Author : Adishri Guha
Among the multifarious cultural facets of #India, hair too is a #symbolic manifestation of age old #traditions in the country. Moving beyond the conventional codes of an enhanced physical appearance, the role of hair transcends beyond mere #beauty and is perceived as an indicator of a #woman’s personality – who she is and therefore, who she should aspire to be.
Increasing experimentation with hair, induced by the heavy influence of popular culture, continues to be confined within the set norms of indigenous beliefs and perceptions.
The connotations of “long hair” in the Indian context also percolates to #Bollywood, with female celebrities with long luscious hair classified as stereotypically #feminine, and therefore the one consistently chosen by the hero to be his soulmate. On the other end of the spectrum, women with short hair are perceived as more #masculine, brazen and nonchalant, thus going against the conventional ideals of womanhood propagated over the years.
Hair as a mode of self expression, has emerged as a popular narrative over the years. However, the role of traditional #customs and beliefs in shaping what is perceived as “ïdeal”, pervades through the very modes of self expression. Thus, more constricting than liberating, when viewed in the larger narrative of women asserting an empowered and individualistic self.
Do you feel women are pressured to keep long hair even today? Have you ever felt pressured while choosing a hairstyle/ haircut?