What it felt like to shave my head

On holidays in Costa Rica in 2008.

With the trend of women shaving their heads on the rise, I’ve felt compelled to reflect on what the head shave experience was like for me a decade ago.

Even in 2008, the shaved female head — which is rooted in ancient traditions and spans various cultures and beliefs — wasn’t new.

Britney Spears shaved her own head a year before I did. And before her both Grace Jones and Sinead O’Connor were baldies in the 1970s and 1980s, respectively.

But there hasn’t really been a movement in the past that’s similar to what’s happening now. Currently a growing community of women are dismissing the traditional notion of long hair being equated with femininity.

More and more, hashtags like #BaldiesGettheJobDone on social media are being used by a fearless group of females who dare to defy societal standards.

Continue reading

‘The only way is to try things out’

“No one has a clue what they’re doing these days,” Christoph Niemann said in response to me telling him about my career aspirations.

“The only way to do it really is to keep trying, keep experimenting and figure things out from there.”

I couldn’t agree more.

Continue reading

It’s time we stop asking ‘where are you from?’ in Germany

Flags in Stuttgart (l) and people obtaining German citizenship (r). Photos: DPA

When a study published last week revealed that foreigners in Germany with a visible migration background experience discrimination far more often than foreigners who appear “typically German,” it resonated with The Local’s Shelley Pascual.

 

In the study, carried out by the Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR), responses from over 5,000 immigrants and people with a migrant background across Germany were collected.

Of those who described their appearance as “typically German,” around 17 percent stated they felt disadvantaged because of their roots. By contrast, 48 percent of participants with a visible immigration background (e.g. those who have dark skin or wear a headscarf) reported having experienced discrimination.

According to these respondents, discrimination can come in many forms: violence, unfairness with regard to the search for jobs and housing, offensive statements as well as statements that may not necessarily be considered negative by the person saying it – including the often-asked question, “where are you actually from?”

Continue reading