The Power of the Pixie
By Abby Rollinger
Emma Watson did it, Jennifer Lawrence has done it, and even a few of Seton’s Saints have gotten the infamous chop. The pixie cut craze has developed a strong following the past two years and seems to be getting more popular amongst young women every day. Although society is no stranger to such trends, few of these fads make lasting impressions on our culture or serve any greater purpose than their initial superficial function. However, people are starting to see the pixie cut as more than just a fashion statement.
When senior, Molly Brauch, signed up for Seton’s hair donation drive, “Beautiful Lengths,” last year, she decided to go big or go home. “I was doing beautiful lengths already and I didn’t want to be left with some ratchet half-bob, so I figured why not just chop it all off?” explains Brauch. After it was all said and done, Brauch had and still carries conflicting feelings over her new do, saying, “At first it was a huge, like, sigh of relief. And then it was like ‘oh my God, I want my hair back now.” Nonetheless, almost a year later, Brauch continues to rock the pixie. “It makes me feel really edgy,” says Brauch, “I feel like I’m on the brink of some new thing.” Although the hairstyle has defiantly had its benefits, like being able to get ready for Seton’s Christmas dance in only twenty-five minutes, not everybody has been accepting of it. “I’ve been told I have lesbian hair,” recalls Brauch. But by who? “Males. Over the summer, a junior at Elder told me I looked like a soccer mom” says Brauch, “Not a single girl has told me I look bad.”
Junior at Taylor High School, Jenna Lyons, took a more hesitant approach to her pixie, saying, “I actually didn’t go straight chop. I went in a few stages of short lengths just to make sure I wasn’t making a god awful mistake, and eventually made my way up to a pixie!” When asked what sparked her interest in the style, Lyons replied by saying it was her constant desire to change her look. “I have this thing where I get really bored with my style ridiculously fast,” says Lyons. “At the time, I had either wanted really long hair or really short hair and getting a pixie was much cheaper and quicker than getting extensions!” Unlike Brauch, Lyons loves her hair. “It has definitely given me confidence” she explains, “which is cool because that’s always been a thing I’ve struggled with. Overall, I feel like I was at a time in my life where I needed a major change and it (a pixie cut) was the perfect fix.” Not only does Lyons adore her hairdo, but so does everyone else, saying she hasn’t received any negative feedback whatsoever. However, she admits that like Brauch, there seems to be a distinct gender preference over the style. Who? “Definitely women,” says Lyons. “I think it’s mostly a compliment more towards my courage for being able to chop all of my hair off and not wanting it back, or maybe they really do like it. I’ll never know.”
There is an evident bias towards the pixie between the sexes, women clearly possessing a favoritism over men. But does this necessarily allude to the notion of empowerment? “Well I mean, I never really considered that when I was getting my pixie cut, but now just thinking about the question, in a very pro patriarchal society it gives women this idea that there’s more than just sitting at home and brushing their hair. Ya know, the 100 strokes thing?” says Brauch. “Women have better use of their time than that- you’re more than your hair.” Jenna has opposing feelings on the matter, saying, “Yes and no…. recently, I do kind of view it as a fad because more and more women are getting a pixie, which kind of takes the fun out of it (the style) but it’s all good. Whatever keeps the female population together is cool with me. Though in the past, I absolutely see it as a huge notion for women empowerment. It was right up there with girls ditching the long dresses for pants.”
In the end, the idea that the pixie haircut stands for more than just a stylish do is completely up to the interpretation each individual. No matter how you perceive the pixie, though, is it undisputable that the societal impact it is having on our culture is one that helps to revolutionize the expected appearance of women while simultaneously diminishing stereotypes in the process.