New York Times and ‘Mom hair’

I clicked on this New York Times article about “mom hair”  the other day because I’m a mom and in need of a haircut. But as I started reading it, I wanted to crawl into a hole and die. It’s like every quote in this article was poking a finger into my current wound of bad self-esteem. And then twirling it around.

“You’ve likely seen it at suburban malls: the longer-in-back, slightly–shorter-in-front bob that should read sleek but is inescapably frumpy,” it states. “And even the city-dwelling mom isn’t immune. Perhaps she has added her own twists like blunt bangs or extra layering, but the ‘do still falls short of flattering.”

Basically, you want a cut that reads: “modern rather than mumsy.”

One stylist was even appalled that a mom would want to cut her hair at all! Because new moms need longer hair to, basically, hide their fat faces behind.

“And the truth is, long hair can be a little bit of a distraction. When you go short, you are more exposed. There’s less, literally, to hide behind.”

The entire article was written as though moms choose to look bad. Like, we go to our hairdresser and go, “Hey! I’m a new mom and I really want to embrace this shit! GIVE ME THE FULL ON KATE GOSSELIN OR NOTHING AT ALL!”

When, in reality, we have almost no control over how we look after our baby is born. I’ve been trying to control it and it’s hopeless. After Kit was born, I was despondent about my hair. All of the birth hormones made my hair dry and brittle. Then I started losing it on the sides. And I had a pot belly. I looked like this but without the cool bangs and/or musical ability.


So I chopped it off. And my mom cut was born.

And even if I could get to a salon to work on my hair, when would I do it? Do salons stay open late enough for me to go after I put the kids to bed? Do I spend three hours of my weekend, time I could be spending with my children, to get this done? Do I spend $300 on this? Money that could be spent on the things we need to raise our children?

I spend a lot of time thinking about and working on how to not look maternal. Or, as the Times puts it: “mumsy.” I work out with a trainer / physical therapist twice a week to try to get my abs somewhat back into their right place. I went to a dermatologist to get some prescription strength cream to help with the postpartum acne. I eat a salad every day for lunch. Snack on nuts. Eat egg whites for breakfast.

And yet.

And yet.

I look maternal. Like a mom.

My boobs are droopy. My thighs are floppy. My tummy is a tummy.

I look like a mom.

Because that is what I am.

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