Long Hair at 50
Who says you have to cut your hair short after a certain age? One woman revels in defying the rules
Fast forward to my late 20s, when I met my ex-husband, a stunningly handsome German model with a strong jawline and hair to his shoulders. One of the first male models to sport a mane and a single name, Oliver had sashayed down European runways in Christian Lacroix skirts for men. I was hooked, as was he. Who had the better hair was up for debate.
Oliver eventually did cut his hair, as did Fabio, another '80s male whom I recently spied at a trade show—he looked older and tired. Which made me reflect upon the power of long hair. (Of course we all know Delilah, the woman who chopped off Samson's locks, rendering him weak and powerless.)
Long hair is symbolic of strength—for both men and women. Just look at the number of strong, long-haired females throughout history: Lady Godiva, Pocahontas, Annie Oakley, Veronica Lake, Gloria Steinem, Naomi Wolf, Cher, Maria Shriver, Donatella Versace and, most recently, Merida, the heroine in Pixar's film Brave, with her defiantly unruly mane of red hair. "Why wouldn't we, as women, use any power we have rather than striving to be associated with male power like money? Why not just simply grow your hair and have more power?" asks LaCerra.
Is there more to long hair than meets the eye? Juliet Heeg, LCSW-R, a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in New York City, certainly thinks so. "If you are a woman of a certain age sporting long hair, your locks may hold the key to your unconscious—or quite conscious—wish for undying sexual allure and power, a longing to return to a time ripe with possibility is what long hair is about. Call it the female penis or the id."