26.5.08

Fringe Lunacy

I have a bad habit of finding people in newspaper articles really funny, especially when the articles are about the less-serious human-interest side of things. But I'm not sure what reaction to have to this six-month-old New York Times piece on the fashion blogosphere's favourite hairstyle (well, going by the number who've put up pictures of themselves) fringes, or bangs as they're called in the US- it's half 'LOL' and half 'WTF?!" (much as I detest using text-message acronyms, these two are a perfect fit here).

Sample 1 (please note, these are taken entirely out of context and I wouldn't put it past the reporter to have intentionally made this and the rest of the article sound absurd) what a woman without a fringe thinks of a woman with a fringe:
“To me, they scream: ‘I’m cooler than you, I have a lot of sex, and if you leave your husband with me I’ll devour him,’ ” said Meredith Hays, a literary agent in Manhattan with an unbanged brow. But Ms. Hays said she quickly becomes more rational: “It’s maybe more a cry for help, like ‘I’m getting older and so I’ll give myself a youngish haircut to compensate.’ ”

I say
: Seriously. I know hair's important and rationality kicks in after those thoughts, but making judgments like that...isn't it something you're supposed to have got over by the age of thirty-six? It's on par with assuming blondes are dumb. If I met someone with that attitude, sheer perversity would make me want to piss them off even more (in addition to what the hair did). And yeah, anyone who doesn't spend that much time obsessing over what their hair looks like, is probably cooler than you.

Sample 2: on the maintenance of fringes.
Mr. Berg suggests that his clients use a little bit of baby powder or a Bumble and bumble spray-on hair powder at the roots. To avoid frizz, use spray-on wax, he tells his clients, but “always applied onto the fingers first.” For general maintenance, he suggests using a light hairspray applied to a flat rubber-cushion boar-bristle brush (he favors Mason Pearson’s).
I say: Get over it already. No wonder people act neurotic over fringes, if they think they take this much maintenance- swallowing any old rubbish anyone working in the hair industry tells you will probably do that. Take it from a frizzy-haired person living in a subtropical country- you don't need more than shampoo, conditioner and a small comb/brush (I don't carry those around with me), and a pair of sharp scissors when they get overgrown.

Sample 3: on the grass being greener from the other side of a curtain of hair.
Scratch anyone with perfectly styled bangs, and you’ll likely find a woman who occasionally lifts up the curtain of hair and gazes back at someone with a less cluttered bathroom sink, a more relaxed morning routine and a nighttime outfit that doesn’t involve a headband to stave off eyebrow-acne.
I say: Refer to my views on sample 2. I've had a fringe for the last seven years now (with the exception of a one-year period, aged nineteen, when I grew them out and only a few wisps remained in front), and never suffered from forehead/eyebrow/any kind of acne. Which is more likely to be caused by having ten tonnes of styling product in your hair, than by the fringe itself .

picture of Jane Birkin on the cover of Vogue, from ebay.

12 comments:

WendyB said...

I often think people are being light-hearted and humorous when they're asked something like "What do you think of bangs?" but when it's written down it looks like they're taking it so seriously. The quote on paper doesn't capture the mood the person was in when they made a certain statement.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

I did take that into account for the women who were quoted, but I can only assume the haircare professionals quoted in the article were in earnest- and that massive routine still sounds terribly funny. As does the notion that a fringe, of all things, marks out a potential husband-stealer :)

MASALA CHAI said...

This article is completely ridiculous! So much fuss over bangs eh. I feel sorry for the person who had to "cover" that "story".

I actually grew mine out because they did make me look about 16. As for the frizzy hair + subtropical country, don't tell me you're doing it without a flat iron because if thats the case, then good job!

The_UndeaD_ said...

Okay continuing from what u said from the previous post, I m gonna take the debate into the next level...

As i stated earlier I am a functional guy...so whatever is most comfortable to me is what i usually wear...but what is most comfortable (at moderate temperatures ) is usually wearing nothing...so what do u think of nudism? If u say anything abt being pagan or uncivilised I shall stone you...Pagans didnt create global warming,pollution or desertification...they are usually at peace with nature...and their private parts...

Okay coming back to what is most comfortable...who is the best designer(according to ur taste ofcourse) for comfortable casual wear (i dislike extra appendages or frills or anything of that sort). So lets hear it...

The_UndeaD_ said...

Okay coming back to what you said again...

The way you dress is a rather strong visual signal that you use to tell the seeing world and yourself something about how you wish to be seen.

If I am not mistaken this is a pro "attention seeking" statement. Not that there is anything wrong with seeking attention but i do not think of it as a sign of courage but rather weakness. A really courageous person wouldnt give a shit what the seeing world sees.

susie_bubble said...

What a hilarious article.... I'm surprised they managed to cream a whole article dedicated to um...fringes...

fashionaddict said...

Haha, I am always amused by how silly these things can sound when put down in print, but I confess that the tone of my conversations with friends about hair, clothes, assorted fripperies occasionally take the same tone.

The husband bit is what catapults it into LOL (yes, truly, the right word here) status for me.

Blue Floppy Hat said...

Masala Chai: oddly, my fringe is quite well-behaved, it's only the resy of my hair that's mad. And like I said before, it's the only do that suits my face.

The_Undead: I have no issues with nudism (and given that I let your cracks about skinny women and homophilia slip, you really have no locus to be casting stones at me)- if that's your way, so be it.
And I'm only a blogger, not a shopping guide(I do know some awesome tailors in Calcutta, though- Barkat Ali. No frills whatsoever. On the designer end, Y-3 maybe? Since you say you like casualwear).
As for the rest, I'm not even sure you read my reply properly. You're free to think what you like, I wasn't trying to change your mind.

Susie: I strongly suspect this was an attempt to fill space..I mean, fringes?

Fashionaddict: I guess conversations can sound like that, but newspaper articles, now...and the husband bit is priceless!

atelier said...

I never wore fringe, but Birkin looks great in that Vogue cover. funny article.

discothequechic said...

uhh yeah Meredith Hays sounds a wee bit paranoid!

great post

Paris said...

Here Here! Power to the fringed women!! Although I must say, I don't mind other women thinking I get a lot of sex and can devour men and i'm cool just from this little fringe of mine! hehe xx

Sarah said...

I love fringes, the are talking a load of nonsence. I might just go get mine cut back in after reading this and laughing out loud.

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