Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's a haircut, people

Assuming you haven't heard the news, Britney Spears1 is sporting a new do. One that involves no hair2.

While this really shouldn't be news, there are a few interesting elements to the story. For instance, the hairdresser she went to refused to do the cutting:
The former pop princess had just sheared her head, turning up at a salon she'd never used before and telling the owner she wanted a buzz cut - a request that was refused. (source)
Spears' busy Friday night began in the salon of Esther Tognozzi, who told the syndicated television gossip show "Extra" that she was afraid to shave Spears' head in case she was sued for ruining the singer's image. (source)
Afraid of being sued for following a customer's request? Give me a break.

Let's imagine this from the reverse perspective. A famous man who's always had long, luscious locks walks into a salon and asks for a mullet. The hairdresser refuses to do it, insisting that the customer is probably being hormonal, and so the famous man has to grab the shears himself and cut his own hair. Um, no.

People (at least those quoted in articles on the topic) seem to be responding with revulsion and outrage (e.g., headlines like "She's cutting off her femininity"). But many articles go beyond aesthetic critiques into analyses of Britney's sanity:
The weird evening has convinced fans that the mother of two, who has been partying hard since leaving husband Kevin Federline, is close to cracking up. "After she left the shop, we all just looked around and said to each other, 'We just saw a huge celebrity on the verge of a nervous breakdown,' " (source)
'We could see her in the mirror and her head is completely shaved. It looks terrible,' Spears fan Angelique Uram told a local TV station. The latest and most bizarre - but probably not the last - incident in the destruction of Spears' career and reputation was over. (source)
Friends, family and agents appear unable, or unwilling, to help the singer but the real concern is for her children. "The last thing she's acting like is a mother," said trauma psychologist Dr. Robert Butterworth. "This is like a second adolescence. Is she taking Anna Nicole's place? The slot is open." (source)
Wait a second here; all she did was get a haircut and a tattoo. This shouldn't give people license to question her sanity and mothering abilities.

Would these same reporters be questioning a man's fathering abilities (and sanity) if he grew long hair, got a tattoo, and went out for a night on the town?

1 I never thought I'd do this, but I'm actually blogging about Britney Spears. What has the world come to?
2 There's a picture here, if you must see.

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