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Short Hair: Fashion Trend or Taboo?

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Short Hair: Fashion Trend or Taboo?

Picture it! A GIRL in her teens wearing basketball shorts, playing with vigor but every time she loses sight because of her hair, she thinks, "I wish I could cut them short". Back home she asks her mother "Mom, what if I just cut my hair a bit shorter", her mother replies " We let you play basketball, isn't that enough, now you want to cut your hair and lose the femininity left?"  


History Of Long Hair And Desirability 

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 The Victorian Era 
Photo Courtesy: Whizzpast

The Roman Culture

Roman civilization marks women with longer hair than men. During the Roman empire, women would spend a lot of time tending to their hair whereas men who would do the same, were considered to be effeminate.

The Victorian Era 

During the 1800 and 1900 women of the Victorian era preferred to keep their hair long as social conventions pointed towards women with long hair as docile and feminine. Women with long hair were considered to be desirable and also depicted their status and societal position making it the fashion trend then.

Girls could wear their hair down or make plaits but as soon as they would turn 16-17, they were expected to wear their hair up with accessories like a hat. The Victorian Era well defined or suited a girl's image with long and wavy hair as desirable and the ones with short hair were seen as poor or ill-mannered.

The Indian Culture

Diving deep into the sculptures of the Ajanta and Ellora caves, one concept is well sculpted throughout the caves, women are curvy and have long hair. Indian art promotes sexuality, femininity, and dutiful women with long hair.

Another major role in promoting long hair as a social acceptance in India is done by Bollywood, as Bollywood creates the latest fashion and trends, the desirable women are always adorned with long hair whereas negative characters would experiment with their hair by cutting them short.

Pre Conceived Notions About Women With Short Hair

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The gender symbol associated with hair is so profoundly engraved in the minds of the people that they have created preconceived notions about women who have or prefer to keep their hair short.  

Some of them being- 

  • Tom Boy- Women with short hair are often mistaken to be tomboys as short hair is a characteristic stereotyped for men. Hence, the latest fashion promoting short hair has always been detested by the people.
  • Overpowering and lack of understanding- A very nasty thought that passes the minds of the people when they see a woman with short hair is that 'this girl is not understanding, she has no feminine qualities and is not fit to date men'.  
  • Oh! She Must Have Made A Mistake- It is a common and probably the first thought that many come up with when they see girls with short hair 'Oh dear, don't worry it will grow again'. They assume that the girl/ woman has made a mistake by cutting her hair short and regrets it already.
  • Hair Problems- Another pre-conceived notion that if a woman has short hair then it is probably because she has some hair problems that have made her cut her hair.
  • Major Life Change Or Heartbreak- An atrocious assumption that rotates is that a woman generally cuts her hair short when she has undergone a heartbreak or is looking to break out of monotony.

We Are In The 21st Century, Is Short Hair Still A Taboo?

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Traveling back in time, it was World War I that changed the acceptable and latest fashion of long hair then, into a fashion of having hair that could be managed at workplaces as many women took to work to feed their families. 

Another Important year that uplifted the short hair trend was the 1920's when bob cut became famous amongst women forcing it to be an acceptable fashion trend

Standing in the 21st century, many still fight the taboo of women tending to short hair, the preconceptions still exist and the rudimentary thought process of 'women with long hair are beautiful' does spread like wildfire from one generation to another.

Celebrities  Who Have Short Hair!    

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Alexa Chung
Photo courtesy: the cut

1. Alexa Chung
2. Emilia Clarke
3. Katie Holmes
4. Friedo Pinto
5. Anne Hathaway
6. Rita Ora

How Can Women Break The Taboo!

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1. Own It! Flaunt It- It's important to let go off from the head that short hair is not meant for women, If you want to cut your hair short, go ahead and feel confident in it. People will get used to seeing and appreciating you with it!

2. Stop Explaining Your Decision- If you want short hair, then just get them don't think or try and explain to people around about why you want to get your hair short!

I Knock Fashion (Conclusion) 

It is clear that even though short hair runs in the latest fashion trends, and many celebrities and women around the world adorn the style with grace, yet the image that had been created since the Roman Empire of women having long hair to be desirable and beautiful still holds a strong and firm construction in the society.

I Knock Fashion urges the women to celebrate the choices they make and carry short hair or long hair with confidence no matter where they go.

Knock Down


Knock Up




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