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Halle Berry: My Short Hair Doesn't Define Me

11/05/2012 at 09:00 AM ET

Halle Berry
Jim Smeal/BEImages

It’s been more than three years since Halle Berry famously chopped off her hair, but it’s still an ever-present topic of conversation for the star.

“When I have my short, short hair, that’s when I’m my best self,” she tells PEOPLE. “But hair doesn’t define me. It’s just an accessory that I get to wear, like a handbag or shoes.”

However, at the start of Berry’s career, her lengthy locks did define her, since long hair is so often seen as beautiful in Hollywood. “I personally fought against that stereotype when I first started acting,” she explains. “I would go on acting auditions, and every black girl would have this long, curly hair, whether it was real or not. And I would go to these auditions and come back with nothing. So I had to somehow be different.”

Berry actually made her first big cut around 1989. “I remember I went up to my manager’s office and his heart probably stopped beating. And he said, ‘You’re never going to work, you’re not what they want!’ And I said, ‘Good. Let me be something different then.”

Two weeks later, she got her first TV job, as a model on the short-lived ABC series Living Dolls. “I had short hair and that’s why they chose me — because I was different and not like everyone else. It was the way I kind of rebelled against … the notion that you have to have long hair to be beautiful.” Hear more from Berry in this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now. Tell us: Are you proud of your short hair?

–Reporting by Pamela Edwards-Christiani and Suzanne Zuckerman

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Showing 45 comments

TBush on

I love Halle’s short hair. I always have and despite the last ignorant comment that was made, insanity is completely irrelevant from the question. Listen to the question!!

KJ on

I actually like her with longer hair but she is beautiful with any length! All hair lengths are beautiful! Some people look better with short, some with long, some with a cat on their head!

Kristy on

Her hair doesn’t define her or anyone. Personality does.. I wouldn’t say that she has that. Looks miserable to me… Not a very confident look at all Halle Berry has.
Sad actually

Kristy on

… and to keep talking about your hair, insecurity!

HighPriestess on

It’s her best look.

Kristy on

You must fit the insanity category. Sad..

Kristy on

You must fit the insanity category.. or insecurity, whatever makes you tick.

Wendy on

She would look beautiful with a sack of potatoes on her head. The woman is absolutely gorgeous and I love her for embracing her short hair and for taking a stand. I have short hair and I am going to embrace it as well.

funnybangs on

She is amazingly gorgeous. The short hair is perfect on her.

Erin on

When you have a face this gorgeous, less is more when it comes to hair! She stands out in the best way with the short hair from most of the other stars.

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