Unthinking the “ugly” during C19

With Zoom and a lingering “just stay at home” always around us, it can feel like there’s no reason to get dressed in the morning. Without society dictating how you look, you get a glimpse at what you revert to.  It doesn’t help that, for many people, stress has taken a huge toll on mental health.  You may not even have the energy to make yourself look and feel nice.  The unfortunate truth is that when we look in the mirror during times like these, a lot of us don’t like what we see.

Since the beginning of the pandemic the internet has seen an influx of pictures and videos of people chopping off their hair.  From women shaving their heads and girls cutting bangs to boys giving themselves mullets, there’s a video out there for everything.  While a fair share of those who cut their hair have loved the result, a lot seem to immediately regret the decision.  Imagine going for thick, full bangs like Zooey Deschanel and ending up looking like Courntey Cox from Scream 3.  Yeah, not a good look. (Sorry, Courtney!)

Haircut expectations versus reality (Credit: Kaley Fisher)

There are a lot of reasons why people have been going for the big chop while this never-ending pandemic continues. For one, this is the perfect time to try out that haircut you’ve always wanted.  If it turns out badly, that’s okay! You’ve got plenty of time in Zoom with virtual backgrounds and no one can see your clip in extensions with all the pixels on your screen, so you’ve got plenty of time for it to grow back. 

Cutting your hair may also temporarily relieve your boredom, and, ideally, give you that push you need to become a “whole new you.”  On a more serious note, social isolation has given people a lot of time to think and ruminate on their appearance, which makes it something we can actually control.

In fact, psychologist Amy Flowers noted that a lot of people find comfort in altering their appearance when their situation abruptly changes.  It’s a mission that they’re able to accomplish to try and reclaim some semblance of control.  The issue comes in when someone feels the need to change their appearance.  When the desire comes from something negative, like disliking the way that you look, it tends to be impulsive. That being said, the general rule of thumb is to wait about two weeks from when inspiration strikes to actually going in with the scissors.

This pandemic is difficult for everyone — to varying degrees — but it’s also a great time to reset.  Our society places so much emphasis on appearance that there’s no wonder you begin to feel uneasy when you’re stripped of society’s expectations and validation.  Now is a great time to learn what makes you feel good.  There’s no shame in putting on some tinted moisturizer and mascara every day if it helps you feel like your best self, but do it for you and not for anyone else.  But if you do end up looking like Courtney Cox just remember that it won’t last forever, just like this pandemic.



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