Grizzled Lumberjack or Swashbuckling Pirate?
We are men with long hair, we embody the grizzled lumberjack, the swashbuckling pirate, and the cultural significance of a warrior.
Why is it that long hair can call our masculinity into question? On one hand we have manly lumberjacks and pirates, on the other hand, long hair is widely perceived as a feminine quality.
Is it not?
It’s happened to many of us… “excuse me, ma’am?”
It can feel off-putting to be mistaken for a woman, when in fact you are a man with long hair. It can seriously hurt when you are told your hair makes you look like a girl.
Blowdrying your hair, shopping in the women’s hair care aisle, or even asking, “how does my hair look?” all have the potential to call your masculinity into question.
On the other hand it feels pretty great when your hair is called beautiful! So what is it? Does long hair make us more or less masculine?
What is Masculinity?
Masculinity can be a difficult subject to discuss. The very mention can put some guys immediately on the defensive.
I think we should change that perception. It is something that should be talked about, like many other things, if you bottle this up inside it can rip you apart.
Long Hair In The Media
In media it is prevalent what everyone thinks about men having long hair. It is okay as long as they show off some other type of extreme masculine quality that makes up for the femininity the long hair gives off.
That quality is usually that the fellow longhair is extremely buff or has a burly beard. This can make us feel like we must have one of these masculine qualities to balance our long hair.
Sure, I’d love to have a bush on my face to match the mop up top, and who wouldn't love to be ripped like Jason Momoa? That doesn’t make me any more of a man though.
It’s Different For Everyone
I have struggled in the past with my own definition and tried to figure out what it means for me. Some of this is embodied in my hair, jumping back and forth from the buzz to the fro, then finally deciding that the mane is where my masculinity lies.
I’ve tried to copy other people’s perceptions, but it just doesn’t feel right. It’s like when you try to copy someone else’s sense of style, for me, it does not feel like I am myself.
It was only when I accepted that masculinity is just another form of self expression that I realized it's different for every person, much like a personality, or even a hair style.
How I Define My Masculinity
I express masculinity in my appearance, my choices and my actions.
I love flowers, it is just something that I enjoy to wear and have (when The Island Vibes came out I was pretty stoked).
I have long curly hair and it makes me feel more like a man, especially when people tell me I look like Maui. I wear short swim trunks because a brotha likes to tan. I also love to work out, and pet my dogs. I have earrings with little trees on them that I think are radical.
None of these things inherently make me any less or any more manly; they are the means by which I express my masculinity.
So, how do I define masculinity? If I were to put it into words, it would be:
“To be masculine is to be a helper, a leader, someone to look up to. You lead, you take responsibility and most importantly, you love. To be a man is to be a rock for others to stand on, be there when your friends need you, and to show love freely.”
How The Longhairs Have Helped Me
The Longhairs have truly helped me in discovering my sense of masculinity. We are bros, connected through our long hair and the experiences we share.
Not only are they offering products and great content, but community. To know that there are bros out there going through the same things I am with similar life and hair experiences means a lot. If you haven't joined the fraternity yet, we’re ready for ya brotha.
Is Long Hair Masculine?
In the end, it’s not the length of our hair that defines our masculinity; nor is it our appearance, how jacked we are or how burly our beards are, the colors we like, the music we enjoy...or even the hair ties we use.
We each define and express our own masculinity, though whatever means we choose.
Masculinity is what it means to you. It can be whatever you make it.