The Truth About Women With Short Hair

What fortuitous timing! The week after I got fourteen inches of hair chopped off for Locks of Love, a friend brought an article to my attention entitled Girls with Short Hair are Damaged, written by none other than my internemesis, Tuthmosis.

Since he is such an expert when it comes to the mental disorders of women, and women in general, who else would be better to tell us all the ways women with short hair are psychologically disturbed? In fact, he ventures that a woman only truly cuts her hair short for one of three reasons:
1. She wants to outwardly advertise her aggressive and ugly personality
2. She is mentally unstable and/or damaged beyond repair in some significant way
3. She’s a lesbian

Donating to sick kids is apparently an immaterial rationalization, something I’m sure all the beneficiaries of Locks of Love will be pleased to know.

Donating to sick kids is apparently an immaterial rationalization, something I’m sure all the beneficiaries of Locks of Love will be pleased to know.

Never mind the fact that some women simply want or like short hair, or even – gasp! – look better that way. Never mind that there are lesbians, and emotionally fragile women, and women with monstrous personalities with long hair. Never mind that the way a woman chooses to style her hair is no one’s business but her own, or that some women don’t even have the choice, such as Susan S., a cancer survivor who, “had long hair for twenty years, lost it all to cancer and chemo, and [is] LOVING [her] short, curly locks.”

Nope, never mind any of that, we’re all just dealing with crippling psychotic depravity.

Listen Tuthy, if you have a thing for women with long hair, that’s cool. Hell, I even get it. With all the modern standards of beauty, it’s not even surprising. The world is filled with lots of very beautiful women with very long, beautiful hair.

Though more importantly, the world also has Jennifer Lawrence.

Though perhaps more importantly, the world also has Jennifer Lawrence.

Just because we don’t all live up to your standards of beauty doesn’t mean we’re deranged.

Now, given your propensity to boast about your status of Manly Man, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that you’ve never had hair any longer than Jared Padalecki in Season One of Supernatural. There’s nothing wrong with that, except that you’re missing a few key pieces of information. Let me let you in on a little secret about having long hair:

It’s a pain in the ass.

Seriously. It gets caught in scarves, and zippers, and purse straps, and completely inanimate objects you walk past on the street. It sheds in handfuls in the shower, and when you take out a hair band, and when you’re sitting completely still on the couch. It blinds you when it’s windy, tries to smother you when you sleep, and is a constant fire hazard when you cook. I have the utmost respect for women who deal with super long hair every single day because I literally can not. It drives me crazy.

Of course, I know the rebuttal: “Jeez, you’re so lazy. Have some pride in your appearance!”

…say guys who can step out of the shower and be ready to walk out the door in a presentable state within ten minutes. You know that old, tired comedy bit about women taking forever to get ready? I would wager that at least 75% of that time can be attributed to long hair.

Before I cut my hair, it was over two feet long from root to tip, hitting right about in the middle of my back. Since my hair is also very thick, it took over 45 minutes to blow dry, at which point it still wasn’t done because it would revert to an uncontrollable state of frizzy half-waves and angry snarls of static electricity. Taking another 45 minutes (optimistically) to style/control it puts me at an hour and a half of time that I’ll never get back. Plus, if we’re going solely off the aforementioned suggestion of taking pride in our appearance – *cough* making choices based solely on what guys like Tuthmosis think *cough* — there’s really a limited number of times and ways you can wear your hair up or, God forbid, naturally.

Yeesh.

Yeesh.

Furthermore, as Tuthy ruefully points out, women look older with short hair. True. I don’t look like a sixteen year old anymore. Sorry, was this supposed to be a negative thing? I can’t imagine how looking like I’m actually old enough to have a college degree could possibly be detrimental. The fact that in the week since I’ve cut my hair I’ve visibly noticed that my coworkers, superiors, and clients are taking me more seriously speaks volumes about how immature I looked with long hair.

As a final threat, Tuthmosis warns that girls with short hair will never get hit on. If not having long hair is what it takes to ward off the type of guy who only measure a woman’s attractiveness based on the length of her hair, you can bet that I’ll be keeping my hair short for, oh, ever.

U mad?

U mad?

Short-haired Ginger out.

University of Minnesota: Dance Dynasty

Minnesota is a great state. We’re known for our 10,000+ lakes, hearty winters, Paul Bunyan, and the healthy reputation of the Twin Cities. Arguably, we are not known for having national champion sports teams. Between the Vikings, Twins, North Stars, Wild, Timberwolves, and Lynx, we can boast three World Series titles and two WNBA titles (we have the Lynx to thank for winning anything in the current century). The University of Minnesota fares slightly better when it comes to national bragging rights, but only just. Women’s hockey triumphed in 2012 and 2013, but the Gophers’ national championship record is spotty, particularly in recent years.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a team that consistently won national titles? Wouldn’t it be worth celebrating if we had a team that won, say, five national titles in a row?

Just for a moment, imagine the fanfare of a fifth consecutive national title for the football team, or men’s basketball team. Imagine the headlines proclaiming the dominance and prowess of the athletes, the leadership of the captains, the strategic genius of the coaches, and the swell of Gopher pride all over the state. Imagine, if you can, the ridiculous impossibility of failing to find a single article written about our five time national champion baseball or hockey team.

Yes, it would be so wonderful to be able to claim a team of our very own as national champions for the fifth time in five years.

Which is why it’s so disappointing to know that we can, yet choose not to celebrate it.

This past weekend, the University of Minnesota Dance Team clinched their fifth consecutive national title, bringing their total to fourteen since 2003. Can you guess how many news articles were written to celebrate, or even mention this fact?

Source: Gopher Athletics

Source: Gopher Athletics

If you guessed one, you’re right…ish. CBS posted a story while I was writing this post that fails to mention anything about consecutive titles or recognize any of the team members, and devotes an entire paragraph to other winners of additional championships that took place over the same weekend. Still no mention from the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press. By comparison, there were six articles about Sunday’s men’s basketball game in view on the sport page of the Star Tribune website, and they lost by 21 points.

Now hang on, I can hear a deafening wave of impending comments: DANCE ISN’T A REAL SPORT!!!

To all of you, two points.

  1. If you are obtuse enough not to recognize that dancers are first and foremost athletes, please educate yourself, or better yet, try to survive a week of dance team practices.
  2. You’re missing the bigger picture that Minnesota has an athletic team (see above) with five consecutive national titles. Do you know when the last time that happened was?
    Never.

Moving on.

The University of Minnesota Dance Team won their fifth consecutive dual national titles this past Sunday, January 19th, in Orlando, FL (yes, technically they’ve won ten national titles in five years).

Led by captians Rachel Fellows, Kim Saunders, and Rachel Saunders, the 18 woman team competed for and won the 1A Jazz and 1A Pom divisions.

In Pom, a style known for its high energy routines and military-like precision, UMDT performed to a mix featuring All I Do is Win and was a clear favorite with their signature turns and jumps, and outstanding synchronization.

Source: UDA

Source: UDA

For Jazz, the team flawlessly executed Uninvited, which brilliantly showcased their extraordinary technique and choreography, as well as a number of stunning turn combinations, and highly difficult and crowd-pleasing tricks.

Source: UDA

Source: UDA

Reactions from the team’s fan base and ardent admirers hit the Twittersphere throughout the weekend, including a tweet from Flip Saunders, President of the Minnesota Timberwolves, whose twin daughters help co-captain the team.

umdt2

A message from the team was posted on their Facebook page early Monday morning following their victories: “We are so excited to have won the Division 1A Jazz and Pom National Champions for the fifth year in a row! Thank you to everyone for all of the support over the season and this weekend!”

As one fan put it, “You know that word dynasty people like to throw around? This is what one of those looks like.”

Hear that Minnesota? We have a dynasty.

It’s time to start recognizing that fact.

UDA 1A Pom Final Rankings:

1. University of Minnesota
2. Ohio State University
3. University of Nevada Las Vegas
4. University of Colorado
5. University of Memphis

UDA 1A Jazz Final Rankings:

1. University of Minnesota
2. University of Tennessee
3. Ohio State University
4. Arizona State University
5. University of Colorado

23 Things I Should Do Instead of 23 Other Things

My mom didn’t think I should publish this.

Sorry, Mom.

By now, some of you may have heard of an article that’s been floating around the internet, called 23 Things to do Instead of Getting Engaged Before You’re 23

The author, Vanessa Elizabeth, outlines the struggle of being a single 23 year old surrounded by a vast array of friends, family members, coworkers, and former classmates that are engaged or married or happily in serious, long-term relationships post-college.

She attributes this slew of young marriages to lots of young people not really knowing what to do with their lives after college, so they get married, because why not? What else is there to do? YOLO!

What else is there to do?! Why 23 things, apparently. She gives us a mainly humorous list of things to do with your life post-grad rather than just copping out and tying the knot.

However, her negative portrayal of early matrimony and insistence that all young marriages end up in nasty divorces has created quite a bit of backlash, particularly among married early-twenty-somethings.

Katrina Fernandez, divorced mother and author of the Catholic blog The Crescat, wrote a biting rebuttal titled, 23 signs you are a narcissist and men should probably avoid you at all costs…

Katrina points out that Vanessa is suffering from emotional immaturity and more than likely has that and her off-brand “humor” to thank for the fact that she is alone. She admonishes Vanessa for her disrespectful tirade against the institution of marriage and the way she shames young couples who decide to get married.

She then goes on to mock the feminist movement, call Vanessa an attention-seeking slut, admit to being as condescending and patronizing as possible in her message that putting off marriage in any capacity is selfish, shallow and vapid, and gives her own list of 23 things to do with your life.

Both Vanessa and Katrina make very valid points, but the credibility of their arguments are diminished by their blatant lack of respect for anyone who wishes to lead a different lifestyle than what they view as preferable.

Vanessa hits close to home for me. As another 23 year old who has never been in a serious or long-term relationship, I can attest that watching other people in my life celebrate X number of years together, or plan their weddings, or adjust to the happiness of married life can sometimes feel like a kick in the stomach. That doesn’t mean I think they’re making a huge mistake and wasting their youth and will be bitter divorcees in a few years. They aren’t bored or afraid to transition their lives, they found someone who makes them truly happy. If they want to get married young, that’s their choice to make.

On the flip side, while it’s amazing that some people are lucky enough to find their soul mate so early on in life and are able to get married and be happy at 23 as Katrina suggests, that doesn’t mean they can judge me for not having the same priorities. Wanting to take time for myself before I enter a serious relationship doesn’t make me selfish, it just means I want to be able to understand and deal with myself before I try to do it for another person.

Then, of course, there are the lists themselves. 46 things to do with your life according to two conflicting viewpoints.

Vanessa’s list is the pinnacle of free-spirited youth: vaguely silly, slightly inappropriate, and a bit unrealistic.

Katrina’s list is the foundation of responsible adulthood: dignified, logical, and thoughtful.

Does anyone else see the problem here?

Vanessa can’t say enough to bash couples who make a life-long commitment because there’s nothing else to do, but her viable alternatives include getting a haircut, or eating a whole jar of Nutella, or jetting off to the Philippines for New Year’s Eve.

Meanwhile, Katrina goes on and on about the selfishness of immature young women who don’t want to embrace adulthood, but expects them to embrace a list that instructs them to check their credit score and purchase vehicle insurance.

These are two different lists. These are two different lists, written by two different types of people at different stages of their lives, for completely different purposes.

So I wrote my own list.

It isn’t a bucket list because YOLO!, it’s not a manual to adulthood, and it doesn’t have an expiration date or contingencies. It’s just a list of 23 things I think I should do at some point in my life.

My point is, we all have the ability to make our own list that will fit our unique situation. Just because someone on the internet said you need to stand naked in front of a window or baby-sit a friend’s kids for free in order to make your life meaningful doesn’t mean they’re right, especially if they say you’re a bad person if you do otherwise.

So write your own list. Or don’t.

It’s really up to you.

The Ten Commandments of Facebook

Happy New Year! We’re three days in to 2014, which means about 60% of you have already given up on your New Year’s Resolution. So far my resolution of waiting a full ten minutes (previously five) after entering a club to verbalize my thoughts of “This was a mistake, I hate this, can we leave?” has been going quite well, mostly due to my determination to not go clubbing, ever.

If you’ve already given up, or failed to make a resolution in the first place, never fear! It’s not too late to pick a new one. Dare I say, a social one? Picture it: 2014, the year of improved Facebook etiquette.

Facebook is nearly ten years old, it’s high time we all learned some manners. With help from Emily, Bridget and Marie (henceforth known as the Time Ladies), and seven years of often painful observations, I present a perfectly reasonable New Year’s Resolution for people of all ages: the Ten Commandments of Facebook.

Disclaimer: These are not hard and fast rules. It’s the internet, there’s no such thing. We’ve all broken at least a few of these, and that doesn’t make you, or anyone else, a bad person. These are simply friendly suggestions based off a discussion with the Time Ladies, as well as a general consensus of Facebook users. 

1.       Thou shalt not over share

It can be tempting to tell your life story in every status update, and to delve into exquisite detail about whatever life! event! may have just occurred while waiting in line at Starbucks, but if every status post is a block of text, or you find yourself posting new statuses multiple times a day, every single day, you’re probably over sharing. Keep a little mystery, we don’t need an up to the minute play-by-play of your bunion removal or need to see a picture of every item of food you plan to consume.

2.       Thou shall learn the difference between a private message and a wall post and a comment

While these are similar, they are not interchangeable. A general rule of thumb:

  • A comment on a picture, status, or wall post should pertain directly to the original post.
  • A wall post should be a message generally intended for one person, but is news or information that may be of interest to others and is open for likes and comments by others.
  • A private message should be used if the subject matter is discreet, or heavily detail-oriented, or if the intention is to begin a conversation.

3.       Thou shalt not harass others with Googleable inquiries

Despite how public and accessible social media has made our lives, it still garners curiosity. Questions are good, but don’t mistake Facebook for a search engine. Before you ask, ask yourself: could I find this myself on Google? If it’s something along the lines of, “I love those shoes, where are they from?” ask away, but if my status is about football and you ask who won the Super Bowl last year, don’t be surprised if I respond with this.

4.       Thou shalt not use song lyrics of a depressing nature as a status whilst feeling low

Hey, I get it. You had a bad day, so you take one down. You sing a sad song, just to turn it around.  You heard that he settled down, that he found a girl, and he’s married now. What hurts the most is being so close, and having so much to say and watching her walk away. Why’d he have to go and make things so complicated? Goodbye, your almost lover. Goodbye, your hopeless dreams. I’ll make sure to wake you up when September ends.

Or you could, you know, handle your emotions like an adult instead of littering Facebook with what amounts to 7th grade graffiti.

5.       Thou shall make a genuine effort not to offend any individuals or groups of peoples

You are entitled to your opinions. You are even entitled to share your opinions if you so wish. You are not entitled to be an asshole about it. It’s possible to share your opinions without being offensive. I repeat, it is possible to share your opinions without being offensive. If you dislike redheads and don’t think they should blog, that is your opinion. If you post an article from a legitimate news source that reflects that belief and properly supports the argument that redheads shouldn’t blog, you are sharing your opinion. If you post a long rant of a status laced with profanities and mean names, or harass me on Facebook for being a redheaded blogger, you are being offensive. Don’t dehumanize someone then pout about your freedom of speech if there’s backlash. Even five year olds know if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it.

6.       Thou shall keep Facebook Displays of Affection to a minimum

You have a totally awesome new boyfriend, and he’s totally awesome and you love him so much and want to spend all of your time with him because he’s totally awesome, so when you’re apart you post on his wall telling him how much you miss his totally awesome self and look through all of his totally awesome photos, of course. While it’s totally awesome that you’re so into your new boyfriend, we don’t need to see every totally awesome cutesy little expression of your affection, and his college friends aren’t going to be thrilled to have dozens of notifications from someone they’ve never met liking every totally awesome picture they took of him in 2010.

7.       Thou shalt not tag peoples unnecessarily

If I wasn’t there, don’t tag me. You’re at a bar I’ve been to? Drinking a drink that I like? AND listening to a song we once heard together? Text me.

8.       Thou shalt not post a selfie with a self-deprecating caption

We’ve all seen it.

Mirror shot/arm’s length shot: Check.

Perfectly angled to emphasize good curves and hide bad curves: Check.

Color tint: Check.

Seductive expression and/or duck face: Check.

Beautifully styled hair: Check.

Flawless make-up: Check.

Optional novelty accessory (shutter shades, cowboy hat, bling, etc.) Check.

“ugghhhh gross im so ugly & disgustingg 😦 #nofilter #nomakeup” caption: Check.

The only way a girl – or guy, just replace make-up with six-pack – could be more obvious in fishing for compliments would be to caption everything with “I KNOW I’M PRETTY BUT I WANT YOU TO SAY IT!”

Tips for Success: if you’re so “disgusting” in a photo that it warrants a caption verifying the aforementioned “disgustingness,” don’t post it.

9.       Thou shalt not enter pointless conflicts with trolls, nor become a troll in thine own right

The sole purpose of trolls on the internet is to break the 5th commandment. They bait people into arguments by making outrageous and wildly offensive claims or statements, literally offense for the sake of offense, but they ignore logic and can’t be reasoned with. Arguing with them is like arguing with a brick wall, if the wall responded with racist, sexist, and homophobic slurs as well as more trolling. If you encounter a troll, DO NOT ENGAGE. It’s never worth it, you will never win, and engaging a troll is the first step to becoming a troll.

10.       Thou shall realize that what is present on the internet shall always be

Even if you untag it, even if you hide it, even if it’s private, even if you delete it, if you put it out on the internet, it’s out there forever. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go get yourself into all sorts of shenanigans, but it does mean you shouldn’t document and publish said shenanigans. You’re going to remember the best and the craziest nights even if there aren’t pictures, and it’s going to be a lot easier to land a job if a preliminary Google search of your name doesn’t turn up a picture of you urinating next to a church.

Now go forth with this knowledge, and make Facebook a better place.