Shining, gleaming, steaming, flaxen, waxen

Reading QFinder’s post, 100 Stereotypes is more like it, I began to think a little more deeply of my own current hair dilemna.

I am a law student, going into my second year.  August 18th marks the beginning of the dreaded "Fall Recruitment", 8 weeks of hell during which all the second-year students compete for spots at interviews with the law firms looking for summer associates. 

I have longish, boringish, hair-colored hair.  It’s healthy looking, which I am proud of, but rather unimpressive.  And here arises the dilemna.  What do I do with my hair for the interviews?  (Full disclosure: I am actually not participating in the traditional fall recrutiment, as I don’t want to work in a firm, but this question applies to all women who need to interview professionally.)

Two of my close friends have dyed their hair brown.  Dark brown.  The first friend had very long, wavy, golden-blonde hair.  She dyed it dark brown, cut severe bangs, and straightened all of it.  She looks fantastic, but she looked fantastic before, and that’s not the point.  The point is that she says the difference in how she feels she is treated by both women and men is astronomical.  Where before she felt she was brushed aside and not taken seriously, she now feels as if she is looked upon as a more serious candidate for a position.  Because of her hair.

The second friend also had blonde hair, but much shorter – just below her ears.  She dyed it a warm brown.  When I asked her if she had done it for Fall Recruitment, she said "Maybe a little – don’t judge me."

I can’t judge her.  I can’t judge her because for a couple of weeks I have been thinking of cutting my hair very short.  I may not be participating in the firm interviews, but I will be interviewing with public interest organizations, many of whom advocate for the LGBT community. 

Would I really cut my hair shorter to make myself more appealling to the people I think might want to hire me?  Is changing one’s hair the same as buying the best suit or the right shoes?  Should ANY of it matter in the interviewing process, be it to be taken more seriously or to conform to any preconceived stereotype? 

Thoughts please.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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