Tuesday, January 7, 2014

goodbye goldilocks -- why i cut my hair

I made a goal this year—a New Year's resolution if you will. I wanted to do something that would shock everyone who knows me—something nobody thinks I would actually go through with. I'm not talking about the random Facebook friends who I occasionally stalk from time to time. I wanted to shock the people that know all my insecurities and who I really am. Little did I know that this resolution would turn into something far greater—a time for self-reflection and a catalyst for change. 

Doing something shock worthy may seem like a silly goal to set, but I have a history of saying and doing the unexpected. I verbalize what everybody else thinks but is too afraid to say. I'm that guy.

Example? A few months ago my cousin Rikki got married. Her dad, Dale, is Hawaiian and, as is tradition in Polynesian weddings, a dance was performed. At the reception Dale introduced a "traditional Hawaiian dance," customary at the first wedding in a family. My uncle is quite unconventional, and that traditional dance turned into him, his two brothers and me performing a full-costumed choreographed dance (courtesy of Wayne's World 2) to the YMCA by the Village People. Naturally I end up as the leather-clad biker. I found out post-performance that my mother turned to my date during the dance and said, "I'm just glad he didn't start stripping." So that's me—the guy whose mother is relieved when he sticks to plan without too much inappropriate improvisation. If you care to scar yourself and see the performance, complete with my gyrating Shakira birthing hips, click here.

Well, as is the norm for me, I digress. I apologize. Back to business—I think I get a high out of people's reactions; maybe I just want attention. It probably isn't the best thing, I know, but it is what it is and I am who I am. No apologies for that.

So what do I choose for Cam's most shockable moment? I buzzed my hair off. For those who have no idea who I am, it is no secret that I love my hair. I'm a bit cocky about it, but you know what? God didn't bless me with a size 32 waist or skin that belongs on a Neutrogena campaign, but by golly did He bless me with great hair! That being said, cutting my hair is 100% something that nobody would believe I would actually do.

And that's what originally prompted me to buzz off my hair. As I said before, it quickly transformed into something much more. This depthless resolution resulted in a time of self-reflection on who I am and what should matter to me.

I made the decision, but I started to get cold feet. The thought of cutting my hair was scary. Really, really scary. I've had the same haircut, or variations of it, for nearly four years now—long on the top and short on the sides. Yes, I'll call myself hipster (this once) and say that I was doing it before it was cool. But really, I was.

Understand that growing up I was the token fat kid. It's funny, but it's the truth. Wearing a size 42 pant in high school was not the easiest thing for an awkward pimply-faced teenager who just wanted to be cool. With my size came a lot of self-confidence issues. And even as I have thinned out and toned up, many of those issues still linger. I recognize that I have become more attractive, but at times it felt that much of that has been because of my hair. The compliments I received because of my hair gave me reason to believe that I was worth something and that I might have some aesthetic value in this world. My hair was defining me. It was my source of worth. It was my crutch. I was my hair. So much so that I was scared of feeling, no, being unattractive without it.

I realized that with much of my identity tied to my hair, getting rid of it would essentially mean that I was giving up a part of me. People know me as "the guy with the hair."  People know me, well, I guess I should say knew me as "the guy with the hair." I even recently found out that a couple friends from church referred to me as Ken Doll before they knew me. I liked having that reputation; it made me feel like a somebody.

Once I realized how dependent I was on my hair, I decided (slowly and nervously, mind you) that it was finally time to change. 2014 is my year for self-improvement—not just in my physical appearance but in my attitude and in my perception of myself. I am turning my life around and chopping my hair off is the step I have decided to take to start fresh. 

And now that it is no longer there, I am taking this time to learn that I am not my hair. It does not define me. And though it has many redeeming qualities, it is not what makes me the person that people love and find attractive. I have so many more qualities that give me aesthetic value to this world, both internal and external. It's time for me to realize that myself. 

My hair will grow back; I am fully planning (and counting) on that. But upon its return, I will know that it is just an accessory that simply accentuates and magnifies the great man I already am. I will know that I am not my hair.

~ Cam


  1. This is great! In response to your goal for this year, you absolutely have to read Confronting the Myth of Self-Esteem: Twelve Keys to Finding Peace by Ester Rasband. It is a super quick read, 130 pages, and it has seriously changed my life and they way that I think and feel about myself. I seriously cannot recommend it enough. Seriously though, I really really really really mean it. YOU HAVE TO READ THIS BOOK!

  2. This was the best blog post I have read...you are very inspiring. I wish I could use words as eloquently as you. I look forward to reading many more inspiring things from you! :)

  3. cameron. i am so glad you're resurrected your blog. i think i mentioned that already on a previous post, but i really am. this is a great post - very uplifting. also your haircut is DOPE.