Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Oh, Britters. What are you doing, hen? Please tell me because I think I'll otherwise explode with a nervous excitement not felt since Dannii Minogue tried to insert a cucumber into my back passage, back-stage at Kylie's Intimate And Live concert in Sheperd's Bush, 1998.

Going out with nae knickers on and showing off your fanny, driving around with your baby on your lap, smoking far too many fags, drinking like a fish... All these things are terrible, but shaving all your hair off? What the hell were you thinking...?

And what am I thinking? To be honest, I don't know. What I'm really trying to get to grips with is why I, like so many other people, find

  • a female shaving her head to be shocking behaviour
  • Britney shaving her head to be more shocking that driving with her baby on her lap
Is this the final chapter in a story that began with a virginal love-fest with Justin? Is this where a school girl flirting with sexuality ends up? Questions, questions, questions. And more: Is Britney a feminist radical? Is she bucking some kind of trend? Is she telling the world that she doesn't care what it thinks? I think, the answer to that last question is no. Or she wouldn't now be wearing a blonde wig. Is it most likely that she went out on the town, got off her face and decided, thanks to her good friends Mr Coke and Mr Vodka, to do something wild? And what does that then mean? That she's about to have a breakdown? Or that she's finally in control of herself? Has she jumped out of her rational aeroplane without a parachute?

Or is she simply out to shock?

If she is simply out to shock, can someone please help me understand why a woman shaving all her hair off is a shocking thing to do? Men do it all the time and no-one bats an eyelid. I suppose it's easy to make a statement with a hairstyle and it can be worn like a badge. A hippy might grown it long, a Nazi might order a Jewish woman to have it shawn. It's visual impact is always severe.

Poor women, even now, sell their hair to make some money. A shaven head might be seen as a sign of destitution. Is Britney trying to tell the world that money means nothing to her? Or has she had some kind of religious experience? Is she embracing the notions of poverty, chastity and obedience?

By the way, dear reader, if you have a spare million dollars, you can buy Britney's hair. Click here to find out how.

Or is Britney on a path of renewal? Clothes are easily changed, even names - but removal of hair is literally removing a part of oneself. Radical change. Unrecognisable against photo ID.

Of course, Britney could be about to come out. As what? I hear you cry. A lesbian, dear reader, is the answer. She could be about to tell the world that she's a dyke. Naturalists have a lot to say about hair and what it means. It is thought that human females wearing it long is a throw back to our pre-human past and there for our babies to hold on to. Its gloss, lustre and healthy look are seen as signs of a woman's ability to conceive and a subliminal courtship invitation to men. Is Britney's hair removal a statement about a new aversion to reproduce? Or an end to her heterosexuality? Of course, there are lots of lezzas with long hair, it could mean nothing, but there's nothing like shaving all your hair off, going out without any make-up on and wearing a pair of dungarees to announce your lesbianism. Long hair in women is an overt sign of femininity. One cannot get away from that. An unfeminine or butch woman is still seen by society as abnormal - and that's why I think Britney's shaven head is seen as so shocking. So good for her.

There's another option, of course. Her divorce has cost her a lot of money and she's looking for ways to economise. Shampoo can be expensive!

Whatever the reason, Britney must now be very aware that she's lost those notorious pop princess and girlie labels. She'll now be found in the rebel, wild and mad boxes.

There have been other women with shaven heads or women who've lost their hair. Natalie Portman, Sinéad O'Connor, Gail Porter, Demi Moore and Siouxsie Sioux are all very different women, but all tarred with the confidence brush. A sign, then, perhaps, that this is not a sign of weakness in Britney or that things are about to fall apart, but more a sign of strength. And while strength is another trait never seen as normal in a woman, it is a good thing to see. Another abnormal chapter in Britney's life is being played out before us, a chapter in a life which, if we're frank has never been normal. And normality is so dull.

You go, girl!

And ditch the wig!


Bill S. said...

Seriously, that wig makes her look like an overweight woman in the Witness Relocation Program, playing the slots in Atlantic City. Say it loud: "I'm bald and I'm proud!"

Anjou Wu said...

Whatever common sense that girl ever had she lost around the time she dumped Justin Timberlake. She's a mess! Having said that, however, I do believe that her musical career is begging for a Madonna-style reinvention a la "Like a Prayer." If ever there was a time for her to put out a confessional song cycle, it's now!

matty said...

You know, I actually think all of these antics were planned by some sick/twisted PR person - Ms. Monsoon maybe? ...anyway, I smell a big hit record and an OSCAR in her future.

...welcome to the 21st Century.

sort of makes one sick.

cool post, by the way!!!!

OK -- so, I passively-aggressively tag'd you, Old Cheeser, Hot Lunch, Daniel and Kevin on my blog.

China Blue said...

I'm glad she's cut off her hair. Her hair extensions looked tired and ratty.

One reason people find bald women shocking is that they have cut off everything that makes them beautiful and attractive to men - it's a real middle-finger gesture to the idea that your beauty and feminity is tied up in your hair. I don't think she's heading for a breakdown, she's in the midst of one, and that may have been her 'rock bottom' moment.

I think it's a great way to start over. She needs to go away for a while, lie low, get better, then come back renewed, if she wants to come back at all.

Kapitano said...

So, someone who sang one memorable song a decade ago has had a haircut.

You just can't measure how much my life enriched by this information.

Minge said...

I wonder if she's bald everywhere. I don't think I actually saw those photographs, you know.