I don’t know what’s going on with the intolerant and hair, which they focus on more viciously than the rest of the body. They have a special fixation with what sprouts from other people’s heads, whether it’s hair or ideas.
In the seventies my father wanted to grow hair down to his shoulders, but the scissors had their way. The oppressors were always blandishing them, those who assert that a military haircut is the sign of a “proper” man. That was the same era when the hippies’ blue jeans and mop hairdos marked them as exponents of “ideological diversionism.”
However, a mop of hair is not the only thing that messes up these barbers of reprimand. I remember when, overwhelmed by the lack of shampoo and outbreaks of lice—common in the dark years of the nineties—I decided to cut off all my hair. I was at the Instituto Pedagógico and my shiny head nearly cost me an expulsion from the university. On the street there was always someone to remind me that “a woman who is respected” does not disregard her hair. Weighed down by so much interference, I let my tresses grow, ad infinitum.
Today, my son wants to sport a pair of tufts over his ears thanks to the aesthetic influence of Japanese cartoons. But there is the director of his school to make him live just like his grandfather and I did. With the white and yellow uniform of secondary school—according to this barber in turn—a hairdo that strays from the most military style doesn’t fit. To Teo’s blackest hair and enormous sideburns, the old scissors of the intransigent also approach. The permanent hand that wants to cut off all the differences.