By: Anne T. Donahue
This week, the fashion world was rocked with a revelation: Kaia Gerber had cut her hair, and as a result, her new haircut has now been branded (by Vogue) as “the world’s most-wanted haircut.”
Which, like, wow. Wow! Can you imagine? Imagine cutting your hair and anybody caring at all, let alone the globe entire? Imagine cutting your hair, and it being taken as anything other than you cutting your hair? Because I do. I imagine it. I imagine every time I do anything, it’s only a matter of time before the entire population sits up and heralds my choice as exciting, brave, and worthy of note. In my head, every time I cut my hair, I am Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors, dying my hair blonde as to symbolize a new chapter of my life. Truly. In the immortal words of Fleabag, “Hair is everything.”
But to that end, I’m ready to declare the era(s) of “world’s most-wanted haircut” officially over. Especially since Gerber herself explained her aesthetic choice in the following way: “Genuinely, Kurt Cobain was my original inspiration,” she said. “For so long I felt this pressure to have the long, pretty hair that everyone expects you to have. Then I asked myself who I was doing that for – I could cut my hair if I wanted to cut my hair. So I did.”
See? This isn’t The Rachel (which, for the record, happened by chance and Jennifer Aniston hated it) – it’s a person’s answer to the pressure to embrace particular beauty norms. So Gerber stopped doing just that! She cut her hair and decided to dictate her own terms under which to live and look.
Which brings me to the most important point of all: haircut and hairstyle trends are, well, kind of bullshit. Yes, many of us have lobs. (Me, out of sheer laziness.) And true, more than a few of us have pulled up photos of celebrities, handed our phones to our stylists and said, “Please I beg you, make this haircut work for me.” But, on top of us all having different hair types which aren’t always conducive to, say, the era in which every celebrity had the straightest hair in all the land, we’re also all inspired by all sorts of things all the time. Finally, we’re creeping further and further away from the notion that everybody should have the same haircuts, the same dye jobs, or the same center parts. And fucking finally! It’s ridiculous to make haircuts as “it” as some bags are supposed to be. One, you throw your shit in and carry around before putting it on the dirty floor. The other, you have to look at every day, every goddamn day. (Whether you choose to lie down on a floor is up to you.)
So look. I’m very here for Kaia Gerber’s choice to channel the hair of a musical icon. I’m also very here for her rejecting the standards she feels pressured to abide by. More than that, I’m totally into the idea of changing your hair and as a result, changing your life. As I type this, I’m in the midst of growing out a bob I’ve had for years and trying to figure out whether I’m emotionally strong enough to handle the in-between stage, or whether I roll into my stylist’s next week and beg her to make me feel in control of my identity again. It’s nothing, but it’s a personal, very important nothing. And for heaven’s sake, as nothing as a haircut may seem, it certainly isn’t something to be dictated by famous people who have access to people who will ensure they don’t leave the house looking terrible.
But you know this. I know this. Kaia Gerber seems to know this. So as we wader further and further into autumn haircut season, may we remember: there are no “it” cuts. Just do what you want. Look the way that makes you happy. Cut your hair off. Grow it. Perm it. Treat it. Live your life. Just please, may we tuck the idea of “most-wanted haircuts” into its hair coffin, and let it finally rest in peace.