Monday, August 29, 2016

Hair snaps

My urge to snap photos of random hair -- on the streets, in a restaurant, while waiting in line -- may seem voyeuristic. I mean, we're not just talking hair here, we're talking the people styling it. Usually, I haven't asked their permission. Often, the photos turn out poorly because by the time I finally grapple to get my phone in place, the subject is blocked from view by another head or walking briskly away. If I chase after, which I'm ashamed to admit I've done once or twice, well, that just feels awkward and wrong.

Even so, I've been collecting hair snaps. Below are a few from the past year, offered here for reasons it might take me years of psychoanalysis to unravel. Then again, it's hair, which in a weird way speaks for itself.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

The manbun

You'd think I would notice a new hair trend, but it slipped right past me.

"You post about hair?" Mary asked me at a recent gathering. "Have you talked about the manbun?"

I hadn't. I actually hadn't even known it existed. A quick browser search of the manbun sent me down a rabbit hole of terminology: hipster, bro bun, vertex, mun.

Seattle is mentioned as one of the "hipster" venues where the manbun is more common. After Mary told me about it, I began noticing it all around me. The manbun on the custodian at church, the manbun on the waiter in Issaquah.

Really, there's not a lot to say, except that this common hairstyle worn by women for ages now has caught on with men. In a lengthy definition of "hipster" at the Urban Dictionary, I read that the androgynous quality of the manbun gets under the skin of some men, those who see it as a challenge to their masculinity.

Perhaps I'm being willfully obtuse, but the manbun does not strike me as effeminate or somehow not masculine. For men it's as practical as it is for women.

Not only that, I like it. I think it looks good.

According to "the official site for manbuns and long hair," the manbun style has only been around since 2013. Recently, I heard myself declaring, somewhat loudly, "I love manbuns!" then remembered how I had learned the term myself only recently. Such a statement could easily be misunderstood.