As part of her SELF October cover, actress and attorney Angelica Ross decided she wanted to be filmed to get a buzz cut on set. The result is a moving, honest video in which Ross describes her relationship with her hair as a trans woman and how her view of hair and femininity has changed radically over the years.
“It’s so easy to get lost trying to fit in with the standard for women – which are very unrealistic standards,” she says in the video. “So, as a black trans woman, I had to make an effort to still see a woman when I looked in the mirror. Still seeing a woman with no makeup on. ”
In the video, the famous hairdresser César DeLeön Ramîrez, who Ross has entrusted with her hair, emphasizes the attention to detail and ensures that people feel comfortable in the chair.
“I believe in energy and I believe if I just go in and start humming someone’s hair there is a separation from the art. It’s more like you’re just an autopilot, ”says Ramîrez. “I think the person in the chair will feel that too.”
Throughout the video, Ramîrez carefully inspects his work as if it were a living work of art. He uses nourishing oils and sprays to protect Ross’ hair and make it glow.
While Ramîrez works, Ross talks about her relationship with her femininity and how she almost always wore long wigs and unconsciously associated her femininity with her hair.
“I no longer need my hair to define myself as a woman,” says Ross. “I don’t need my hair to make me feel beautiful or attractive. I just have to feel like myself, no matter how I look or what I do. “
She describes how her coarse hair was not considered beautiful even as an adult. She says she never learned how to care for her hair and that she spent time and money on relaxants and other treatments. “Anything but my natural hair,” she says.
“To be black, dark-skinned, trans, female. All these things on the face; all this energy that contradicts my existence, “she says.” To me, it’s a political statement to just live for who I am, but it’s not one that I make on purpose, on purpose. I just know my life has been politicized, and that’s why I better be radical. That’s why I take every opportunity to live completely black. “
When Ramîrez is done, Ross feels her head and her mouth curls up in a slight smile.
“When I look in the mirror now, I see strength, I see resilience, I see femininity, I see power, I see love and compassion, I see the battle scars that no one else sees.” Watch the moving video above and read our cover story with Ross here.