A Small Bangs Theory

Bangs for the memories.

In spring a woman’s fancy turns to haircuts.

For those of us lucky enough to live in the First World, hair is something we can afford to obsess about, since most of us have safe drinking water, enough to eat, and somewhere out of the rain to sleep. So, when we get weary of trying to bring about world peace, our thoughts sometimes turn to our hair.

Hair styles have baffled me all my life, and at this point I’m not about to start spending the time I have left trying to make my hair bounce, roll over or be fetching. However, I do sympathize with the urge to do something with one’s hair. And lately it has seemed to me that there’s been a noticeable resurgence of a style usually more common among the preschool set. Call it the Zooey Deschanel Effect if you like. I call the Small Bangs Theory.

You see them everywhere these days, although mostly on Zooey Deschanel, of whom, I will admit, I am a big fan. I loved her in Elf. Enjoyed her deadpan snarkiness in Big Trouble. Even gave her a pass on the too quirky 500 Days of Summer, in which her hair should have received second billing.

But now that she’s “The New Girl” and her trademark locks and big blue eyes are getting over-exposed in advertisements, I find my enthusiasm for the quirky factor waning.

Sure, she’s still adorkable. But after a while one longs for something a bit more sour. Or maybe that’s just me.

I always wanted to be cute when I was younger. I envied the girls with the curls, the sunny smiles, the turned up noses. Try as I might, I couldn’t come close to approximating their look. Although I was a true blonde all through high school, inside my heart was dark, my view skewed toward cynicism. And although I eventually learned how to wear the mask, to play the carefree blonde, I drew the line at bangs.

Bangs are a curse. The instant you decide to try them, you have to schedule your next haircut. Bangs are always either too short or too long. Too crooked or too limp. When I was in first grade I had bangs. That was the closest I ever got to achieving cuteness. Then of course, in second grade my teeth started to fall out, and that’s not a good look on anyone.

Bangs are the hallmark of the frivolous. That’s why most men avoid them. The Beatles got away with them because they could get away with anything back then. Picture the Mona Lisa with bangs. Suffice it to say she wouldn’t be in the Louvre.

However, the urge to try bangs never dies. It can go dormant for years and suddenly reappear as you enter the later stages of life, when foreheads take on a corrugated aspect and mere cosmetics won’t help. Women of a certain age can be tempted into thinking that bangs disguise wrinkles. But bangs will only get you so far in that lost cause.

So, no bangs for me. I’ll leave them to the New Girls, who don’t need them. Especially Zooey Deschanel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.