Tag Archives: mullet

Hairvolution #109


This contributor was one of my college roommates, and it was during our junior year at Texas Lutheran University that we both made major hair transitions – I chopped off all my hair, thus abandoning my awkward attempts at Texas-grade femininity; she went natural.  We had endless conversations about the impact of our respective transitions – how people interacted with us differently, how our families responded, and (most importantly) how we felt about ourselves.  For both of us, the experience was difficult but ultimately an incredibly rewarding journey.  I’m so glad to have made it with her by my side!


Zina Saro-Wiwa, a British-Nigerian filmmaker currently based in Brooklyn, produced a short documentary in 2012 about the growing number of black women in America transitioning to natural hair.  About the movement, she says this:

[B]lack hair and the black body generally have long been a site of political contest in American history and in the American imagination. Against this backdrop, the transition movement has a political dimension — whether transitioners themselves believe it or not. Demonstrating this level of self-acceptance represents a powerful evolution in black political expression. If racial politics has led to an internalization of self-loathing, then true transformation will come internally, too. It will not be a performative act. Saying it loud: “I’m black and I’m proud” is one thing. Believing it quietly is another. So the transition movement is much more profound and much more powerful — and I believe it offers lessons in self-acceptance for people of all hues and all genders.

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Hairvolution #87


“…then one day I was going to get my hair cut, and instead I just got gay.”


(Lucky us!)

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Hairvolution #83


In describing Justin Bieber’s hair, Imogen Fox of The Guardian observed, “It’s become The Rachel of the male pubescent universe.”

bieber hair

Of course, his peers aren’t the only ones seeking to copy the look – you can peruse an endless supply of shaggy-haired dykes at Lesbians Who Look Like Justin Bieber (maintained by the hottest Bieber look-alike of them all, Dannielle Owens-Reid of Everyone Is Gay).

But in actuality, are lesbians copying Bieber, or is it the other way around?  When once asked whether or not she thought Justin Bieber was hot, k.d. lang replied that he “looks just like a lesbian,” and therefore he’s “hot as shit.”

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Hairvolution #70

Bowl cuts, mullets, and mustaches… oh my!

There’s much to chew on here, but I think I’ll take the opportunity to introduce Rebecca Drolen‘s recent exhibition, Hair Pieces.  Here’s what she has to say about her own exploration of hair and identity:

I am interested in the line between the beautiful and the grotesque in our connection with hair.  I am intrigued by the rules that guide our ideas and self-image in relation to our tresses.  In the work, I use photography and the self-portrait as a medium to construct narratives that function both as visual puns and, at times, as social critique.  I hope to use the beautiful alongside the repulsive in these images to tell stories of growth and removal as they examine a surreal relationship between hair and its place.

Be sure to visit her website to learn more and see the entire collection!

Rebecca Drolen, Longer Lashes, 2011, archival pigment print, 30 x 30 inches.

*As a side note, wouldn’t “Bowl Cuts and Velcro Shoes” make a great band name?

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Hairvolution #39

Random fact: Awesome as red hair may be, studies have shown that people with red hair need larger doses of anesthesia (on average, about 20% more than people with dark hair or blond coloring).

* “Chongos” is the Spanish term for “pigtails.”

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Hairvolution #37

For those of you who might not be familiar with the “bowl cut” style, the image below should help clarify how one might go about acquiring one.

Though the style is beginning to re-emerge following a loss in popularity during the 1990s, since burying his dreadlocks under an avocado tree, this participant has opted to maintain a more “normal” look.

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Hairvolution #29

According to the media, athleticism is simply unfeminine.  To illustrate, consider the messages communicated by advertising agencies.  Earlier this year the Women’s Tennis Association launched a campaign proclaiming, Strong is Beautiful.  True as that may be, can you imagine a Nike ad asserting that Strong is Handsome?

In order to prove their femininity, female athletes must overcompensate for their “masculine” attributes (strength, agility, power, skill, etc.) by constantly affirming that “beauty” is their top priority.  Consequently, being a tomboy is seen to be at odds with being a nationally ranked figure skater (as indicated above).

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Hairvolution #27

Reflecting on their long hair, this participant writes,

I love hair, but not the associated “lady attention.”

The role of long hair, particularly as it relates to femininity, has been a major topic of conversation throughout this project.  But what’s it all about?

Nick Neave, an evolutionary psychologist at Northumbria University, says, “Thick, healthy, long, glossy hair or fur is seen as a sign of good hormonal health and is one of the things animals use to select a mate – humans are no different.”  But it’s difficult to identify how long hair became so inextricably linked to femininity.  Zoologist Desmond Morris relates the link to our evolutionary predecessors, the aquatic apes, who developed long hair in order to give their babies something to hang on to.  Psychologist Lorraine Sherr also notes the ancient nature of the association: “As far back as cavemen, there are drawings of women with longer, glossier hair.” (Source: BBC News MagazineMark of a Woman)

Consider some of the other stories and observations made by Hairvolution participants:

In Hairvolution #32, the participant shares that her dad wouldn’t let her have short hair as a child.

In Hairvolution #31, the participant observes that she feels more free to have longer hair (a more “feminine” style) now that she’s not dating a man.

In Hairvolution #26, the participant – a man in his 30s – notes that having long hair is “the realization of a dream.”

In Hairvolution #21, the participant writes that during a stage of having longer hair her father pretends she’s not queer because she looks “more feminine.”

In Hairvolution #19, the participant laments not having the patience to grow her hair long again.

In Hairvolution #15, the participant dreams of being “a little old woman with long silver braids.”

The contributors of Hairvolution #12 and Hairvolution #10 – both women – didn’t have their first haircuts until they were 14 and 10, respectively.

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