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okay. so.

jumbled thoughts loosely based on the stereotypical discussion. it's late, so this could get scary.

first, i am irritated that i feel as though i really have to make a t-shirt that says "I'M STRAIGHT!" when doing things as mundane as shopping for home furnishings [no offense of course, kt. i would TOTALLY date you if i (we) were into that]. or even just talking about my friends, for that matter. i'm more of a "know a few people deeply" person as opposed to a "know a lot of people vaguely" person. and i am generally much closer with girls than guys. can you see where this is going? so, for instance, at my workplaces, i've sometimes felt a little uneasy, wondering if talking about weekends and events and movies spent mainly with girl friends and female roommates are throwing any red flags to my audience. i mean, i'm not married, and it's not like i've ever talked about any boyfriends, right? stupid sexualized society.

second, are people really so confused to see short hair on the female form? hello? apparently this only became normal in the last few years. all i know is that it only seems like the older folk [the people at the post office, especially. WHAT THE HELL IS UP WITH THE PEOPLE AT THE POST OFFICE??] get thrown off by the short hair. younger folk not so much [certain high schoolers excluded]. honestly... barely ever

two thoughts keep surfacing when i tread the short hair question: 1) wouldn't it just be easier to grow it out and not deal with the misperceptions?, and 2) HELL NO, I LOVE HAVING SHORT HAIR.

okay. so. short hair is a non-negotiable for the time being. which brings up two more thoughts: 1) does this scare / confuse / turn off the single guys?, and 2) HEY, IT'S THEIR LOSS.

yep, you guessed it, two more thoughts: 1) the right guy is going to  look past the outer appearances  be intrigued by  like me in spite of  love me because of who i am [and how that translates to my appearance], and 2) seriously, what am i, delusional? am i just kidding myself?

no one has yet to show interest -- uh, like, ever -- so at least i know it's not just the hair. not that that's totally comforting when i really step back and think about it. and, of course, some of you may be thinking well, you can show interest too, you know. i know times have changed since i was in high school, and it's pretty normal for gals to ask guys out now. but i don't think that will be happening here anytime soon: chalk it up to a little old-fashionedness and a life of unspoken rejection. quite frankly, my thoughts go somewhere along the lines of who the hell would want the ugly girl hitting on them? [how's that for a little 2am self-disclosure?] now, this is not a manipulative plea for compliments and assurance. i'm just being realistic here. by the standards of society-at-large: i. am. not. very. attractive. the occasional 'sir' at the post office [i'm really starting to hate that place] or grocery store serves only to confirm this. the thing is... i'm pretty okay with it. i like who i am and who i am becoming. and if there is indeed someone out there for ol' mdog, then none of this garbage is going to matter much. i will be seen for who i am, not what i look like.

that 'if', though... it can really bother me some days.


[okay. so. male bloggentators: is short hair on women intimidating? i realize this is a sweeping generalization. intentionally so.

feel free to bloggentate without answering the pop quiz. it will not be graded. i'm just curious.]

Posted on Saturday, October 29, 2005 at 02:28AM by Registered Commentermdog | Comments32 Comments

Reader Comments (32)

I definitely wouldn't call short hair on women intimidating. Generally though, I prefer longer (not freakishly long) hair, but that's kinda like I prefer brunettes to blondes. So, would I date a blonde with short hair? I sure would. You know any?
Oct 29, 2005 at 11:46AM | Unregistered CommenterJared
gosh, i sure thought you were pretty when i met you, but that's neither here nor there since i wouldn't date you, i guess. ;)
have to say that the guys who openly admit they are attracted to me kinda freak me out (most recently being this past weekend at my friends' wedding)
i think it's highly possible that you could come off as intimidating to some guys. you're a very self-possessed, intelligent, confident and yes, attractive, woman. quite a few guys i know are intimidated by that. but the one who sees your true pretty & witty nature will be one lucky guy.
hey, i'm pushing 27 & still waiting on it myself. remember the whole 25 discussion we had last year? ;) just remember to be happy in who you are in the here and now. it's harder for me some days than others, but my friends (girls mostly) do help me to see that.
Oct 29, 2005 at 05:40PM | Unregistered Commentermar
move into a city.
Oct 30, 2005 at 03:00AM | Unregistered Commenterrachel
i like rachel's comment.
Oct 30, 2005 at 11:57AM | Unregistered Commenterjoy
Oct 30, 2005 at 01:07PM | Registered Commentermdog
I agree with Mar -- I think the key is being happy with yourself and your surroundings just as they are. Or being happy despite it, depending how much you hate your surroundings, I guess.

A male friend of mine once told me that he hated how all the girls he was attracted to already had boyfriends. And he reasoned that this was because those were the girls weren't giving off the desperation vibe that guys seem to find oh-so scary.
Oct 30, 2005 at 07:13PM | Unregistered CommenterDanielle
just from my own personal journey, i'm finally coming into a time where i truly feel sexy and attractive, and i find myself choosing/wearing sassy clothes and strutting around feeling really good about myself. and i'm starting to get attention..

my point though is that it started on the inside, not the outside. the desire to be more attractive the opposite sex is manifesting itself in me by wearing flirtier (but not hussy) clothes, letting my hair grow and flounce around, making eye contact, etc. it has NOT been natural for me and, honestly, for years i DIDNT want the attention.

i'm not saying you should change, just sharing some of the things that i am relating to with what you have said and what i am going through at the moment.
Oct 30, 2005 at 09:47PM | Unregistered Commenterlana
I agree with Lana. Feminine clothes, make up, perfume, etc. Now, don't get me wrong. I feel pretty girly even in sweatpants...wait, I am opposed to sweatpants. Um, jeans and a t-shirt? ANyway, I don't need that stuff to feel pretty.sexy/attractive. BUT! It helps! And it definitely communicates femininity. I guess the thing is...if you don't wear that kind of stuff and you're totally fine with how you look and feel and how people respond to you, then great. But, it seems like you are somewhat unhappy about this stuff. Maybe try some of this out and see if you like it?

Also...hair length has very little to do with whether whether it comes off as girly, feminine or manish or androgenous or whatever. Cut/style/texture are also very important. You can still have short hair, but maybe something softer or styled in a more feminine way. It is definitely not just length.

There's my two cents.
Oct 31, 2005 at 12:00PM | Unregistered Commenterjessi
to all.

here's the thing: i'm fine with my wardrobe. i'm fine with my hair [re: 'I LOVE HAVING SHORT HAIR', above]. i'm fine not wearing makeup, i'm fine not painting my toenails. etcetera, etcetera.

point #1: i am not pretty. even if i was into makeup and was all uber-girly, it wouldn't really matter. revlon can't change genetics. i am okay with this. no point worrying about something you can't change.

point #2: i'm comfortable with me [re: 'i like who i am and who i am becoming']. what i'm uncomfortable with is the wondering: are there guys out there who really do appreciate a no-frills, below-average-looking kinda gal who, in all other respects, is pretty damn amazing? if there are, yay. if there aren't, well, i should get used to singledom because this is simply who i am. for me to change would be to deny myself. i wouldn't be me anymore. i've heard many guys swear up and down that they prefer a natural look, but usually it's only in theory. and i cannot stand theories.
Oct 31, 2005 at 12:46PM | Registered Commentermdog
I would be very happy to have either of my boys marry you. You are an amazing person. Would you consider waiting 5 or 7 years until they are legal?
Oct 31, 2005 at 12:54PM | Unregistered CommenterMiss Mary
your boys are incredible, miss mary. i would certainly consider that. be sure to send me a graduation invitation, and that will be my reminder. :)
Oct 31, 2005 at 12:57PM | Registered Commentermdog
mdog, i don't know what your gauge of beauty is, but all this "i'm not pretty" talk sounds like a lot of self-deprication, and i'm not buying it. it sounds like you've convinced yourself that you're not pretty, and you're not going to let anyone dissuade you from that idea...which is a real shame, because i don't think it's true. and i, for one, would like to see you try convincing yourself that you're beautiful for a while...and see how that works out for you.
Oct 31, 2005 at 01:51PM | Unregistered Commentergeoff
You *do* carry yourself in a confident manner....which from a distance, without the swing of hips and bounce of feminity, seems masculine. This only confuses the issue of your hairstyle and fashion choices.

But your smile will win anyone over. You're right that people have to look deper than the surface to see the amazing women inside. ANd Rachel's right. In the city (my city here), it's actually becoming the thing to have short (often spiky) hair. In my church, too. So go with it..be ahead of the mid-west, behind-the-times style.
Oct 31, 2005 at 02:16PM | Unregistered CommenterVal
i'm with geoff, mdog. everyone is beautiful in their own way. just because society dishes us its crapload of ideals for beauty doesn't mean we have to fall for it. i know for a fact that there are guys out there who are looking for no-frills girls. even guys who date girls who take 20 minutes (or more) in the morning to do their hair and makeup don't necessarily go in for all of that. my boyfriend tells me repeatedly that i could leave the house without a stitch of makeup and i'd be as beautiful as i think i am with it on. i don't necessarily agree . . . but i, like you, have never found myself to be altogether attractive. the fact that he finds me to be so astounds me.

you don't have to change your hair or wear makeup or paint your toenails or wear girlie clothes to be sexy. being who you are and loving yourself is what people (men or women) will gravitate to. if you are comfortable with you, they will notice. and it sounds to me like you are.

so forget all of the ignorami who don't realize that short hair on women doesn't equal lesbianism. hell, i have shoulder-length hair, but because most of my close friends are women and i'd been single for so long, i felt that people were making the same assumption about me. those folks just need to broaden their horizons and grow up.

you. are. beautiful. god says so. (and, for what it's worth, so do i.)
Oct 31, 2005 at 02:23PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
Maria, I hope you feel cared for as we post these comments, and not like we're attacking your vulnerability.

Here's a question: do you think you would feel differently about all of this if you had a boyfriend? I ask because while it is possible that you would, it is also possible that the issue is deeper and more ingrained. Example: I am one of those people who fluctuate when it comes to body image. Sometimes I think I am one of the hottest woman I know when you consider everything from head to toe, brain and charm included... and in those times, I truly believe that and other times, I feel like a bloated beached whale. When I was single, I thought having a boyfriend would solify in my brain that I am, in fact, attractive. Well, I have an amazing boyfriend who does a very good job of telling me I'm hot stuff (not emphasizing it overly, but verbalizing his appreciation on a consistent basis). Guess what: I still have days where I absolutely hate myself because of a number on a scale.

I think it's just important to consider that the questions you're asking like "Aren't there any guys out ther who appreciate a girl who is low maintenence?". The answers to the questions are irrelevant until the root of the problem is discovered. Because the people at the post office will probably call you "sir" even if you have a boyfriend. If that bothers you now, dear lady, then it will probably bother you then, too.
Oct 31, 2005 at 03:18PM | Unregistered Commenterjessi
>>Guess what: I still have days where I absolutely hate myself because of a number on a scale.

precisely why i don't own a scale!
Oct 31, 2005 at 04:18PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
geoff - you're right, it's going to be hard to dissuade me from this idea. because to me it's not so much self-deprecation as much as simple fact. yeah, maybe i'm wrong, but that's how i see it. also, i consider "beautiful" as different from "pretty". "beautiful" i don't find hard to believe for me. "pretty" is something different altogether. all that being said... thanks.

val - i am SO TRYING to shed this light in the midwest. it's slow going. thanks.

amo - "being who you are and loving yourself is what people (men or women) will gravitate to. if you are comfortable with you, they will notice." see, that's what i really believe. THE THING IS: no male [NONE, ZIP, ZILCH] has noticed in twenty-six years, so what am i supposed to make of that? some days it's just harder to believe than others. some days it's damn near impossible. again, all that being said... thanks.

jessi - hell, i feel differently about this by the hour. i don't know how i would feel about it if i had a boyfriend. and i don't by any means see having a boyfriend as a panacea or anything. i'm not desperate, and i rather enjoy being single for the most part. and yes, the people at the post office will still bother me, but i don't think it's irrational to be bothered by that. seriously, that's just not okay... but i think it's largely a generational thing. a large part of these doubts, this entry, my outlook, the "root of my problem" is that NOT. EVER. IN. MY. ENTIRE. LIFE. has any male shown interest in me. EVER. no cute notes. no dates. no kisses. no hand holding. ever. ever. and it is utterly impossible to describe how this feels as a twenty-six-year-old unless you have been in this situation. in which case, description is not needed since you'd already know. there is no parallel. at any rate... thanks.
Oct 31, 2005 at 04:22PM | Registered Commentermdog
at least, none of them have had the guts to show interest. never assume that no one's interested . . .
Oct 31, 2005 at 04:32PM | Unregistered Commenteramo
to me, that's neither here nor there: SHOWN is, in fact, the operative verb in my sentence. i have no proof. no evidence. can you even imagine how this feels?

i don't do theories. which is why i'm finding it so hard to believe my own.
Oct 31, 2005 at 04:35PM | Registered Commentermdog
So I am going to cautiously weigh in here. I was going to do this anonymously, but changed my mind. Mdog (and other readers who know me) please understand the context of my words...a happily married man.

Mdog, I would have asked you out if I was not married, was 10 years younger, and we were not in our current "relationship" (meaning my work). You are a great person. I chime in with Geoff. And looks, beauty, whatever you want to call it really is subjective. There are guys who will not find you attractive. Okay. But there are guys who will find you attractive. Really. (And for the record...my personal preference is long, dark hair-- but I have dated two women in the past who had short hair...and one had blond spikey hair just like yours!)

Now, the question of why these guys don't ask you out... well... that is good to reflect on. Glad you are doing it. Just don't become bitter as you do it!

I don't know your past... how you have related to guys in the past... but I've never really noticed how you interact with guys. Maybe now I will watch more carefully! It might be an interesting thing to find out if you are sending off any signals that would put someone off.

Where I agree that you can't change (and shouldn't want to change) who you are... there are things that we all do that might send signals. Body language, shyness, dress and yes, even hair! But if someone is put off by your dress, hair, etc... than you can either change it... or if you like it and it's a part of who you are... accept that you don't want a guy who would be put off by that!

I know several single people right now that I'm pretty close with. All of them (most of them?) struggle with these issues in some form or another. I'm not sure this is as much about looks as it is about confidence, self perception and opportunity.

So... I am really glad we are becoming friends. My wife and I both think you are great. I'm a lousy cupid so I won't set you up.. but I would like to watch "I love the 80's 3D" with you sometime.
Oct 31, 2005 at 10:52PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
i held the belief that my weight shouldn't matter to a guy, that he should look past it, it was who i was and he needed to be mature enough..

but hell, i'm attracted to a hott body so why wouldn't a guy be attracted or not attracted to me based on the relative shape of my body .. so i had to let go of the fact that i was holding on to some kind of obstinence that it was about a guy changing, not me..

i reckon that fishermen use shiny lures to get their fishies attention.. why not me??
Oct 31, 2005 at 10:53PM | Unregistered Commenterlana
Great, now men are like fish. I'm going to try not to take offense at that, but only because there's some truth to it. Unfortunately though, there seems to be some level of deception at work in the whole dating scene. I often debate (usually just with myself, which is funny because I do so out loud) whether this fishing lure idea is really deception or just advertisement. As we all know, there's a fine line between the two. It is important to broadcast how good something is, so that the receiver of the message will take a closer look. However, I think too many women put way too much effort into their lures, so much that they mask what would really be attractive to men.
Nov 1, 2005 at 08:22AM | Unregistered Commenterjared
Amen Jared
Nov 1, 2005 at 11:15AM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
hey, marketing was my second major. you won't find any false advertising here. and i myself get distracted by shiny things, so that would just compound the problem.

i'm concluding that i'm either 1) impatient, 2) stubborn, or 3) delusional.
Nov 1, 2005 at 12:24PM | Registered Commentermdog
paul - i think it's awesome that you have validated mdog in a way that her female friends are not able to. i wish more brothers were able to build up their sisters in such a way.. we sooo need to hear feedback sometimes!

jared - sorry if my flippant remark offended you. i suppose that i too have some "bitter reflections" as paul put it. i have been disregarded by men because of the outside package, even though i have striven to be a proverbs 31 kind of gal in my person. but what i have realized is that i need to work on my outside as well, not just my inside, because people are affected by what they see visually. we are a people made by God, in the image of God, who is perfect, magnificent, and... beautiful. we are "programmed" to react to beauty, true beauty which is also on the outside.

it reminds me of a year ago when i got a new hairstyle. now, i thought the one i had before was good, but i let my hairdresser go for it, and she gave me a more modern "do". i was amazed at how many of my students, coworkers, and even parents approached me and thought it looked great. were they being superficial? i don't think so. they were reacting to something that brought out more beauty in me.

i understand what you mean by "lure" and it really shouldn't have been used flippantly. i do, however, believe that men respond visually, and if a single female wants to attract a mate, she needs to do things that are attractive.

Nov 1, 2005 at 09:22PM | Unregistered Commenterlana
no real offense taken. although i'm not entirely sure this whole proverbs 31 woman thing is all that the church makes it out to be. my understanding is that this is a passage of wisdom given from a mother to her son, and like much of proverbs, there is much wisdom in it, but it is hardly the law of God. for example, in verse 7, she says, "let [the poor] drink and forget their poverty and remember their misery no more." this hardly seems like a hard and fast rule from God, or even wisdom from my perspective. so, there's certainly something to the ideals for women laid out in proverbs 31, but this is far from the full picture of what God designed women to be. that said, it is good that you seek to be all that God has made you to be.
Nov 2, 2005 at 08:18AM | Unregistered Commenterjared
Another Amen for Jared. Man, that is a couple of good ones from you buddy. So let's go drink and forget our poverty. (That was your point, right?)

Wow, mdog, your honest post really evoke quite a conversation. Thanks for being vulnerable.
Nov 2, 2005 at 11:41AM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
I have to pipe up one more time. This is mostly directed toward Lana's comments. Back to the weight thing. I have been all over the boards in terms of how I have seen this issue. I am not grossly overweight and am actually pretty athletic, but I am definitely a big girl...tall, broad shouldered, and a little pudgy, too. I was single for most (though not all) of college, then dated here and there for a while. Then had one boyfriend for about 6 months, and then about 6 months of singleness and then another (my current boyfriend who is the love of my life and who I have been dating for about 7 months.) I blamed my weight on my singleness. Then my last boyfriend mentioned that although he was "totally attracted" to me, he saw my weight as a "problem." Even after we broke up, that comment stuck with me. I was certain that I would never find a man who I was interested in (high and specific standards here) who would be interested in and attracted to me. Oh, and I was actually told this by someone in ministry at one time...ah, that is another story. Anyway, I thought it was a formula and that if I was thin, I'd be a hot commodity among the men I wanted to date, end of story. Well, I am now dating the best person of the opposite sex I've ever met and he is not only "accepts" my body, but he LIKES it. He is med-large build, himself, so it's not like he's a giant or anything. He really, honestly is very attracted to me. Oh, and he prefers little to no make up. It goes against a lot of what I've always thought was what made me attractive. That said, I think taking care of ourselves is important and I would like to weigh less to be healthier and have more clothing options. (Plus sized clothes are cut too big for me but many "normal" sized things don't fit quite right.) I think paying no attention to our physical selves is foolish and probably unhealthy. BUT. Some people are actually attracted to people of various shapes and sizes and not just tiny little blonde sorority girls with hair halfway down their back...I have proof. :)
Nov 2, 2005 at 12:09PM | Unregistered Commenterjessi
paul - yeah, usually it's the one sentence posts that garner seven hundred comments. not so with this one.

jessi - thanks for sharing that. i'm just waiting for my own proof. ;) for the record, i definitely pay attention to my physical self... just in a low-maintenance kinda way, is all.

also: whatever ministry person told you that, needs to be taken out into the street and shot.
Nov 2, 2005 at 03:48PM | Registered Commentermdog
Mdog... I'm ashamed at you for suggesting shooting. Stoning is much more biblical.
Nov 2, 2005 at 07:15PM | Unregistered Commenterpaul
perhaps shooting is more merciful.

m-dog - as I happened to scan your post today about the old folks at the post office I was reminded of a similar experience. At the age of 15, in my short hair days I had a few old farmers approach my mom and me and ask "Is this your son?" argh. Of course we were all still into the grunge thing so that wasn't very feminine. But still.

I'm making it my mission to stay up with the times even when I am old.
Nov 3, 2005 at 05:56PM | Unregistered Commenterkatie
Attractiveness is totally determined by our culture. For example watch old Marilyn Monroe movies and see if you find the word "fat" wanting to crawl to your lips and she was a sex symbol in her time. I think you are incredibly beautiful. I also think it is almost impossible for anyone to go against what the culture considers attractive and have the opposite sex consider them pretty or handsome.

I am not buying genetics, most people wouldn't be pretty without following what is culturally considered attractive.

I think when we are young we value pretty and handsome much more than beauty but as we mature we focus more on beauty and much more on internal beauty. You are beautiful on the inside and out but if you choose to go against what the culture has determined to be pretty it just takes men a little longer to wake up and find you.

P.S. I love your hair

Nov 5, 2005 at 01:40AM | Unregistered CommenterCarrie
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