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"I want to cut my hair short, but I am a competitive dancer and this would go against company rules. It’s getting to the point that the femininity isn’t comfortable. What less radical/ less permanent changes can I make to feel better about how I look?"

- Question submitted by Anonymous and answered by Anita Dolce Vita as part of Everyone Is Gay: Second Opinions.

Anita Says:

First off, I am terribly sorry to hear that your company’s rules do not support diversity of gender expression. Unfortunately, this type of discrimination is a common occurrence, so much so that dapperQ recently launched a new “CorporateQ” series, which explores the intersection of style, identity, and workplace gender politics. I invite you to check it out, as you may relate to many of the readers’ stories of feeling pressured to conform to normative binary gender roles in the workplace and you may also find support in how these readers dealt with said pressure. (We also invite you to submit your story to dapperQ@gmail.com, which you can do anonymously if you wish.)

That said, I understand that you prefer to have short hair. Many people, regardless of where they fall within (or outside of) the feminine-masculine gender spectrum prefer shorter cuts. However, if your goal is to achieve a masculine look via a short hair cut, I can say this: long hair does not have to be associated with femininity. Part of dismantling the normative gender binary is to challenge traditional notions about what constitutes femininity and masculinity. There are plenty of long hair style options for masculine and androgynous presenting folks. The article “Styles and Cuts for Long-Haired dapperQs” is a good source of inspiration. I have also created a Pinterest board with additional masculine/androgynous long-hair options for you, which you can find here. Included in the Pinterest board are several images of “muns” (masculine buns), a style that is all the rage right now for masculine presenting celebrities and “menswear” models, as well as some examples of how you can style long hair into a faux pompadour.

Another less permanent change you can make to achieve the look you desire is to dress in more masculine/androgynous leaning attire. For smaller impact, you can start with adding accessories such as bow-ties, suspenders, and “menswear” inspired shoes. Or, if you feel comfortable and confident doing so, you can don pant suits, button-downs, and trousers with traditionally masculine silhouettes. dapperQ has a wealth of resources, including a store guide, to help get you started on your style journey.

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Click through to read more about Anita and our other Second Opinions Panelists!

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