A male friend of mine recently asked me if I had published any blog posts about how women might manage their hair under a bicycle helmet. I know he was well meaning. I have been asked this question by many women at conferences and one-on-one.
My response has always been to remind women that they are not their hair. That they are beautiful and intelligent. And that a good stylist will work with you to find a hairstyle that fits with your life.
I’m certain that women have asked me this question honestly. But many have asked this question because it is yet another reason not to bicycle. The same could be said of the common excuses that people make. For example: “I’m not fit enough.” “I hate getting sweaty. Or even, “I don’t like wearing lycra.”
I have heard about a Youtube video which seeks to solve this problem by devoting time and attention to one’s hair in a special way. That’s wonderful. But I’m not going to advocate viewing it.
I took a bit of a hard line with my friend and said that my expectations are greater of women. Writing about topic which I find demeaning and stereotypical of women’s concerns, isn’t my preference.
It’s akin to a photo that I saw at a bicycle conference last winter where one of the male presenters included a photo of a woman applying her makeup in a self-driving car while her male counterpart was reading the paper.
All of the women around me were appalled by the photo. I raised my hand and asked him why he included it. He said that he was was trying to introduce some humour into his presentation.
I told him that it was not funny. Nor was it forward-thinking or inclusive which was the point of his presentation about development in Western Sydney. He avoided me for the rest of the conference. However, many women thanked me for my response.
Over lunch, my friend demurred my response but conceded that perhaps he was not appropriately gendered to be asking the question.
In 2016, while so much information is available at our fingertips, I saw many solutions to the question of “What should I wear today that is stylish and functional?” on Melbourne Cup Day this past Tuesday.
Office appropriate clothing that also suits this day of festivity in Sydney was in evidence. It is possible to make intelligent choices for a multitude of purposes. The office. The bicycle. After work drinks and/or dinner. The Race that Stops the Nation. You need to want to find the solution. It’s out there, you need only look.
All photos by Velo-a-Porter founder, Sarah Imm. Taken while on bicycle!