Why It Feels So Good To Chop Off All Your Hair When The World Feels Crazy

Collage by Lindsay Hattrick

It’s the perfect Summer of Rage hairstyle

One of my family's defining rites of passage is a perhaps untraditional one: chopping off all our hair when times get tough. It has become a marker of periods of emotional instability and our incredible resilience when facing those times. In the late '90s, after my dad unexpectedly died, my mother chopped off her unruly black curls and opted for a cute pixie 'do. When my brother finally had the courage and strength to end a years-long emotionally abusive relationship, he buzzed off his lob-length locs. And when I was fourteen, after being bullied in middle school, I joined in on the action and cut off half of my hair. 

I'm grateful there aren't any photos from that period, but I do have the vivid memories of it. I remember standing there, in our tiny bathroom, which seemed to get smaller with every passing minute, staring at myself, and shaking like a small dog caught in the rain. I'm not sure where I found the strength to actually take the scissors and make that first snip, but soon enough the deed was done. Soon enough, I realized I had made a horrible mistake, and, with sheets of tears streaming down my face, asked my mom for help. Equal parts angry and empathetic, my mom drove me to our hairdresser, where I made the tough but necessary decision to cut off the rest of my hair. It wasn't until college that I saw another hairdresser again; I'd felt so traumatized while sitting in that chair, women staring at me with pity as I revealed what I'd done to myself while in pain.

The experience of cutting off your hair when going through difficult times is not unique to my family, of course; I was reminded of this recently when watching the second season of The Handmaid's Tale, during which Elisabeth Moss' Offred cuts her hair—amongst, spoiler, other parts of her body—in a fit of defiance and hurt. Immediately, I turned to my boyfriend, who was cringing from seeing Offred's bloodied body, and said, "Okay, so June must have studied at some sort of beauty school in a past life. Just look at that lob!"

So, look, here's the difference between an emotionally driven self-haircut at home and one on-screen: In television and film, these self-chops are almost always executed perfectly. (One notable exception is Lena Dunham's Hannah Horvath in the second season finale of Girls.) Like, in Insurgent, Shailene Woodley's Tris gives herself not only a stylish pixie cut, but highlights, too! But leaving aside the low-key annoyance I feel at seeing these perfect lobs, I love witnessing other people cut their hair off in a fit of emotional rage. And I'm not alone.

"I think that watching someone shave or cut their hair can be emotionally evocative if not cathartic for someone if the cutting or shaving is an action that encapsulates the emotion they themselves are feeling and wishing/longing to express," says Annie Wright, LMFT, owner and clinical director of Evergreen Counseling. "For example, if someone is feeling trapped, angry, and wants to lash out themselves, seeing someone on a movie or TV or even in real life take a dramatic transformative action like spontaneously cutting off or shaving their head can provide an external symbolization of the feelings they themselves may be feeling but can't or won't express. Moreover, hair is an ancient symbol of strength, virility, and power, and the act of shaving or cutting it off can also be powerful symbology at an almost unconscious level for someone witnessing it."

Though, Wright notes that it's not as simple as just saying that these scenes have therapeutic benefits. "Watching these actions can, in my opinion, be emotionally supportive for some people if they are going through an emotionally challenging time," she continues. "However, it's also possible that watching someone cut off or shave off their hair could also be triggering to some people. The responses will be unique to the individual and what they are going through at that time, but very possibly, some people may feel empowered and feel emotional relief from watching an action like this."

If you're feeling inspired by fictional or IRL events to give yourself a Summer of Rage hair makeover, there's some things to keep in mind. According to Cutloose owner and hairstylist Siobhan Benson, your best bet might be to go for a straight-up buzzcut to avoid any uneven hair nightmares. "I think the most realistic, easy-to-do self-cut is just full on head shave like in Empire Records," she says."As a professional I don’t recommend it, but people should do what they need to do! I hear it's liberating! I never want to stop anyone from doing what they want or to make a change. I would just wait until you're in a calm place to do so."

Photo by Imani Givertz

Premiering today via NYLON

Small Talks, aka Cayley Spivey, has come a long way since starting a band, then becoming the entire band herself and forging her own fan base from the ground up. On her recent album A Conversation Between Us, she began to unpack any lingering baggage with one particular song: "Teeth." Today, she premieres the accompanying music video exclusively via NYLON.

"'Teeth' is about my personal battle with letting go of the past," Spivey tells NYLON, admitting that it's easily her favorite song off of A Conversation Between Us.

Watch the video for "Teeth" below.

Small Talks - Teeth (Official Music Video) - YouTube

Photos by Joe Maher/Getty Images, Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for TIME

Must have been pretty awkward

Taylor Swift and Sophie Turner were guests on the U.K.'s The Graham Norton Show together, which must have been awkward for Turner's husband, Joe Jonas, seeing as he also happens to be Swift's ex. I wonder if his name came up?

The interview doesn't come out until Friday night, but promotional photos show the two sharing a couch. Swift is making an appearance to perform her new single, "ME!" while Turner is promoting her new film, X- Men: Dark Phoenix. But it seems necessary for the two to be asked about Jonas.

Swift was just on the Ellen DeGeneres Show earlier this month, where she brought up the fact that she felt bad for putting Jonas "on blast" on DeGeneres' show back in 2008 by telling the audience that he broke up with her in a record-setting short phone call. But, according to Swift, she and Jonas are chill now, since it happened pretty long ago, which means she's probably already hung out with Turner and maybe even gossiped about him with her.

We can only hope that they get the chance to spill some tea on television.

Screenshot via YouTube, Photo Courtesy of HBO

"That's! His! Auntie!"

Leslie Jones has rewatched the Game of Thrones finale with a beer in hand, Seth Meyers at her side, and a full camera crew ready to take in all her glorious reactions. Spoilers ahead, but, if you haven't watched last week's episode already, that's kind of on you at this point.

When Jon Snow started to make out with Daenerys, also known as his aunt, only to stab her through the chest moments later, it was emotional whiplash for everyone watching. And, Jones' reactions—both from her first and second viewing—sum it all perfectly.

"That's! His! Auntie! [gagging noises]," Jones says before making an aside about calling the police if her uncle ever tried to do the same. But then the knife goes in, and Jones screams. "Did you see that?!" Jones asks, "Yeah bitch, that's a knife in you." Meyers points out the funniest part of all: "Why are you so upset about someone kissing their aunt but totally fine with someone killing their aunt?" Jones replies, "Because that bitch needed to go," and, well, same.

Other highlights from the comedians' rewatch include comparing Dany's victory speech to a bad improv gig, predicting that their dogs would have less of a reaction to their deaths than Drogon did to his mother's, and more.

Watch all of Jones' reactions from this Late Night clip below.

Game of Jones: Leslie Jones and Seth Watch Game of Thrones' Series Finale

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These lyrics are a lot

Robbie Tripp, aka Curvy Wife Guy, is back with a music video, titled "Chubby Sexy," starring his wife and a trio of models. In it, Tripp raps about his bold choice to find women with an average body size attractive.

The video begins with a series of statements laid over some pool water: "Curves are the new high fashion," "Chubby is the new sexy," "We Out Here." Tripp posits that these queens deserve an anthem, which they do. What they do not deserve is this Cursed Song. As he lists all the names he knows to call them by (thick, thicc, and BBW), one model (who I really, really hope was paid well) squirts some lotion down her cleavage, and Tripp begins dancing.

"My girl chubby sexy/ Call her bonita gordita," Tripp states in his chorus, before going on to compare "big booty meat" to the peach emoji. Another thing he mentions is that his wife can't find a belt that fits her waist, and that's why he calls her James and the Giant Peach. He then tries to dab. Here are some of the other Cursed highlights from his, uh, verses:

Got those Khaleesi curves/ Knows how to dragon slay
She like a dude that's woke/ We like a girl that's weighty
Some say a chubby girl that's risky/ But they ain't met a curvy girl that's frisky
Imma dunk that donk like I'm Andrew Wiggins.
Thick like an Amazon/ Built like Big Ben.

Tripp says one thing in the video that I couldn't agree more with: "She don't need a man." No, she does not. Please run. If you must, watch the entire video, below. Or send it to your nemesis!

Robbie Tripp - Chubby Sexy (Official Music Video)

Photo by Emma McIntyre / Getty Images.

See the promo here

It was bound to happen. The Kadashians and Jenners have committed themselves to letting the cameras roll on their lives, for better or for worse. So if you thought that the Jordyn Woods and Tristan Thompson cheating scandal was off limits, you thought wrong. The trailer for Sunday's episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians was just released, and it involves the famous family working through the fallout of what happened when Woods went to a party at Thompson's house.

The teaser includes the infamous clip of Khloé Kardashian screaming "LIAAAARRRRRR." It's still not explicitly clear who prompted that strong response. She could be responding to Thompson, who clearly isn't always honest. Or she could be reacting to Woods account of the events on Red Table Talk. But the most revealing moment comes when we see Kylie Jenner—who was Woods' best friend before all of this happened—react for the first time.

In a heart-to-heart conversation, momager Kris Jenner says, "For you and Jordyn, it's like a divorce." Kylie only offers this in response: "She fucked up." Based on Woods' version of events—which I'm inclined to believeThompson is the one who fucked up. Still, I'm hoping for some kind of reconciliation between the two longtime friends. Perhaps we'll have to wait until next season for that.

Check out the promo video below.