People can be mean and judgemental, and it doesn’t help with social media going viral with the story. “Mum Hair” is trending right now and I’m so annoyed that I could slap someone.
The Chinese have a saying that “some people have nothing else to do after they’ve had their meal, so they cook up stuff”, and this is exactly just that.
With so many other issues going on in the world right now, it’s mind-goggling how the way women wear their postpartum hair has become a thing.
Fashion, I understand and totally get, can be fluid and temperamental. But why the need to give it a derisive label? This inadvertently opens the door for people to take potshots at every female wearing her hair in a bob as henceforth, she can be deemed “mumsy and unflattering” – whether or not she’s borne any children.
“You’ve likely seen it at suburban malls: the longer-in-back, slightly–shorter-in-front bob that should read sleek but is inescapably frumpy,” wrote The New York Times. The initial article had noble intentions, of course, to advise women on how to maintain a stylish short hair cut, especially after losing hair during pregnancy.
Juan Carlos Maciques, a stylist at the Rita Hazan salon in Manhattan was quoted as saying: “The first thing new mums want to do is cut their hair off. They’re feeling lousy about their bodies, and they just want to get some sense of self again. But, usually, to cut off your hair is a big mistake.” Apparently, you should go down “the Kate Middleton route” – cut a fringe to cover the regrowth you get when you’ve lost hair post-birth.
What’s more humiliating is the suggestion that long hair can distract from your post-baby fat (read: fat bum): “When you go short, you are more exposed. There’s less, literally, to hide behind.”
Gosh, how rude can you get? Who gets to make the call as to what short bob is stylish and what’s “Mum Hair” anyway?
Here in the tropics, short hair simply makes more sense, regardless whether you’ve just given birth or you’re an office executive.
By labelling it “Mum Hair”, it’s like saying the minute a woman becomes a mother, she becomes less of a person as it insinuates that she’s lost all sense of style, and along with it, her wits. Society has called them out for being stupid enough to take on yet another role on top of a career, and women should jolly well feel bad that they don’t/will never measure up.
So maybe I’m over-reacting a little, but I fail to see how in any light at all, this term can be seen as “funny in a nice way”. No, I didn’t chop off my locks when I was a new mum (though it was so tempting as I felt so hot at that stage) – but I did feel a little ostracised from my old clique, excluded from activities I used to enjoy because of my newly acquired status. I also felt unattractive and down for a bit because of all the new duties piled on me, thanks to my new role.
So yeah, I feel for new mums, who certainly don’t deserve yet another negative term that only adds insult to injury. Not all of us are cut out to be Hollywood glamour pusses, and we should not have to be made to feel guilty about it.
Everyone (including those who haven’t had children before) seems to have an opinion of what’s expected of new mums. Think there should be more of what’s expected of society in terms of providing a better support system for new mums, don’t you?
I had initially intended to talk about men’s skincare before I was sidetracked. That I had met someone recently who’s just starting out in the business, and it was refreshing that he didn’t shove his products down my throat like how so many PR companies do these days.
He also told me his criteria for choosing a men’s range – which I suspected all along anyway – that men are plain lazy, they just want one product for everything. They like fuss-free packaging and don’t want to be inundated with too many details on how things work.
Men also feel intimidated when they walk into a store full of products, and unlike women who prefer to try out stuff and get more information, they’d rather make a quick purchase and slink away unnoticed if possible.
Hence the logic behind selling Australian brand Vitaman in a premium supermarket and also online.
For the longest time, established brands have brought in their men’s skincare ranges … and then stopped them along the way. Despite all that’s been written about men’s skincare, our guys are either still clueless, too picky, or just not bothered.
Well, with Australian footballer Tim Cahill as the brand’s ambassador, perhaps Malaysian men might feel they have a face they can identify with. Let’s see how this haircare and grooming product range fares here in time to come. Meantime, our men get to have more options, which is always welcome in a market dominated by women’s products.
New mothers have a hard enough time as it is, having to adjust to everything from new baby to new lifestyle. If you have an uplifting story, do share with firstname.lastname@example.org