There are conflicting dialogues. One encourages people to be themselves and express themselves. One encourages people to fit the expectations other people have. Women’s hairstyles fit nicely into these conflicting ideologies.
2013 was the year of the pixie cut, if you Google “women short hair” the search page brings up pictures of celebrities sporting their short do. On the same page you can find a buzz feed list with all the things not to say to a woman with short hair (which is kind of humorous because I’ve heard a few of these.) There are also articles debating if women look attractive with short hair and they hit the extremes. In one article a man claims all women should have long hair because he won’t date or sleep with a woman with short hair. In another you can read about one woman’s personal journey after she got a short haircut. My favorite was a video blog by Cosmo with three people debating about how celebrities should style their hair and if they looked better before or after they cut their hair.
The common theme in all of the articles was focused on the appearance of women. There was debate about if celebrities looked good or not. There was debate about what a woman should look like. There was debate about what is feminine.
We encourage people to express themselves, be individual, and authentic yet there are so many dialogues defining what we should look and act like. Hearing and internalizing these dialogues means we will erase individuality and follow the trends and expectations set by others.
Unfortunately I don’t have a good answer to this. I wish I did. The best I can say is be brave enough to be you.