Vanity

“Jo! How could you? Your one beauty!” Amy exclaims in the movie ‘Little Women’ after brave Jo has chopped off her hair for money.

In the book, Louisa May Alcott touches on the fact that Jo is very conceited and proud of her hair because she feels as though it is the one beautiful thing about her. So when she does cut off her hair, she has to face that vanity square on.

I’m very much like Jo in this aspect. I, too, fancy my hair one of my best traits; and for most of my life, I let it grow long and left it down all the time. Over time, I got braver and braver and kept cutting it a little shorter and then even more short. Until finally, one day in the year of 2009, I got the guts to get a pixie cut. Without a second thought, I told the woman to do it and off went my hair.

That was a very scary time in my life. Unlike Jo, I cut my hair not for any reason at all, just for the fun of it. But all at once, that glory that crowned my head, that security blanket was gone and all that was left was my face: which I was very self conscious about.

I learned some very valuable lessons during that time though; I had to rest in the knowledge that the Lord found me beautiful, I felt very vulnerable all the time and it took a certain bravery to make it through those years.

My husband has since then, made me vow never to cut my hair that short ever again….and I gladly agreed.

I’ve been growing out my hair for at least four years now and it’s back to it’s long, glorious length where I feel like a princess all the time. And because I am a person of an extremely short attention span, I’m ready for change. But just to prove to myself that I can finish something, (in this case, growing out my hair), I decided to wait until the middle of 2014 to do the deed.

I was talking to my husband about my next hair cut and that I would donate my hair to locks of love; and not a week later, my friend called me to say she had breast cancer.

It became very clear to me that this was the time, there was no more appropriate time to cut my hair and donate it. My friend doesn’t have a choice but to lose her hair, but I do, and I want to be a shoulder that she can lean on. And I want to give some little girl who is sick a way to feel like the princess she is!

What girl hasn’t dreamed of being brave and chopping off their hair for a noble cause? It puffs up our vanity and makes us feel better about ourselves; like we are somehow a better person for doing something so ordinary.

And I confess, I’ve been so afraid of my own conceit and my own vanity at this decision that I’ve tried to be very selective about who I tell. I haven’t even told this friend yet, I don’t know how or if I should tell her!

I guess the conclusion to this is that, I’m afraid to cut my hair. I’m afraid of having nothing to hide behind, of having to be brave just to walk out the door. I’m afraid of not feeling feminine without long, flowing locks that frame my face. But, I want to do something for someone else and I don’t want to make myself out to be a martyr. I simply want to love someone selflessly, the way Jesus does.

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