Kathy Sundstrom feels woman with short hair can be princesses too.
Kathy Sundstrom feels woman with short hair can be princesses too.

OPINION: Are women expected to have long hair?

COMMENT BY KATHY SUNDSTROM: FORGET the burqa, I want to have an honest and open debate about women and long hair.

And why there is still, in this 21st Century, post women's lib era, the impression women are more womanly if their hair at least touches the shoulders.

I also want to know why it is that no fairy princess ever has had short hair.

Look at them all over time, Cinderella, Snow White - heck even Fiona (from Shrek) had long locks.

This creates the impression amongst little children (ask me, I have one), that all woman, particularly those who aspire to be a princess, have to have long hair.

I haven't had long hair for more than half my life.

Because of this I have had people make assumptions about my sexuality, my marital state and all sorts of irrelevant stuff.

And every time I have my hair cut, there is one little adorable six-year-old kid who says to me "Kathy, why do you look like a boy?".

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This is even though it is clear I have mammary glands, I wear large earrings and carry a handbag, not a man bag.

I don't blame him, in his view the defining characteristic of a woman is her long hair.

It's not only kids who feel this way.  My own dad was in this boat and might explain why I haven't been able to grow my hair beyond the scruffy look for more than two decades.

When I was a child, I wasn't allowed to cut my hair.  It was so long, I could sit on it.

About a year after he died, when I was 10, I cut it off.

I did grow it again in the next 10 years, but never to the lengths of my childhood.

I'll confess, there are moments when I long for long hair and the ability to tie it up when it's hot and let it flow when it's cold.

But it doesn't suit me, ask my mum!

A few months ago, I bought a wig and put a picture on Facebook of me with and without (longish) hair.

Most people, I'll have to say, thought short was the better look.

Sadly, this still doesn't translate to opinion in the eyes of six-year-old and this was clearly apparent with my daughter's stick-like paintings of the family.

There I was, with long hair! 

I asked her who was the woman with long hair and she said it was me, because I wasn't allowed to be a boy in her drawings.

I wonder how many people still think long hair is a woman's "glory"?

And I wonder how many women are held to this by some kind of religious belief? 



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