Mom and I had our haircuts the other day.
While I was having mine, and mom was waiting for me, an elderly lady came in and started chatting up my stylist. When she noticed my very short hair (I now have a pixie with an undercut), she asked my mom, “Lalaki ba yang anak mo?“(Is your child a boy?) To which my mom politely replied, “Ay, babae po.” (Oh no. She’s a girl.) I heard what she asked despite the hair blower practically screaming at my ear, but I just gave her a smile.
When I was done, she sat next to me and promptly told my stylist she wants the same haircut as mine, but also quickly added, “Kasi may nanliligaw sa akin. Para di na niya ako ligawan. Ikaw, hija, hindi ka dapat nagpapagupit ng ganyan. Hindi ka naman pala tomboy. Ganda ka pa naman.” (Because I have a suitor, whom I want to stop pursuing me. You shouldn’t be having your hair cut that way if you want someone to pursue you. It’s a shame because you are pretty and not lesbian. Your hair shouldn’t be that short.) I was stunned, but I didn’t say anything and just smiled. There are other battles that are more worth winning.
I am very adventurous when it comes to my hair, in fact right now, I am at my shortest cut, but that does not mean I am lesbian. I am straight. I appreciate women, but I like men. I know I don’t even have to declare or explain it. No one has to really, but sometimes, people have to be told. And so what if I am? A difference in preference does not make one less of a person.
We tend to do that, don’t we? We see a man who’s more refined compared to other men, “Bakla yan.” (He’s gay.) We see a woman with short hair, “Tomboy yan.“(She’s a lesbian.) We see a person who just doesn’t smile or laugh as much as most of us, “Masama ugali niyan.” (He/She is a rude person.)
We are quick to judge. We are quick to isolate. We are quick to offend. We are quick to hurt. That’s just sad.
Personally, I don’t really care what people think of me. Everyone is entitled to his opinion anyway. I’d just like to believe I am now wise enough to know that not all opinions are important.