mop-top rebellion

Mop-top-undercuts

The post WWII Baby Boom Generation had become teenagers in the 1960s so culture was dominated by youth. The Beatlemania coined the middle of the decade and made thousands of fans getting a mop-top. -A cut with straight bangs, collar-length in the neck and covering the ears at the side that got its name because of its resemblance to a mop.

According to the “inventor” of the bowl-shaped hair do, Jürgen Vollmer, he one day just decided  not to backcomb his hair as it was usual at that time but to wear them as bangs as a personal sign of rebellion against the squares.

With their messages of love and non-violence the Beatles were symbols of the 1960s counterculture and were perceived as the embodiment of progressive ideals.

In the Soviet Union  wearing a mop-top was regarded as extremely rebellious and people were stopped on the street and had their hair cut in police stations.

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perfect hair – perfect world?

marilyn-monroe-18The 1950s were a decade of vast social and political change and hairstyles shifted accordingly. The post-WWII era was both dynamic and more conservative than former times with women returning to a more feminine and very glamorous style, wearing their hair a little longer than the typical bob length.

The “Golden Age of Television” had a great impact on how Americans perceived themself and women loved to copy the styles of actresses, musicians and other celebrities. Most popular were the styles of Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Jackie Kennedy.

While the 50s were also “a time of racism, sexism, gay suppression, war and international conflict“, a woman’s voluminously and perfectly coiffed curls were standing above all the chaos and housewives mastered their work with a perfect ‘do that did not reveal anything about their private struggles.

 

the bob revolution

barbershop2

In last week’s post Benjamin von Stuckrad Barre argued that nowadays there is nothing really “new” or “revolutionary” left anymore, as all hairstyles have already been tried out in the past. This inspired me for a new series of blog posts in which I will guide you through the hair styles of our former generations.
Today: the 1920s!

20sposter2Maybe the hairstyles of the 1920s were the most controversial in the history of hair fashion. As a symbol of gender equality women started to cut their hair short and the “bob” was leading to severe discussions.
Soon young women became bolder, started curling their hair, wearing short skirts and make-up, and started to defy the rules of “good behavior”. -Becoming known as the generation of “flappers”.

Some people in society, however, weren’t happy at all with the changes going on. In New Jersey, for example, a teacher was ordered by the Board of Education to let her hair grow as one would spend to much time fussing with bobbed locks. Preachers warned that “a bobbed woman is a disgraced woman.” Some bobs apparently even led to divorces and a large department store fired all women with bobbed hair.

One might understand the concerns of the Board of Education when watching this video.

Tymoshenko – dampened hopes

Even though today’s post is not on hair, I think that it is an important follow-up on my previous post on Yulia Tymoshenko’s potential arrest break for medical treatment.

450px-Julija_tymoschenko_2002

Unfortunately these hopes were destroyed today with the Ukrainian parliament closing the talks on this issue without a result.

This failure might endanger the ratification of the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union, which had demanded the release of Tymoshenko as prerequisite for signing the treaty.

The miss of this opportunity is particularly disappointing, as it was President Yanukowich himself, who had raised hope on a disimprisonment by saying that he would sign any such legislation if it was passed by parliament. – In which his people represent the majority.

hair in china

In China, maybe more than in any other culture, hair was a symbol of ethnicity and class but also an expression of political alignment.

In ancient times, hair was valued as a symbol of self-respect and cutting off or shaving one’s hair was a severe punishment. Hair also helped to distinguish several ethnic groups so when the Manchu people took sovereignty, one of the first things they did was to order civilians to shave their heads, what therefore became a sign of dissent. 

manchu-queue

Hair had a strong political influence: during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) men had to tonsure their heads and in the years of the Republic of China (1912-49) it was forbidden to have pig tails.

During the “cultural revolution” (1966-76) “corrections” were made to women who wore their hair inappropriately. “Capitalist-style” perms disappeared and women cut off their hair very short to show their revolutionary spirit. In his article “Cultural Revolution and Hair”, scholar Gu Nong writes that at that time one braid was seen as feudalistic, two as capitalistic, and shoulder-length hair as purely revisionism.

With the opening-up of China in the late 1970s, hairstyles finally became subject to an individual’s choice and preferences.

feeling is believing: why obama’s hair matters

obamas hair

Today I want to reblog a post from Danielle Fuentes Morgan, as I think that I could not have written it any better. Enjoy!

 

It’s a question President Obama has undoubtedly been asked before. It’s almost a universal African American experience, except this time it was asked under different circumstances and for a different reason.

“Can I touch your hair?”

The photo of this moment, three-years-old at this point, is making the rounds again. You’ve seen it in your inbox and on social networking sites—President Obama, bent at his waist while a five-year-old African American boy wearing a tie and dress pants touches his hair. It seems innocuous enough—meriting a few awwws certainly—but leaving some to wonder what all the fuss is about. Cute, sure. But is this news? Absolutely.

The New York Times recounts the conversation between Jacob and the president:

“I want to know if my hair is just like yours,” he told Mr. Obama, so quietly that the president asked him to speak again.

Jacob did, and Mr. Obama replied, “Why don’t you touch it and see for yourself?” He lowered his head, level with Jacob, who hesitated.

“Touch it, dude!” Mr. Obama said.

As Jacob patted the presidential crown, Mr. Souza snapped.

“So, what do you think?” Mr. Obama asked.

“Yes, it does feel the same,” Jacob said. Continue reading