It seems Britney Spears is taking a lot of flack from fans and industry professionals alike over her radical new hairstyle.
Or make that “no-hair style.”
The volume of the outcry, a mixed bag of concern, cackling, and condemnation, puts the importance of Britney’s follicular status roughly on par with that of Iran’s nuclear proliferation, the escalating showdown between Democratic presidential nominees, or the re-introduction of New Coke into the world’s soft drink supply*. Hearing the breathless coverage of this development, anyone might wonder if the sun is even going to go on rising if it has to face the specter of reflecting its rays off of Britney’s newly polished dome.
As for me, I have to confess a teeny, tiny bit of jealousy.
Ever since that bald chick stepped onscreen in the original Star Trek movie, I’ve harbored a secret desire to shave my head. I came dangerously close to doing it in my late teens, when my fascination with non-lethal rebelliousness was at its peak. Years passed and I thought I had finally squashed the urge, but then Demi Moore came along in G.I. Jane to prove once more that hair is optional.
Those of you who have never had long hair may not understand the temptation, the allure of letting your naked scalp breathe the air at last. My hair, though appreciated by Paul, is a constant, low-grade irritant to me. Here are some things I don’t love about it:
~its propensity for coming unfastened from my scalp and depositing itself all over the place, from the back of my sweaters, to the inside of the car, to the stubble on my husband’s chin. I shed like a Pomeranian in July.
~its unwillingness to conform itself to anything resembling a style, or indeed to even maintain the appearance of having been recently brushed, despite all efforts to the contrary.
~its habit of flying around and hanging in my face whenever my hands are full and I can’t brush it out of the way. There’s nothing like getting strands of your hair stuck in your wet lipstick when you’ve got two kids and an armful of groceries to maneuver into the car on a windy day.
It gets pulled when I play with the kids. It gets wound up in the vacuum brush. It catches bits of fluff and smidges of various substances which stick to it, unseen by me, until some kind soul comes up and fishes them out.
Now imagine the hairless life: long rides in the car with the windows down and no tangles, cool breezes flowing over your bare head on warm summer days, turning over in bed without having to sweep your hair out behind you and rearrange it on the pillow. How lovely.
So why don’t I do it? With so many reasons to hate my hair, why don’t I just shave it off like I’ve always dreamed?
1) Paul would cry.
2) I’ve done some checking, and I’m pretty sure that I have a bumpy, weird-shaped head. Let’s face it. It’s one thing for Demi Moore to go bald. It’s another thing altogether for us mere mortal women.
Anyway, I never thought I’d say this, but Britney, I salute you. Long may you shine.
*Don’t panic. I just threw in that last one to see if you were paying attention.