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

RJones on

Your short hair doesn’t define you, but your insanity sure does.

Visitor on

I don’t have short hair, but I love Halle’s hair!

Edie on

Love your shorts hair!

Andi on

Well you are just beautiful, no matter what you hair style is and it is good you have the good sense to follow you head.

Romney/Ryan on

Love your short hair!

sam on

Her short hair is not just different…It also looks amazing on her. Not everyone (hardly anyone!) could pull it off! She looks far more beautiful with short hair.

ERICA2 on

Halle rocks the pixie cut like non-other! She owns it hands down.

Steph on

I would like to thank Halle Berry for saying this. I have very thick, curly hair and the only way I can manage it is to keep it short. Otherwise I would look like Slash. It is really nice to see someone in the spotlight with short hair, because I don’t know very many people who do and I always feel out of style!

Kim on

I have always LOVED her hair short. But lets face it, this woman would be beautiful bald.

mIKE on

What a face—-and other things.

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