MA Media and Creative Cultures
Don't worry, it'll grow: An exploration into the multisited experiences of young women and non-binary people with shaved heads
Shaved head, buzzcut, number one, two or three — there are a number of names for this haircut, and even more connotations surrounding it. This research investigates the many ways that the shaved head can be felt, influencing and disrupting notions of identity, particularly as experienced by women and non-binary people.
This dissertation offers a contemporary consideration of the multi-sited and multi-scalar experiences of shaved heads as related to notions of identity, particularly attentive to the experiences of women and non-binary people. Understanding hair as more than mere biomaterial is at the root of this study, for hair is entangled with creations and disruptions of identity, and laced with a multitude of implications and connotations. I offer an insightful interrogation into the matter of hair, its presence, and its absence, achieved through considered engagement with various sociological, anthropological, cultural studies, and identity studies literature, in conjunction with less academic sources (such as blogs and non-academic articles), as well as my own research data gained by way of narrative correspondence. Notions of gender and queerness, confidence, perception, and visibility run central to this thesis, and operate as recurrent themes throughout. Ultimately, I interrogate the affective matter of identity, tending not only to dominant theoretical and cultural understandings, but also the ways in which the nuances of identity materialise atop the head.