Published on October 14th, 2016 | by Yashodhara Ghosh
Flaunt It: Short hair
From the liberating bra-burning battle of femininity of the 1960s to the androgynous beauty of today, the pixie cut or the gamine look is as feminine as it can be…
Months into sporting her super-short and uber-cool pixie crop, Miley Cyrus, who skyrocketed to fame as her long-haired alter-ego Hanna Montana, said with conviction, “You will never see me with long hair again!” Charlize Theron, whose gasp-inducing buzz cut has now grown into a sleek elfin crop, spoke for many pixie-pushers when she said in a recent interview that her short crop is ‘the most freeing thing.’ While Theron celebrated a well-deserved break from ‘bagfuls of hair products’, Miley admitted that she had abhorred the extensions ‘sewn into’ her head: “It’s creepy.” But the most jaw-dropping pixie breakthrough came from Emma Watson. After spending nine years playing Hermione (she was contractually obliged to keep her hair long), she had them lopped into a sleek pixie, later confessing that the act was ‘the most liberating thing.’ Even Les Miserables star Anne Hathway seemed to have embraced the pixie with joy.
Then: the infatuation
All the ladies seem to have discovered that the experience of sporting super-short crops is therapeutic – almost cathartic. Their hairdos seem to have taken the weight off their shoulders, literally and metaphorically, freeing them from the myth that long, glistening locks are somehow the benchmark of feminine beauty. The pixie turns 53 years old this year, first immortalised by Jean Seberg in Jean Luc Godard’s 1960 classic Breathless. And then came Audrey Hepburn, who rendered the look cult status in Roman Holiday. Back in those days, the pixie crop was all about embracing the spritely girl in the woman, evoking an image of youth.
Now: love, revisited
Half a century later, womankind’s love affair with the pixie has peaked yet again, with a string of icons embracing it and making it part of their signature look – Emile Sande’s tousled pixie, Halle Berry’s glamorous spiked ‘do, or Rihanna’s sharp side-swept style. But this time round, it’s a pixie with a difference, and all about empowerment. It is no longer a cut for the little girl lost – it’s literally the ‘short cut’ to all that is chic, sleek and oozing with self-confidence and poise. It’s for women who have come into their own, and aren’t afraid to cast off artificial trappings and show off their true selves, emerging from behind those unnatural extensions, and the expectations of normative feminine beauty that they cater to.
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