On the Bias Towards Long Hair and Short Hair

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My hair is currently long. While I often get a number of compliments on my hair, I also heard a very specific comment from a few people (specifically family and relatives). This small group of people consistently jest at me to “get a haircut.” At first, their words didn’t bother me. However, due to hearing their comment so often, I started to internalize their perspective. It wasn’t long before I would look in the mirror and think – “should I get a haircut?”

“They are actually jealous and turning to their social network for a contrary bias to keep standards low. Also happens when people are all eating donuts and you bust out a badass paleo lunch and everybody makes a joke about it. Or when you are trying to excel at work and everybody else brags about how lazy they are. They are maintaining low standards for themselves to maintain a sense of social integrity so none of them feel lower than the other. It’s a fear-based reaction, people are afraid of being singled out. Also known as “crabs in the pot”, everybody pulls everybody else down to their level. It’s why alcoholics and users end up using again, their “friends” drag them back down because of the threat of a sober person in the group raising standards. Even though this is done at the expense of one person at a time, invariably everyone is teased about SOMETHING now and then, so it goes around and comes around anyway.”

Unfortunately, I do not know where this quote comes from as it has been saved in my drafts for a while. I believe that it may have come from some kind of forum.

As I have gotten a bit older, I’ve realized that the issue is not about the science of long hair or short hair; the issue is peoples’ personal bias. A long time ago, I saw a before-and-after post about a male who had cut his long hair in a bet. Many of the comments idealized his short hair, and claimed that he was 1-2 points more attractive. However, one comment was different. It said something along these lines. He looked like Thor before. Now, he looks like Captain America. In either case, he looks good.

I was pleasantly surprised by this intelligent comment. Two things can be different and still good.

[Image by shaniaculter from Pixabay]

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