Happy New Year! I hope you have all had a great Christmas break and a good start to 2015. As you will have noticed, I took a little break over the holidays so I could give my undivided attention to stuffing my face and lazing around. I’m in the rather enviable position of not starting work properly until next week (although I have an induction day at the Albany tomorrow), so while most of the world dragged itself back to work on Monday, I was able to spend the day eating fruit and sleeping in an attempt to shake off a cold. I was fully aware of this self-indulgence, but on the other hand writing off what is known anyway as the gloomiest day in January was probably a worthwhile sacrifice to feel vaguely human again. Snotty, but human.
The last thing I did in 2014, other than getting epically wasted on New Year’s Eve, was getting my head shaved. I’d been thinking about doing it for a while, and as my previous haircut had become really messy, I just went for it. It made me think about hair, all the things I’ve done to it in the last year, and what it means to have it all shaved off.
I had thick, long hair most of my life. ‘Thick, long hair’ sounds nice but I was always doing battle with it. My mother used to console me by saying that my hair had ‘character’ – which meant in practice that it point blank refused to bow to my will and instead did whatever the hell it wanted to do. Over the past 10 years I’ve had my hair at various lengths and dyed various colours, finally going short and blond about a year ago. Once you have short, bleached hair, you can really go to town – you can dye it whatever colour you want, and because the bleach essentially nukes it to high heaven, it doesn’t really matter how you treat it thenceforth. So, over the past year I’ve had it pink, purple, silver, asymmetric, and undercut.
A shaved head is different though. Even an asymmetric wisp of bleached hair implies some level of femininity, whereas my current millimetre bristle really leaves nowhere to hide. If I’m having a bad face day, such as Monday, it’s just tough shit: nothing to distract attention away from the red nose and blotchy eyes.
On the other hand, it’s very liberating. It’s saying to the world that you’ve got nothing to hide and that you’re not afraid to be exposed. And, because I have always tended towards what you might call a ‘girly girl’, it is also refreshing to cast off what is often regarded as a woman’s crowning glory. I like the contrast between feminine clothes and makeup and this unforgiving military crop.
It’s also a good way to welcome the New Year, I feel. I’m looking you straight in the eye, 2015! And even though I am slightly beset by ‘first day at school’ nerves and wanting to do my best to live up to the expectation that comes with a new job, I am also pretty excited by this brand new year.
I have made a few New Year’s resolutions for 2015, even though I’m slightly dubious about the concept – if you’re going to change something, why wait for a new year? But here they are anyway:
- Try to keep my blog post frequency up. I posted 40 times in 2014; I’d love that to be at least 52 in 2015.
- I’d also like to increase my readership – any tips welcome!
- Get a tattoo.
- Cook something new at least once a month.
- Instate a ‘screen ban’ one evening a week where I just read and listen to music.
- Read more poetry.
So go on then, what are your New Year’s resolutions? And have you ever done anything radical to your appearance? As ever, I’d love to hear from you.