'It’s only hair.'
She’s heard the words so many times she could recite them in a hundred voices. In the mocking cries of her yearmates, the confused words of her friends that were meant to help but only hurt. Sif knows them all, remembers everything.
It’s only hair.
It’s only hair.
It’s only hair.
Three words that clench something up in her heart. Tight and hard in her chest it aches. Most days it’s glazed over, hardened and tough against attacks. Most days she does not blink at such words anymore, they are rarely said anyway. Other days it crackles her apart like so much flaking paint. The dismissal, that misunderstanding, burns. Yes. Yes on some level it is only hair and she should forget it all and why would anyone be so wounded by a haircut?
(She has all the arguments stored for both sides, they pile up in her like a poisoned wound. Defenses and protests laid out like a battle.)
Perhaps because one did not ask for that particular haircut. Or maybe it rankled because is was given in the dead of night with ill purpose. That Sif awoke with taunting tendrils of golden locks laying on her pillow. That fear and upset overtook a young girl, already standing at the precipice of becoming who she wanted to be. That she cried, lost and confused and already too worn from fighting against half her world, fighting so she could do the thing she loved. That through angry tears she wondered who hated her so to do such a thing.
Perhaps it stayed with her because once her emotions subsided there was never any question of the perpetrator, and furthermore no question of his meaning to shame her. To make her undesirable.
And if one had listened to the taunts, the quiet words behind her back those first weeks, it would be difficult to argue he had not succeeded.
(She had listened)
It was never only hair. It was never ‘just a haircut’.
It wasn’t about liking blond or black or any of the other things they sneer at her about. It wasn’t about whether she was still beautiful or if Thor still cared for her.
It was her hair. Hers. A part of her body, her person. And it was taken from her. Taken and repaired in such a way that removed her ownership. She can style it, of course. She can braid it or fashion any number of combinations that she likes. But the night dark strands cannot be cut; they cannot be changed. No magic (nor science) will take away its darkness. No blade will let her shave it off in hot summers or grow it long in cold winters. The locks are permanent. And they are his. It is a victory she cannot ever regain.
So tell her again why so she should let the attack go. Tell the warrior goddess how the trickster was a child himself and how she should fully forgive him. Risk her rage if you tell her she is foolish for holding onto it just enough to remember.
(Just enough. Just enough so she never trusts him too much again.)
‘Don’t you like the black Lady Sif? I have heard you say so.’
Yes. She does like the black. It’s not about the color.
It has rarely been about the color.
Hair forged from blackest night itself, it marks her, exalts her even perhaps. Raven haired goddess of war, one song calls her.
But it is still a scar for all intents and purposes.
The Lady Sif wears all her scars proudly.