Feeling somewhat encouraged by her Mum’s wonderfully positive reaction to her new short haircut and her obvious approval of the new, gentle, image it gave her, Sarah went upstairs to make herself look nice and “respectable” for the evening ahead.
Once she was in her room, Sarah was given her first real chance to see her new self. She stood in front of her full-length dressing mirror, stared intently at the reflection and took a moment to reflect. Although what she saw was very different to the familiar reflection of the young, confident, sassy looking Sarah, it wasn’t bad. Very different indeed, but not bad; just different! The new reflection was that of a very neat and tidy looking young woman, who couldn’t be described as confident and sassy but could definitely be described as gentle, homely, shy and unassuming. Sarah was completely amazed at what a difference a simple haircut could have on a person and although, for the life of her, she couldn’t work out why, she had the most wonderful feeling of warmth and femininity come over her in the realization that she’d completely toned down her appearance. She didn’t know why, but it just felt right!
Having accepted the fact that she now, most definitely, had short hair, Sarah began to study her appearance as a whole and discovered that things weren’t entirely balanced, she just didn’t look right. Initially she couldn’t put her finger on it, but after closer inspection, she concluded the following:-
Although she normally toned down her makeup for work and, in fact today, was wearing less than normal, with her new haircut, she now looked over made-up. She now looked as if she had enough makeup on to look good at a nightclub and this certainly wasn’t good as she felt it made her look a little “tarty”, as if she were “mutton dressed as lamb”! It wasn’t good for work, it wasn’t even good for general social activity and it certainly wasn’t good for meeting the parents. Sarah, without thinking twice, popped into the bathroom and, armed with makeup remover, quickly and decisively removed every trace of makeup. She stood back in front of the mirror to see if this had made an improvement and, to her amazement, found that it did. Although Sarah NEVER left the house, bare faced, without makeup, she had to admit that she now looked MUCH better without! She concluded that whilst her hair remained this short and in such a prim and proper style, a little makeup would go a very long way, if it were needed at all!
Sarah, again, studied the balance of her appearance and, again concluded it still wasn’t right. The big hoop earrings that used to compliment her sassy choppy bob, now looked completely out of place with her smart short-layered haircut. This was easily remedied by replacing them with a set of rather understated, but sweet, little stud earrings.
With one final pose in front of the mirror, Sarah realized that the final piece of the jigsaw was her skirt. It looked great when she put it on that morning, but now, having had her hair cut, it simply looked too short. This wasn’t necessarily a big problem as her skirt was part of a uniform as provided by her employer and, fortunately, her employer had provided all the ladies with four skirts in total; two that reached above the knee and two that reached below. Being young and sassy, Sarah only ever wore the shorter skirts as she considered the longer ones to be a little more conservative, frumpy if you like, and were normally worn by the older ladies or the young girls with the “fuller” figure. Out of curiosity, Sarah took off her familiar short skirt and for the first time since she’d received them, put on one of the longer, pleated skirts. The effect was amazing and certainly a very big surprise to Sarah as for the first time ever, she actually felt comfortable wearing a longer, more conservative skirt. She again looked in the mirror and studied the reflection and this time she was completely comfortable with what she saw; She now looked completely balanced and the extra length of the skirt far better complimented the shorter length of her hair. Sarah took a few more moments to study her new appearance and again the warm feeling of gentleness and femininity came over her as she studied the reflection of the gentle and sedate, homely looking girl staring back at her.
These feelings of warmth soon subsided as Sarah looked at her watch and realized that time had run away from her, she’d completely lost track of time and now only had ten minutes before Steve was due to pick her up. She quickly undressed and put on the unusually conservative floral dress she had bought specifically to meet the parents. Sarah had been completely unsure about buying the dress and felt that the puffed short sleeves, the button-up lattice collar and pleated below knee skirt were far too conservative for a young girl and felt it didn’t really suit her. However, although she may have felt uncomfortable in it when she bought it last week, she now felt completely comfortable! It far better suited her now her hair was so short and formal and this was further enhanced by her lack of makeup! Sarah felt that she looked like a very presentable, conscientious, young woman. Plain? Yes! Sassy? No! Prim and proper? Yes! Glam? No! Happy and content? Yes!
At this point, there was less than five minutes to go and Sarah had still to apply makeup. She gave this a quick thought and concluded that she really needed time to experiment as the old colours and methods would no longer suit her. With only five minutes in which to do this, it was a tall if not impossible order so Sarah, buoyed by her new found bravery and inner-self decided to do something she had NEVER done before; she decided to go fresh-faced and completely naked of makeup. She proceeded to put on a smart pair of court shoes, but whilst doing it, she noticed the magnificent set of beautifully manicured long red nails. Next to her hair, Sarah’s next pride and joy had been her nails. She used to spend hours tending to them and only last Saturday, she had spent £30 having them professionally manicured. However, looking at them now, they seemed odd and rather out of place, as there was this plain looking girl with these ultra glamorous nails, and that simply wouldn’t do!
At this point, Sarah recalled another comment from Wendy, her boss. The day after she had shown the dress to her colleagues, she had been diligently tapping away at her keyboard when Wendy had come up to her with her next assignment and glanced down at the keyboard.
“Those nails, Sarah…”
“Yes?” replied Sarah, trying to look innocent, knowing full well that the company dress code specified that fingernails should be kept short and only painted in unobtrusive colours.
“Staff appraisals coming soon… And besides, I don’t think they’ll go well with that lovely dress you showed me – or make the best impression with the new boyfriend’s parents.”
At this point Sarah’s heart began to race with the thought of maybe cutting them off as, after all, she had short hair and no colour on her face, maybe she should also have short nails and no colour on them either! Sarah’s decision was instant and she found herself sat beside her bin, with scissors in hand, gently snipping off her nails nice and short. No sooner was this done, then nail varnish remover was at hand and with expert swiftness, her neat and tidy short nails were returned to their natural state. Sarah was now absolutely satisfied that her transformation to a “nice girl” was complete, she draped a blue cardigan over her shoulders and proceeded downstairs.
Sarah entered the dining room to find her mum sat in the lounge, engrossed in a book. After a short moment, Sarah’s mum (Sheila) looked up and was met with the most wonderful surprise. Because, there, standing right in front of her was a picture of total innocence and pleasantness. Sheila struggled to hold back tears of joy, as for the first time since Sarah had entered her teens, Sarah was standing there looking just like her mum’s darling little girl. And, in fact, Sarah now looked just as Sheila had wanted her to look when at the age of 14, she attended her Grandparents 50th Wedding Anniversary. Sheila had wanted her to attend looking like a nice, respectable, young girl, with a clean face and a nice little dress complimented by a neat little head of short-layered hair. Unfortunately, Sarah rebelled and insisted on wearing a trendy short skirt, had plastered her face with makeup and had refused to even consider cutting her long hair short. She attended the celebration looking every inch a trendy 21 year-old rather than a sweet and presentable 14 year old. Sheila was so disappointed, as was Sarah’s Nan. However, looking at her now, the feeling of pride that was so sadly lacking when Sarah was 14, was now very much in evidence. Sheila was so proud of Sarah and absolutely adored the way she now looked, as she had become, without doubt, the kind of plain and homely looking, presentable daughter, that a middle England mother would be proud to show-off to her friends.
Sarah smiled sweetly to her mum and asked: “So mum, what do you think? Do I look all right?”
Sheila gave Sarah a reassuring smile as she replied; “Sarah, you look far more than all right! I think you look wonderful and I don’t think I’ve ever seen you looking nicer”
Sarah had a pensive look “Really mum? You think I look OK for meeting Steve’s parents with my hair like this?”
Sheila, sensing her daughter’s nervousness, went into reassuring mode as, in a very sincere tone, she stated; “You look absolutely precious darling and I am so proud. I simply adore your new short haircut; I think it’s wonderfully neat and tidy, it’s extremely sensible and short hair is far more becoming for a nice and respectable young lady.”
Sheila affectionately stroked Sarah’s cheek, and her newly exposed ear, as she continued; “I know young girls like to have long hair and I know your long hair made you look very pretty but, just as with most long haired girls, it also made you look a little prissy, girly and flighty. However, now you’ve had all that silly long hair cut up nice and short, you are no longer a slave to fashion and you can hold your head up high in the knowledge that without your long locks, you have become a very respectable, presentable and reliable looking young woman.”
Sarah was a little shocked to hear the phrase “I know your long hair made you look pretty” as it’s inference was “You don’t look pretty with short hair”. However, as she glanced at the mirror that was situated above the fireplace, she established that the cruel reality of it all was that her Mum was absolutely right! She was, indeed, no longer a pretty, longhaired, girl that used to enjoy such attention from the boys. She had become, quite definitely, a rather plain and unassuming young lady. The new Sarah was a rather prim and proper looking young lady who was significantly less likely to enjoy the attention of the boys, but at the same time she was a lady who was enjoying such a wonderful feeling of self satisfaction and inner warmth with the realization that, at last, she had perhaps found her true self!
Sheila continued with great enthusiasm; “You really have nothing to worry about my darling and especially with regard to meeting Mr and Mrs Barlow. You know that they are highly respected members of the community and are both very conservative and traditional with their values and their appearance. If you were meeting them dressed as you used to, you know, the long hair, short skirt and seductive makeup, you may have had a job fitting in. But looking at you now, with your nice short haircut, your nice and conservative pretty dress and looking fresh faced and clean of all that makeup they will completely approve of your appearance and you’ll fit in perfectly.”
This last statement created a great big smile over Sarah’s face as, with enthusiasm, she replied; “Thanks Mum, you are right and I do feel much better now. I even feel more comfortable in my dress. When I bought it I felt I looked a bit silly in it, you know a bit dowdy? But now, for some reason, I feel far more comfortable. I know this will sound silly, but I feel as if I am a bit, erm, prim and proper”
Sheila smiled as she thought to herself, “Yes, that’s a wonderful phrase. “Prim and proper.” Yes, at last my daughter is wonderfully prim and proper.” With this happy thought in mind, Sheila responded “The reason you feel more comfortable is because you now look like someone who would wear a dress like that. It’s not the dress that’s changed, it’s you that’s changed! And you are so much better for it. Girly young girls with trendy long hair and fashionable makeup don’t look right in conservative dresses, and that’s why you didn’t look right. However, presentable young ladies, with sensible short haircuts do look right in conservative dresses as the conservative dress complements the conservative persona of the young lady. And you, my darling, have become a wonderfully conservative looking girl”
This was again met with a smile from Sarah as she matched her earlier thoughts, about needing to wear longer work skirts, with her mum’s last statement. Sarah had to agree and her thoughts turned to delight as Sheila enthused; “What you are going to find, is that now your whole appearance has changed so much, a lot of the clothes you used to wear, and feel comfortable in, will no longer look or feel so good. So, I think my baby girl needs a whole new wardrobe of sensible clothes to match her sensible hair and I am going to take you shopping at the weekend and it will be my treat! How does that sound?”
Sarah, with great glee, replied; “Oh mum that would be wonderful, thank you so much.”
Sheila, adopting a motherly tone, replied; “It will be my pleasure dear, we’ll get you completely kitted out, but as long as you understand we are shopping only for clothes to A) Replace your current clothes and B) For clothes that will compliment your new short haired, conservative, appearance. Is that understood?”
Sarah, in a compliant tone replied; “Yes mum, I understand; prim and proper clothes for a prim and proper young lady.”
These words were music to Sheila’s ears as she assertively answered “That’s right my darling”. They both embraced in a warm and reassuring hug, when all of a sudden, the doorbell rang…
This story was originally written by hairscribe, and published in 2004. We have now collaborated to continue and finish the story. This, and subsequent parts are also published at: https://f35hstories.wordpress.com