take it all off


Photographer: David Sims
Magazine: US Vogue November 2010
Fashion editor: Grace Coddington

I realised a lot of my collages and pictures in my inspiration folder feature all these girls with perfectly tousled long hair. I don't think it's a conscious choice - it's just that you don't see a great variation in hairstyles being photographed.

I'm a short hair loyalist. My hair is shorter than that of most guys. To celebrate that, I post this awesome bit of writing by Joan Juliet Buck, which I discovered via one sleepless night. Accompanied by a picture of my short hair heroine, Stella Tennant , of course.

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ON SHORT HAIR (c1988)
from Vogue
by Joan Juliet Buck

Joan Juliet Buck, a devoted short-hair convert, explains why it makes a difference.

Hair is time.

Women with short hair always look as if they have somewhere else to go. Women with long hair tend to look as if they belong where they are, especially in California. Short hair takes a short time. Long hair takes a long time. Long hair moves faster than short hair. Long hair tells men that you are all woman, or a real woman, or at the very least a girl. Short hair always makes them wonder. Short hair makes children ask each other --usually at the school-yard gate, when parents are late-- "Are you a boy or girl?" Men married to women with short hair should not have affairs with women who have long hair kept up with many little pins and combs. Once you have cut your hair you have to remember to wear lipstick, but you can put away the brush, elastics, and the black barrettes in the form of shiny leaves with rhinestone hearts. When you cut your hair you lose a nose and gain a neck. A neck is generally better than a nose. It does not need to be powdered, except on extreme occasions. It does, however, need to be washed more often.

With short hair you suddenly dislike the month of March, when the wind blows down the back of your neck. With short hair you begin to crave pearl necklaces, long earrings, and a variety of sunglasses. And you brush your teeth more often. Short hair removes obvious femininity and replaces it with style. When it starts growing out a little and losing its style, you have to wear sunglasses until you can get it to the hairdresser. That's why you need a variety. Short hair makes you aware of subtraction as style. You can no longer wear puffed sleeves or ruffles; the neat is suddenly preferable to the fussy. You eye the tweezers instead of the blusher. What else can you take away? You can't hide behind short hair. Your nape is exposed. Men put their hands around your neck instead of stroking your long locks. You can only pray they have friendly intentions. The backs of your ears show, your jaw line is clear to anyone watching, and you realize --perhaps for the first time-- how wide the expanse of skin is between cheekbone and ear.

You may look a little androgynous, a little unfinished, a little bare. You will look elegant, as short hair requires you to keep your weight slightly below acceptable levels. However, the first time you wear a bathing suit with short hair, you will feel exceptionally naked. People who used to look straight at you will love you in profile. Short hair makes others think you have good bones, determination, and an agenda. The shape of your skull is commented on, so are its contents. They can pick you out in a crowd, and you can be recognized from behind, which can be good or bad. But your face is no longer a flat screen surrounded by a curtain: the world sees you in three dimensions.

Chase to the cut.

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Taken from the poetical quotidian

Picture from models.com via tfs

Comments

Ammu said…
I used to have a pixie cut, loved it. But started to grow it out when I realized that androgyny doesn't really work with Indian clothes. Now it's a mid-way length - super short at the nape and longer layers in the front.

Lovely essay by JJB.
Cheap Shopping said…
All of us are become habitual to see female models in long hair cut. But it really gives a unique and quite different impact to all of us. Personally i like short hair cut too. Because its easy to take care of them. ;)
miss sophie said…
that is an amazing essay. thanks for sharing - i'm a recent fan of JJB after hearing her tell a hilarious story of her rented apartment in one of the Moth story podcasts. have you heard it?

i have always wanted to get a pixie cut - i have thick, somewhat wavy hair that gets unmanageable as soon as it gets past shoulder length. the essay just may have inspired me to go for it - it is the new year, after all! :)
lin said…
Ammu: I love the variety in short hair - even skipping a hair cut means a new look for me.

Cheap shopping: It does require more regualr trimming to keep the shape though, if you want it to look consistent!

miss sophie: I haven't heard that! Must go look for it. She has such wry humour.

I had long hair for a while and it was thick and unmanageable too. Short hair is MUCH better. I say go for it :)
If Jane said…
oh i am always tempted to cut my hair...especially as i am now growing it....(but i do go back and forth between a bob and a pixie)
great essay.
Ginta said…
those are the exact reasons why I (and guys I've been with) love short hair and why I'm flirting with idea to have them super short again! :) you can't hide behind your long hair and count on them to express you femininity, you have be a woman for real.
lin said…
If jane: I never have enough patience to grow hair out properly!

Ginta: Exactly. Those guys are kind of a rare breed though, I don't meet those too often :)
editor said…
fabulous article. wow i loved it.
it's fun to think about the thrill and excitement of short hair after you've been living with it for a while - nothing really beats the day after a major chop. waking up, something is different, you can feel it before you open your eyes and put your hand to your head. i LOVE that!
lin said…
editor: I know! I feel the same even after my basic monthly trim.

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