Think about these ladies: Diana Ross, Marge Simpson, Dolly Parton, Bridget Bardot, Amy Winehouse, Cleopatra, Rita Hayworth, Sia, Joan of Arc, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Coddington, Veronica Lake, Wonder Woman, Halle Berry, Farrah Faucet, Frida Kahlo and Marie Antoinette. What do they all have in common? Iconic, amazing, beautiful, powerful HAIR! All of them. From the depictions of Joan of Arc’s short, practical knight’s bob to Hayworth’s cascading, sexy waves and Kahlo’s flowerful tresses, you can’t deny the fact that many celebrities and historical icons have some of the most amazing hair. Could it be an anomaly, that we genuinely remember these people for their contributions to art, history, and society? Or could their hair have played a significant part in making them important? And so, I ask the simple question: is perfect hair the source of great power?
Naturally, many of the women I mentioned above have offered more to the world than their looks. But as our society tends towards the superficial, there is no doubt that their hair mattered. Marie Antoinette set off styling trends that affected prices of goods around the globe, and her hair was the crowning exclamation point of her lavish and extravagant life. It was superlative, the furthest she could go to showcase her beauty and uniqueness, and it caught the attention of the world. Her hair was art, a form of expression, and like many women throughout history, Antoinette’s ability for power in a male-dominated society was limited to her body and looks. She couldn’t rule France, but she could rule how she looked every day. And so, she did it to the fullest extent. She may have made her hair, but her hair also made her.
Likewise, Frida Kahlo was a talented painter in her own right, but would she be as easily remembered if it wasn’t for her magnificent crown of flowers she wore for her self-portraits? While her work is lauded for its quality and merit, her unique style made her difficult to forget. For many of these women, their talents and uniqueness brought them into the light, but their hair gave them a particular kind of brilliance. It’s essentially the difference between being known for something, and being iconic. Hair has helped to make each of them iconic.
And what does it mean to have perfect hair, anyway? To me, it’s not only that you cultivated a style unique to you, it’s that you’ve also found a dramatic physical expression to display on your body. Think of someone like Amy Winehouse, whose beehive dwarfed her skinny frame. It’s a bit of fearlessness, and of pushing the envelope – whether it looks good or not. Women with perfect hair have pushed themselves to be the fullest version of themselves, to be the best they can be, and much like a bird-of-paradise, their hair is meant to make us look!
Coming from a woman with fine hair, I can certainly say that flat hair is by no means a hive of extra special bouffant-ian glory. It doesn’t make a statement, it doesn’t make people stand up and listen and, I must say, it’s quite dull hair (though very easy to maintain in real life). Growing up in New Jersey you can hardly think I’d want to fulfill the stereotype of “Jersey girl hair,” but I’ve always wanted big hair. Like big, big, teased up fabulous, attention-seeking hair. And while I prefer Bardot-esque volume myself, I have resigned that I’ll have to settle for a little less than iconic locks. However, that won’t stop me from trying to find a source of power in the form of my own perfect hair!
What do you think about the hair of iconic females? Do you think it’s a strange sign of success? Share with me in the comments below!