Fashion · Miscellaneous · Personal

A hair-raising stigma

I decided at the end of last week, on a whim, that I wanted to get my hair cut into a bob. I had had it like that in the past, so I knew it suited me, and excitedly I phoned up the salon on Monday morning to make an appointment. Today, I faced the scissors. While I think my new ‘do is wonderful, it would be a bit banal to write an entire blog post dedicated to my hair. No, what I have been thinking about since deciding for this drastic change in style runs deeper than that…

What has been on my mind recently is the female attitude to hair, particularly among children. I know it sounds odd, but think about it: how many female children do you see with short hair? Okay, so there’s the occasional bob, but it’s very uncommon to come across a little girl with anything shorter than that. By and large, long hair seems to be seen as the “ideal” length. When I was in my final few years at primary school, I had really long hair, so long that it looked like rats’ tails. And yet, despite its dubious condition and non-existent shape, everyone adored it. I was renowned for having the longest hair in my year, and even before we had our school photos taken in Primary 7, my teacher asked if she could brush my waist-length hair for me.

While I experimented with different hair lengths throughout high school, I always retained this idea in my head that one day I would commit myself to growing my hair back to the length it was when I was ten years old. It’s only now I’ve realised – I really like having shorter hair, and maybe having really long hair isn’t as important as it seemed at the time.

So, why does it seem that as children and even in our teens, we put long, luscious hair on a pedestal? I hate to sound like I’m getting on my soapbox here, but perhaps it’s because as children, we were bombarded with the idea that long hair = beauty and popularity. Think about it: how often did Jacqueline Wilson describe the “it girl” or the “beautiful best friend” as having long, glossy locks? How often did Disney princesses (I suppose, with the exceptions of Mulan and Rapunzel at the end of ‘Tangled’) have flowing manes? You may think I’m reading into this too much, but remember how shocked the media were when Emma Watson went for a pixie cut when Harry Potter was over? How often is a woman passed off as “butch” if she has anything shorter than a bob? It seems to be that long hair is still seen as being ‘better’ than short, despite the individual’s tastes and what suits them.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having hair of any length, and everyone should have the freedom to choose how to style their hair. But I think there’s still a stigma associated with short hair, even though it’s absolutely irrelevant in the long run. But, it’s the principle that’s worth thinking about. I believe experimentation and finding out what you personally like, not just in terms of hair or clothes but in every aspect of life, is so important.

Life isn’t necessarily about “finding” ourselves, but rather, creating ourselves.

Fashion · Personal

My first foray into the world of vintage fairs

Today I went to my very first vintage clothing fair, organised by the good people at Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair. I have been interested in vintage fashion for some time now, aspiring to the style ideal of mixing up vintage pieces with modern-day trends to create unique and yet still elegant outfits, but until now my vintage experience had mainly revolved around hit-or-miss trips to the likes of Armstrong & Son (Edinburgh) and Starry Starry Night (Glasgow) (I say “hit-or-miss” like it’s a bad thing but I suppose that’s what makes vintage so interesting – you never know what you’re going to find and searching for hidden gems is quite exciting, in my opinion). I had never been to a vintage fair before though, so the thought of sifting through over 3 tonnes of retro pieces seemed to be a bit of an adventure for me!

The fair today was a Kilo Sale, a concept I had never come across before but which is actually a fantastic idea – basically, you fill up your bags with as much vintage clothing as you want, and then the bags are weighed. Each kilogram costs you £15, and this averages as being about 4 or 5 items of clothing. The downside to this is that they can only stock clothing from the 60s onwards as older pieces are generally sold for much higher prices. But this didn’t dissuade me, and I came away with some real bargains.

In total my bag weighed 1.1kg, which was rounded down, so I still only paid £15. For this £15, I managed to get two skirts, a dress, a jumper and a blouse:

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I am very pleased with my haul and will no doubt be going to the next Kilo Sale in Edinburgh (on 4th May, if anyone else is interested). Judy’s have also organised Kilo Sales in London, Leeds, Chester, Cambridge, Newcastle, Market Harborough, Manchester, Cambridge and Oxford this year, so if you can, I really recommend that you go and pick up some retro bargains!