People Treat Me Differently Now That My Hair Is Longer
I have started to
notice that people see me differently, and treat me differently.
My hair has finally
reached a length that could be called "long hair" by some. It hangs
in my face, it blows in the wind, I can form it into a ponytail. It comes down
to my chin in the front and is slightly longer as it moves back.
As it was growing
out, it went through many stages, but each stage was a version of "short
hair." Even as it began to get floppy, I still would have called it short.
Now, though, it has unambiguously reached the "long hair" category, even
if it isn't yet shoulder length.
This is important
because now, when strangers first see me, they form an impression of me that
includes my long hair. I still dress more or less the same, and I'm obviously
still the same person I was when I have short hair. I haven't changed, but my
hair has; it's the only significant physical change I've undergone over the
past year or so.
The result of all
this is that the first impression I give to people is different now. I notice
that people treat me differently now that I have long hair.
For one thing,
people used to mostly ignore me as I ran. In some cases, I think some were
afraid of me, because I typically run faster than most people, with sunglasses
on, without a shirt, etc. I'd even wear a bandana as my hair was getting
longer. Now, I put it in a ponytail, and no one seems afraid. People smile at
me much more often as I run; pleasant, friendly smiles as though acknowledging
a neighbor. It's great.
At work, or walking
around downtown, the case is similar. Whereas before people would refuse to
make eye contact with me, sometimes seemingly attempting to walk right through me as though I wasn't
there, now people smile, or nod, or even greet me.
When I play live
music, people are much more receptive to my on-stage persona now. The music is
the same, but the look is enough to capture a little more attention from the
crowd. Perhaps it gives me more credibility as an artist, since people expect
artists and musicians to have long hair. Or perhaps it's just visually more
interesting, which helps the audience tune-in to what we're doing a little
I expected that, at
work, long hair would reduce my credibility. I expected people to take me less
seriously and think less of my ideas when presented. So far, though, that
hasn't happened, either. And since people seem to be a bit friendlier to a
long-haired guy, I've been able to make good working relationships with
coworkers I've only recently met. Perhaps they remember me a little easier,
since I'm more easily identifiable now.
This has been a good
change for me, and very unexpected. At the risk of reading too much into
everything, I feel more as though people see me the way I see myself:
friendlier, more artistic, calmer, more open. Maybe, for whatever reason, the
long hair conveys more of that impression to others. Or maybe I simply feel different with long hair and therefore act differently. Perhaps it's a combination of
One thing is for
certain: people treat me differently now that I have long hair. I didn't really
expect it, but I quite like the change.