what is best for you. You and no one else. Nobody knows you better than you know yourself. Do what you want as long as it doesn’t jeopardize the goals you have set for yourself in the future. It’s just hair. It will grow back.

Schools in the Philippines often have very restrictive haircut and hair color policies. I personally get what they are trying to do or prove but I don’t agree with it. What is up with older people shaming teenagers with colored hair, tattoos and piercings? Why keep a student from getting the education they paid for just because of their hair color choices or the way they dress? I kid you not, I’ve heard cases in which some people get suspended for three weeks for having blue hair or boys getting suspended for having a haircut that’s a bit longer than usual and people being kept from their classes (or marked absent) for wearing black jeans instead of black pants or black sneakers instead of formal leather shoes and it was an ART COLLEGE. Shaming is such a big part of the filipino culture whether we admit it or not. I cannot wait for our generation to be in charge. I have great hope for us. I hope we get to be the generation that will surpass the gender, religion and race barriers. Our baby boomer parents may not understand us and how we see the world, no matter how much they love us, but we must not lose hope for we are going to be in charge one day and we will be full of love and understanding. They can make fun of us for our microagressions (which, i agree, could be bad), social activism, third wave feminism, non-homophobic and non-transphobic ways but they cannot take our future away from us. A (hopefully) cruelty free future where people know the right pronouns.