Thank you, Katie! What an articulate and smart examination of what is and is not happening when we shave our heads.
I shaved my head completely bald down to the skin in 2000 to celebrate a big milestone in my life. It changed my life. It made me very, very, VERY visible in a way I wasn’t prepared for but somehow welcomed.
While I’ve grown my hair back out (mostly), I keep the left side either buzzed down into a tight crew cut or shaved completely to the skin.
Still over the years I’ve taken it all off again from time to time. And without fail that sense of being so incredibly uncovered, of renouncing the expectations of a society which values things I don’t, is almost magical. And being 61 years old and still doing it, yeah, not what women my age are “expected” to be doing.
I’m really glad you parsed the false equivalency with the masculine, debunking the notion that doing this is a bid to access male privilege and power.