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Freedom is experienced in different ways. You even find it from the places and things you least expected. You are left to wonder, what was it exactly about that thing that gave you a sense of release? If you had known much earlier would you have gone and reached for it? But perhaps its wasn’t time, you may have not been feeling ready and that is okay. You don’t have to settle to what is seen to be the norm and much better for you as a person altogether. Or maybe it is just a journey, time to find yourself and build yourself without needing the approval of other people. For so long I felt there was strength and power in my hair. I remember being a five year old who identified as a boy and felt that my long hair means to be a girl. I just felt comfortable with short hair, but society said it was unacceptable. I felt my hair held my identity and if only I could get rid of it I would be who I want to be deep inside At the age of 14 years I was told to cut my hair because it was being damaged by too many chemicals. But then it was at this stage that I felt like, well without my hair I am not pretty enough as a women. How could I be a woman without long hair? I often had braided or weaves sown into my hair. Different colours, styles and lengths. But it had to be long. All the time, I was asked why did you cut your hair? I was once asked what about the boys, what will they think? I could only hear the words, you are not pretty enough without your long hair. I was even compared to male footballers who had the same hair cut as me. I couldn’t wait for my hair to grow back simply because I felt my beauty came from it and that its what made me accepted. So I hid behind wigs. I could not leave the house without it. So much pressure and questions of, who am I? Does my hair define me? I had been told that I prefer you with long hair from other women too. But hey, I got tired of pretending. So, I let it out. My short natural black hair. The first time I really stepped out and decided not to care, I felt a sense of freedom. Freedom that I hadn’t felt before. I felt comfortable and proud that this is me. Society expectations lied and made me a slave. But I am not my hair. My identity is not in my hair. I am not less of a women because I have short hair. So what if I want to colour it? So what if I want to be bald? There is more to us women than the length and style of our hair. We are all beautiful and we are enough. We do not need the approval of man on what our image should be. Cheers to all of us, whether long hair, short hair, bald, pink or blue hair, we are enough!
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