I've uploaded some new images of my work for your viewing pleasure. I would love feedback so let me know what you think.

Specifically I am really interested in what people think of the hair piece as I am looking into both the burden and beauty of long hair on women.

As a woman or man:
What is your perception of long hair on women? Do you prefer it? As a woman do you feel your long hair is a security blanket, or do you feel you would lose your femininity if you cut it off? Do you have any stories about cutting your own hair or having it cut? Does the necklace give you a creepy feeling? If it does why do you think that is? Do you consider hair to be repulsive once it is off the body, or is it as beautiful off the body as when it is on the body?

Any insights are welcome on my hair necklace or other pieces.

Thank you for your time, enjoy!

Rickson

Tags: Hair, art, body, chain, expectations, gender, jewellery, men, necklace, object, More…resin, scultpure, stereotypes, tears, women

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Wow Rickson - those pieces are fab! I especially like the drip/tears necklace - its very beautiful.

To answer some of your questions....
I used to have waist length, straight hair (auburn) for many, many years. I think this was to rebel against my parents initially when I left home, as I was always made to have short hair while young (easier for school sports, swimming etc).
So I had very long hair all through my 20s and beginning of 30s. Recently I had it all cut off (I won a makeover in a magazine) - and I liked the short style. I didn't feel any less feminine, in fact I felt happier as the style suited my face shape more and made me look younger (fab)! The only trouble is - short hair takes much, much more looking after (in my opinion) as it has to be styled, kept trimmed and in shape and tends to stick up in the morning if slept on funny. Long hair was much easier for me - it only needed washing once a week as opposed to short hair where I felt I had to wash it at least twice a week. Also if I was having a 'bad hair day' - long hair can simply be tied back and forgotten about.

So I am growing it again! Nothing to do with feeling more feminine - just easier to deal with!
While having long hair - I was in the Army. So I suppose sometimes after being on excercise and doing soldier-type things, it was nice to get back and 'let my hair down'. Plus also, thinking about it, it was an attention thing for me - as waist length red hair would get some people's attention!

I think hair is beautiful on and off the body - but depends on the hair and where it is!
Your hair necklace is great - I like it.
Hoep this helps - sorry I have waffled a bit!
V x
This is wonderful! Thank you so much. You touched on lots of issues, like personal feelings, and comfort and the attention your long hair gets. Very helpful. Thank you! I totally agree about liking short hair because it frames the face well, but have already noticed it growing out of it's original style. I think I will find I have to trim it often as well. I agree too that long hair is easy to pull back, but becuase personally my hair is so heavy it hurt to put it in a pony tail all day.

I was wondering, was the attention you got for your long red hair from men or women, or both equally? Or was there a difference in the type of attention you got depending on the gender or the nature of the relationship? Did you have a partner when you cut your long hair off, and if so how did they like it, or how did your friends respond? You don't have to answer my follow up questions, or you can answer them in a private message to me if you would prefer.

Thanks so much for your contribution, they are very useful insights.

Rickson
You're welcome! The attention was pretty much equal from men/women. I wasn't emotionally attached to anyone when I got my hair cut and all my friends reckoned it took about 10 years off me!
ha. you should see my wife...
haha, really? Did she shop off all her hair? You have pinched my curiousity...
My son who is 4 is fixated on my hair, I recently had it cut to a bob just above shoulder length which causes problems when he tries to use my hair on his head! He also sniffs it so was wondering if it was his security blanket.
Ah this is very interesting. I have heard that chidren don't like when you change your appearance because you look like a stranger to them. They attach your aethetic choices like hair, makeup and even clothing style with your identity. (as we all do. :) And yes maybe he does use it as a security blanket, especially if he is feeling shy. Thanks for your feedback. Do you like your new hair style?
Before I even read or look at anything I saw that you referred to hair as burden. My mind immediately flashed on traditional hair styles of the Mongolian women. Just amazing. Take a look if you haven't already.
Tod
Wow, amazing. I found this image. I assume this is what you meant. Very interesting. I do see long hair as a burden, but I am also interested in the social burdens some women may feel having short hair. Since I cut mine I have had possitive and negative reactions. I find it flatters my face, but makes me less feminine in general because long hair is associated with being femine.

Thanks so much for your input, I have uploaded the image so everyone can see a traditional Mongolian hairstyle. I have a feeling it is exagerated, but I am not sure. I need to do more research.

Rickson
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An interesting discussion. It occurs to us that the socially approved length of a woman's (or man's hair) is cyclical. We are clearly in an era and country where a full range of styles from short to long is acceptable to society. Rickson, you expressed that your long hair was a "burden" but that your short hair makes you feel "less feminine". This suggests that you have made a conscious choice to trade your femininity for convenience. If there is a burden derived from the act it seems self-imposed rather than societal.

It is understood that this is not necessarily the case in other societies, but it is also understood that the average Mongolian woman does not wear her hair in a highly ritualized fashion any more often than American women do. Perhaps a more pertinent comparison might be the ritual head shaving imposed as punishment on females in various societies who have transgressed whatever cultural taboos.

We love the use of hair in adornment. It hasn't had much play in Western culture since the Victorian era. Do more, its a renewable resource!
Thanks so much for your ideas. I've read that hair styles for men and women are always opposite. If men's hair styles are short, women's are long, and same with body hair. Also opposite ideals equal opposite hair styles. So Punks have wild crazy styles because their ideals are opposite to the 'norm'. Or hippies grew their hair very long to rebel against war wheich involved men shaving their heads where it symbolized obedience. Obviously people are not possessed by such strict rules, but you can see remnants of these ideas in modern western society.

I agree with your ideas about my decision to cut my hair to trade my feminity as being a concious act. However I do not think I should have to trade my femininty to have the comfort of short hair. I see it as being trapped. If I keep my hair long to remaine feminine I am burdened with the physical effects I dislike. Whereas if I cut my hair I lose my femininity. I see it as society that has decided that long hair symbolizes femininity. Of course society is made up of individuals, but I believe people try to exagerate the differences in the sexes. Women shave their body hair, men do not. WOmen have long hair, men do not and so on.

I recently tried another experiment with my body by not shaving my legs, because I don't see why my legs should only be seen as feminine and sexy when I change them by cutting hair that grows natually all over them. My boyfriend was a bit bothered, but I found I was more bothered by it. I would never wear skirts without stockings, and I found myself not wearing what I wanted because I was embarassed people would see my hairy legs. I also felt my legs looked like a man's legs which was very off putting to me and eventually decided to shave them. So maybe it is bad that I don't want to 'look like a man'. I am obviously effected by the wish to seperate the sexes as well.

I also I think this means that I am personally deciding that I find long body hair on women, and my own legs unnatractive...but where did I get that idea? I can only conclude that it is a societal rule that I have learned.

Yes I agree that Mongolian women don't usually wear their hair in the elaborate up dos. I actually had trouble finding that image, so I assume it is not a common or prevalent style.

I am interested in the role of shaving as punishment and tried to find information on the cutting of hair during 'witch hunts' but couldnt' find much. I thought I'd read that their hair was seen as a source of their power so womens hair was cut when they were accused.

Thank you for the support and very interesting and challenging ideas. They are very helpful to me and thinking about these issues.

I will definetly continue using hair and upload images on here. Thanks again!

Rickson
Rickson, thanks for introducing this subject. Who knew we'd all have so much to say about hair. Cutting of hair for punishment wasn't typically applied in cases of witchcraft. It was much more much commonly used as a humiliation tactic in political and morality cases. The link between long hair and power has always been part of the masculine mythos. The link for females is through sexuality. Long hair is equated with sexuality. Woman hold sexual power over males, so longer hair equals more sexual power.

As far as hippies and hair length go, we can say with a high degree of certainty that long hair was not a rebellion against war and military hair styles in particular. It was very much simply rebelling against the norm of the day and the conformist attitudes still in place from the 1950s. The idea of short military hair styles as a symbol of submission (not obedience) was a political concept introduced as part of the anti-war movement of the late 1960s. This resonated with the hippie movement and politicized hair length.

The military demands short hair for two specific reasons. During basic training shaving of the head is a fast, efficient method of stripping a person of their individuality. The purpose is to induce rapid bonding within the unit. The second reason is you don't have to be in a combat situation very long to appreciate the value of short hair. No matter what Sampson says.

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A modern metalsmith/metal artist can be found working in traditional metals as well as in nontraditional materials. The designs can range from the classic to the extravagant, and the techniques can either be centuries old or decidedly current.

The wide range of expression preferences, design options, materials, and processes has lead within our field to unfavorable misconceptions, misunderstandings and in some cases even outright disdain between artists. Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?

We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making!

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