Apparently, there is “mom hair.” Which is really just code for “bad hair,” similar to how “mom jeans” is code for being frumpy. If you’re not mad enough that the phrase exists, the New York Times wrote all about it–and what you can do to fix it. Seriously.
It seems so strange and bizarre to me that moms, continuously, get criticized for just being who they are–women who also happen to be raising little humans. While there is the phrase “dad bod” about dads, it’s used far less, and with far less shame–if anything, it’s actually celebrated.
Besides the fact that blatant sexism is at work here (yeah, I said it), a lot of people have bad haircuts or unmaintained hair or hair color that washes out their face. You don’t have to be a mom. And someone else’s bad fashion sense isn’t really hurting anyone anyway (it’s all relative anyway, right?). But just yesterday, the NY Times decided to pick on moms in an article that is shortsighted and relatively pointless.
The article starts off with what a bad mom haircut is (which is a bob that I wore a lot in my teens and early 20s):
“You’ve likely seen it at suburban malls: the longer-in-back, slightly–shorter-in-front bob that should read sleek but is inescapably frumpy.
And even the city-dwelling mom isn’t immune. Perhaps she has added her own twists like blunt bangs or extra layering, but the ’do still falls short of flattering.
“I see it all the time,” said Juan Carlos Maciques, a stylist at the Rita Hazan salon in Manhattan. “The first thing new moms want to do is cut their hair off. They’re feeling lousy about their bodies, and they just want to get some sense of self again. But, usually, to cut off your hair is a big mistake.”
It isn’t simply want of a new look that spurs many new mothers to the salon. Rather, they are experiencing real physical changes that can be terrifying. Often the mom bob starts as a convenient solution to hair loss after pregnancy.”
The author is making a lot of weird assumptions, like long hair is sexier and more attractive than short hair (give me a break), that urban women are naturally more chic than their rural or suburban peers, and if a woman does decide to cut her hair, it’s “a big mistake.” Why? Hair is just hair–and a change can not only be fun–but a revitalization of your own identity.
While I’m not a mom, I’ve had various hair lengths (from the 1920s bob to Mia Farrow’s short hair from “Rosemary’s Baby“), and have heard these exact same comments with minor deviations (such as: “You’d look wayyyy more beautiful with long hair,” to, “Why did you cut your hair? Did you just go through a breakup?”).
The rest of the article mostly follows suit. It does raise the good point that hair loss is a common problem for moms postpartum, but there’s no reason to shame moms for what their hair looks like–or what cut they choose–simply because they had a baby.
I expect better from publications like the NY Times, a publication I would hungrily read every Sunday with my parents, and would look up to as a budding writer. I’m sure the writer had good intentions, but remember that phrase your mom would say all the time when you were growing up? You know, the one that says something like the road to hell is paved with good intentions? Well, it’s true.
So, you know, embrace your “mom hair” and drink a mojito, because it’s summer, and short hair/long hair/whatever hair, don’t care.
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