A bald woman is a strange and mysterious being.

The moment she cuts her hair she’s expected to overcompensate for the “lack” of femininity with accessories, make-up, the way she dresses. We become more self-conscious when the cloaks we use to assert identity are stripped bare, giving way to a need to overcompensate for the identifier we now lack.

Lack. Such a peculiar word.

1. the state of being without or not having enough of something.

1. be without or deficient in.

Is there such a thing when it comes to identity? How does one ascertain enough femininity? Enough African-ness? Enough queerness? When I shaved my head in November of 2014 it felt like coming up for air in the midst of drowning. I had been contemplating the decision for over a year and looking back at it now, it’s clear the reason I didn’t do it sooner was for fear of losing my societal identifier.

Hair equals girl equals feminine.

But who defines those standards? Who’s to decide we are “enough” of anything and grant us identity rights? If there is such a person, let them show themselves. If there isn’t, why do we feel the need to justify or convince others of the authenticity of our identities?

Identity is deeply personal and as such, its boundaries can only be defined by the person embodying it. No need to justify our body, our “being”, our “self”. It’s about authenticity and ownership and the right to simply be, to exist, in our own minds, in our own bodies, in our own skin.

How much of person we are today is a reflection of who we see yourselves as? How much of it is a product of an imposed definition of who we should be?

Are you being who you really are?

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