And so it was today, that a haircut gave me a pain in my heart
The first time I recognised her outside the window, I quietly whispered hello. She stared at me, surprised that I knew her face. Then she smiled.
We continued to smile every time I passed by.
Today when I noticed she had her hair cut I stopped to tell her it looked nice.
She opened the brothel window and said, “I hope it works. I liked my long hair better, but there wasn’t anything special about me.” She smiled nervously, “I thought if I cut my hair, maybe it will work.”
Maybe she would get chosen more often.
In her simple, earnest statement, I felt a pain in my heart. I smiled back and said that she always looks special, and that the haircut is gorgeous.
I saw myself in her. In that moment. In her honesty.
Wishing my hair, or my face, or my jeans size could ‘work’ for me and maybe determine my value.
As if the value of a woman could be measured by the length of her hair, or the number of men who buy her because of it.
I may not be selling my body, but some days I might as well be with how I feel the need to be noticed for it.
Later, as I walked home from work, snowflakes swirling around, I lifted my face to let them land on my eyelashes and cheeks, feeling giddy like a little girl. My hair was piled in a braid and pinned back with a flower and for a moment the pressure of being a woman was put aside. I could just feel like a girl covered in snow, totally uninteresting to the men prowling around the district in search of sex and pleasure.
I wished that she could put her clothes back on and come walk with me in the snow. Free from the pressure of being beautiful or sexual or anything but simply valuable for being human.
Thus, I was reminded that where we see a woman standing in prostitution, she is underneath a girl like me wishing to be chosen. Wishing that her hair, or her face, or her jeans size would increase her worth.
Like the rest of us, she forgets (or maybe she hasn’t been told) that nothing on the outside gives her value. It is her beating heart that makes her alive and is enough to say she is worth more than the length of her hair or the number of men who buy her because of it.
In recognising this is something she needs to know, I recognised it is something I often forget.
And so it was today, that a haircut gave me a pain in my heart, and reminded me I am enough, and so is she.