Hallelujah i adore it

samson claimed his strength was intertwined with his hair.

it's crystal gayle.
hair this long is utterly unappealing to me. so i am not condoning or promoting this look. but what of over-the-top exhibitions of personal style?
an acquaintance recently had a dramatic chop from a mass of big wavy/curly hair to a short, tailored cut. her look is utterly different now. she looks terrific, actually, but totally different. very...visible.

i've always loved (borderline coveted) tracee ellis ross's hair (pictured here). she looks as wonderful with it pulled back as she does when it's loose and wild. i've seen it relaxed but still full of body, and it is still beautiful. however i have also seen it straightened/flat (it may have been a wig) and it did not suit her. but i digress. her hair is her signature. it's big and wonderful.
the woman i know who recently went from big hair to short hair looks like a new person.
when i chopped off my hair last year, people responded strongly, (and quite favorably), so perhaps it had a similar effect. i got bored with it so i'm letting it grow again (only to chop it off again in a few years, i'm sure).
i feel that if ms. ross cut off her hair, it would be a loss, a reduction, some how.
i love big baggy pants, like cargoes. i like them to fit me well in the waist, make no mistake - i do not walk around in pants that hang off my hips, but i like the volume of them (not to mention the convenience of the pockets). am i concealing my body or expressing my taste? i favor tent-y dresses. a friend recently helped me recognize that it's not that i am attracted to a style that hides my shape - i am attracted to clothing that has its own independent shape. rather than a deflated dress that needs a body to "fill it out" i prefer clothing that has an independent identity - even if that identity is...a tent. i way too often hear "i would look pregnant in that" when i wear such. yeah, i guess i might look pregnant in it too, but i'm not, so what. it's the style that i like.

when is "big" beautiful (please, this is not about bodies, okay!?!), and when is it a cloak, concealing instead of revealing beauty/style/identity?

(title is from lyrics to the song "Hair")
(photo of ross by terry tsiolis)


Anonymous said...

Aah, Editor - I too dance between the long and short hair. In the early 00s I had the most wonderful choppy cut, and then c05 started growing it until it was a lovely Fabio mane. But in the last 2 years it's slowly gotten shorter again - with the ideal of a sort of modern 30s short cut, sleek and basically unobtrusive, so that I can show off my clothing more. Similarly, I find myself going with minimal, or no, makeup. Perhaps because I consider myself a true fasionista - about the clothes - and also because I fear becoming one of those "styled ladies" and therefore cling to my grung-y non-done roots with desparation.

But I must pause here and go back to Crystal - who (no kidding) I've met! I was an usher at (I'm so serious) Band Camp in 1988 where she performed. (This one time...at Band Camp....).

So I've seen that hair close up...and here's an insider observation, she wore it up during the day in a big turban wrap style. ;)

I think one of the items that distinguishes a true fashionista from trend followers is the ability to understand shape and volume separately from whatever the current body show-off trend is. So I'm all for big, in it's many forms. Although, if it's not intentional, I also see the flip side, which is trying to hide behind a curtain. I suppose it's all about the purposeful-ness.

Anonymous said...

I take it you mean "big" as in anything over-the-top, not just hair. To bring it back to a previous post, Lynn Yaeger is over-the-top, and to a certain extent, we can't see "her" because we see her presentation really, her created image, but on the other hand, she is showing us something that is inside of her, on the outside. In that way she is revealing herself.
As for the physical proportions and hiding versus showing, I guess or maybe I hope that the person's "intentions" are a major factor. Ms. Ross seems like her hair is part of her, not hiding her. Whereas I would interpret someone in an over-sized black sweatsuit as hiding.

- Claudia

martha said...

Crystal Gayle in a turban. Oh my.

I think I always enjoy when someone has "big" style, either in proportions or in terms of details and the level they take it to. That said, I think it is always also extremely appealing when someone sheds all that and reveals their beauty. I think of Ally Sheedy's character in the Breakfast Club. I loved her dark, brooding style throughout the movie, and then I was surprised by how much I also enjoyed seeing her at the end, with the hair back, the face revealed.