Hair story; herstory

I was represented by an agency and auditioning as a commercial actress so I’ve been expected to keep the same long dirty blonde princess hair with few changes. You’re not supposed to make drastic changes to your appearance so the casting director knows what they’re getting.

It’s been all:


Hair is a ridiculous thing for women. I don’t think most men realize how fraught it is for us, and how loaded with cultural significance. Women will mourn for weeks if they get a bad haircut. I was so nervous about making a change this week, a friend who lost her hair to chemo had to give me a solid reality check. It’s only hair.

But hair is important in our culture. It signifies so much on a subtle level. I just went from happy-go-lucky suburban mom type to militant feminist in one trip to the hair dresser.

Chardin short hair

I told a friend I was going to shave my head and he was all, “Ask for the Rachel Maddow.” I had short hair when I was young and many people assumed I was a lesbian based only on that style choice.

If you doubt a haircut can elicit strong emotional responses, just listen to the history of African American hairstyling on this great episode of Stuff Mom Never Told You. Hair is a surprisingly loaded topic.

Try getting into the topic of women not shaving and how people feel about THAT.

Hair, man. We’ve got feelings.

My stylist today was cooing she was so happy to shear me. She’s close friends with the niece of Montserrat Caball√©. We had a nice chat about opera.

Opera postscript unrelated to hair: Caballe gave us one of the most sublime moments in operatic history that you shouldn’t miss.

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  • Reply Tanya October 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    I LOVE the new haircut!! It looks awesome on you!

    And I hear you re the hair thing – and specifically not shaving. I stopped shaving my armpits a month or two ago and people seem quite uncomfortable with it. Oddly enough it makes me less inclined to shave.

    • Reply Sam Chardin October 14, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      I love your contrarian tendencies. Up yours, patriarchy!

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