Thursday, 5 March 2009

Big Hair!

Rita Hayworth and her Hair in Gilda!

My Dearest Darlings. In the arsenal of glamour and beauty there is little as beguiling and seductive as a full head of luxurious and glossy tresses, in these times of economic woe it is perhaps the only area that does not require massive financial investment. Even for the most frugal of you, outgoings for the maintenance and up-keep of your crowning glory is still
a relatively meagre expense. As the Pound, Dollar and Yen plummet the halls of fame view ostentatious displays of consumption as inappropriate, they do not want to rub their rubies or dangle their diamonds in your dour little faces when you can barely afford to fill them with the greasy grub that sustains you. So it is little surprise that 'Big Hair' has once again taken centre stage on catwalks, award ceremonies and fashion magazine covers.

It was Samson's seven locks that were the source of his immense strength and when they were cunningly removed by Delilah's maid the fortitude that he was renowned for slowly sapped away. Through the ages the sheen and quality of a man's mane and it's obvious connection with the mane of the mighty lion has been usurped by the sexual allurement of a female with flowing tendrils. In the Fifties Rita Hayworth and her auburn locks embodied the seductive goddess perfectly showcased in the film 'Gilda' (above).

Throughout the last hundred years the sexualisation of women and their hair has become a cultural signifier operating as standard for a female's chosen identity. From sultry young 'just got of bed' vixens like Bridgette Bardot to the fiery and controversial Margaret Thatcher whose Iconic concrete hair 'do' can be seen as a metaphor for self control and political power. Contemporary women have yet to escape the limitations of these visual tropes. Could Margaret Thatcher have been the political stalwart with the hair of Bardot?

With the release of the official portrait of Michelle Obama this week a new era has been proclaimed still with a string of political subtexts. Michelle Obama's relaxed afro hair, is well coiffed and straightened, elegantly flattering her strong face. Though it is unlikely that President Obama or his wife will be adopting a 'Black Afro' in the White House, this hairstyle apparently remains an explicitly political style statement. Michelle Obama's stylists have not chosen to play homage to the 'The Black Panthers' of the Sixties but to Jackie 'O' and her understated Chanel two-piece. For a women to possess political power she must still downplay her sexuality, From Hillary Clinton to Harriet Harman most women in politics feel it necessary to adopt a short efficient cut, veering away from a seductive image, it seems that your culture can still only tolerate powerful women as long as their power does not transgress too many boundaries.

To be beautiful, intelligent, seductive, glamorous and politically powerful is just too much to bare for your pathetic and balding patriarchal society.
So My Darlings do not let the size of your 'Big Hair' diminish the size of your immense brains, Be all you can be, complex, wise and mysterious, they just can't bare it when that happens.

With Love Ms Coco LaVerne X