Tagged: 1957

Miscellany. 08.08.11.

Havana Hot Rod: A 1957 Dodge Coronet on the street, in Cuba. (Photo by San Suzie.)

On Curls

Wigs (Portfolio), 1994, by Lorna Simpson. (Courtesy of MoMA.)

It’s my spoken rule never to actually read the New York Times Style section, just look at the pictures. But I couldn’t resist poking into Judith Newman’s essay on curly hair. As a sporter and supporter of all things big and curly, I’m always happy to see someone call the blowout mafia on the bullshit. (Seriously, formaldehyde??? That’s so Damien Hirst.) But the piece, I thought, overlooked what I think is an ethnic issue that is also tied to curly hair. We live in a society that prizes WASP standards of beauty above all. I think there’s a certainly undesirability to curly hair because it’s seen as too ethnic, too Jewish, too Latino, too Black. Too, well, unruly.

It still feels like a bit of defiance to wear hair that is big and curly. But not for simple aesthetic reasons. This story could have been an interesting dissection of what we as a society consider beautiful and why. Opportunity missed.

Now, back to looking at the pictures.

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