Justice

The Important Reason That Kristen Stewart Cut Her Hair

July 14th 2015

By:
Laura Donovan

No longer bound to the "Twilight" franchise, Kristen Stewart is free to do as she please. Last year, she made a drastic appearance change by cutting off her hair, and while I don't care about the style choices of famous people, I appreciate what she had to say about that move's impact on her self-esteem and what it means to be conventionally attractive.

"My hair was such a crutch," the 25-year-old told Marie Claire in a new interview. "I looked quote unquote 'sexy' no matter what. I could hide behind it. As soon as I didn't have all that hair, I had to let my face hang out. I felt more confident than I had in a really long time. And it felt really good."

Stewart added that it doesn't matter what most people find attractive, as her opinion is the only one that counts.

"Maybe to most people long hair is prettier," she said. "But then what? Is your main goal in life to be desired? That is boring as fuck."

The "Twilight" actress isn't the sole female in the spotlight to shorten her hair and face a world that might not accept it. Performer and activist Emma Watson rocked the pixie hairdo several years ago and weathered negative comments from men who felt she should have maintained her long, flowing locks.

"If I had it my way, I would have just kept it short forever," she told Glamour in 2012. "Of course, men like long hair. There's no two ways about it. The majority of the boys around me were like, 'Why did you do that? That's such an error.' And I was like, 'Well, honestly, I don't really care what you think!' I've never felt so confident as I did with short hair -- I felt really good in my own skin."

This week, The New York Times came under fire after publishing an article about female tennis players' body image issues, with a focus on Wimbledon winner and top athlete Serena Williams. It's written as a news report and not as an opinion piece, but critics were unimpressed with the language used to describe Williams's body, and the comparisons made about her and other females.

"[Williams] has large biceps and a mold-breaking muscular frame, which packs the power and athleticism that have dominated women’s tennis for years," Ben Rothernberg wrote for The Times. "Her rivals could try to emulate her physique, but most of them choose not to."

As ATTN: noted on Monday, anchor Julie DiCaro had the most thought-provoking response to the comments about Williams. She pointed out how no one talked about the appearances of male tennis champions:

In the wake of immense backlash over the article, The Times' public editor Margaret Sullivan published a follow-up story stating author Ben Rothernberg's "intentions were good." Rothenberg told Sullivan that he was “disappointed and surprised” by the responses of many.

“I knew it was going to be a touchy subject,” he told Sullivan. “I wanted it to be a conversation starter. But I should have challenged the norms rather than just stated them as a given.”

Sullivan concluded by seeming to say Rothernberg's article was unsuccessful as it did not inspire the kind of dialogue the writer had perhaps hoped for, "[A]ll of this could have made for a more productive conversation. And that conversation is still worth having."