Cross-posted at Jezebel.
In an effort to disrupt the dominant images about what women’s hair should look like, Lauren Boyle and Marco Roso created an alternative aspirational beauty salon poster that offers women a set of hairstyles usually associated with lesbians. The collection of these creative and varied haircuts bring into stark relief the hyperfeminized options most women encounter at the salon.
At DIS magazine; thanks to Marco for the submission.Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.
Jessica — November 18, 2010
I love it!
Simone Lovelace — November 18, 2010
Progressive Scholar — November 18, 2010
I was so happy to have found this poster recently. When I went to the salon last week, I pulled this poster up on my phone and pointed to the haircut I wanted. For the first time EVER, I got the haircut I actually wanted. Usually
the stylist is blocked by their own restrictive understanding of what type of haircut a female-bodied person can/should have. It's a lifesaver! Thanks to DIS magazine for this guide!
Laura — November 18, 2010
There seems to be a big difference between the styles salons display and the styles the hairstylists actually like. I have short hair and hair stylists always seem to get really excited about getting to cut a short style and often tell me they'd love to cut their hair short, but aren't brave enough. The styles in the poster are great, but I can't see them fitting in with the posters of girly girls and displays of pink GHD straighteners in my local salon!
Jeremiah — November 18, 2010
Looks like a catalog of 80's synthpop hair. I see Duran Duran, Thomas Dolby, Andrew Ridgely, Lamahl, etc....
jenna — November 18, 2010
Back in January, as a tribute and expression of grief when my long-time canine companion passed, I shaved my head. Down to the scalp. I didn't bic it, but I had very little left.
I did it again in May because I enjoyed the feeling so very much.
The reactions I got were interesting, from the cop who pulled me over (first time since I was 15 I've gotten a ticket) who said "I thought you were a guy" and asked me why I shaved off my hair to the woman at the farmer's market who looked directly at me (and my, excuse me, rather enormous 40DDD breasts) and called me a man twice to people saying how much I rocked and how brave I was and how they wished they had the ovaries to do what I did.
My hair is lovely. It's a great color of red, with natural golden highlights, medium wave, etc. It's always been considered my chief beauty. I've often worn it long. My mother continually grouses about me shaving off my lovely hair. But I LOVE it super-short. It's in a really short pixie cut now. It's easy to manage, easy to style, and I think it's quite fetching.
It's lovely, though, to actually see some sort, sexy styles! Perhaps I can take this in the next time I go for a cut and MAKE them do what I want.
K — November 18, 2010
I don't see the Bieber haircut on there :(
akeeyu — November 18, 2010
I love this, especially since I've had about 25 to 30% of those haircuts.
It's so hard to find somebody to do those haircuts well without ending up with Boy Hair or Little Old Lady Hair (no disrespect to boys or little old ladies, of course).
Lynne Skysong — November 18, 2010
Wow, I would really love to get a short a haircut. Unfortunately for me, I have a harder, squarer jawline than most women, so the couple short styles I tired just really didn't suit my facial shape. *sigh* Maybe I'll find a short style that suits my face... eventually. Still, I love seeing women rocking the shorter styles. My mom is one of them.
Maggie — November 18, 2010
Hah, excellent. This is why I always contemplate just asking for a "man's haircut". I especially hate when there's a price difference. Ugh.
Lynne Shapiro — November 18, 2010
But aren't we talking about a certain segment of Lesbians who go more along with certain parameters within traditional sex roles and clothing? What about so-called "lipstick Lesbians" and the segment of feminist Lesbians who eschew any kind of sex-stereotyped clothing and hair styles seeking more androgynous styles?
A — November 18, 2010
I'm a straight (but not narrow) gal who simply loves super short haircuts. I wish that these types of haircuts were more accepted for women and that longer locks were more accepted on guys too! This poster is awesome!
anon — November 18, 2010
I think all of these women look like lesbians. I guess it's a societal norm thing. I have several lesbian friends that have longer hair, though my cousin and her wife both have super short hair. I myself, a straight woman, used ot have short spiky hair. I can see no reason for my bias, but my natural feeling is that these women are homosexual.
T — November 18, 2010
The woman in the upper-right (blue jacket) looks like a member of the Hitler Youth. Whenever I see younger girls and women with a similar haircut to that, this is what I think of. Not, "she looks like a boy" -- but she looks like a Nazi boy.
Captain Pasty — November 18, 2010
I love this.
bbonnn — November 18, 2010
Also, none of the models are smiling or doing the pouty come-hither face.
Jeff Kaufman — November 18, 2010
These seem to have an underlying pattern. Aside from three that are consistently short and one that is consistently long, they're all long at the top and short at the bottom. I think that's that makes them read as lesbian instead of male.
azizi — November 18, 2010
Imo, very short hair styles, and bald heads for African American and other Black women often have very little to do with being a lesbian. One reason why some (but certainly not all) Black women in the USA since the 1970s choose to have bald heads is that they are adopting the traditional style of Maasi women or other women in Africa who wear their hair bald or wear their natural (unpermed) hair very closely cropped. Somewhat short or very short (natural or permed) hair cuts are also favored styles for some straight Black women (like me), though the hair cuts usually don't look like most of the hair styles in that poster.
The hairstyle of the Black woman in the 3rd row, 2nd photo is a style that I've seen. Ditto the photo of the Black woman in row 6, 2nd photo, but usually with a much less severe shave in the back. However, I don't think that hair style of that African American woman with the hair style in the last photo (and the front view of that style), or the Black woman in the 3rd row, last photo (front view and the back view) are at all common, at least not in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where I live.
Wanda — November 18, 2010
Oh no!!!! I have a lesbian haircut! And I'm straight!!!!
Actually, my hairdresser (who is a gay Korean man) never liked to cut my hair short because he thinks that "girls should have long, pretty hair", which is pretty much the standard for women here. Short hair is really uncommon among women under 50. I had to threaten to go somewhere else in the future unless he did what I wanted, which is a serious threat, at least for me, because I live in Seoul and there are about three English-speaking hairdressers in a city of 23 million people. So he gave me the short haircut I wanted and when I went to school the next day I looked just like my 800 male high school students. I blend in pretty well here now. And I love my short hair just fine. I've never had anyone say anything negative about it, although if they were speaking Korean about me I wouldn't understand it anyway.
Wanda — November 18, 2010
After posting that I reread the line about my hairdresser being a gay man and I wondered why I mentioned that. Then I realized that I was making an assumption that because he is a gay man he should automatically be more open minded about gender stereotyping hairstyles. However, he is still a man operating within the cultural boundaries of a patriarchal society and as such is probably still greatly influenced by Korean cultural expectations of what a woman should and should not look like, including how she wears her hair. I apologize if I offended anyone; it was not my intention to do so.
Karo — November 18, 2010
You know, it struck me only recently how the US was fixated on long hair for (straight) women. When I was traveling back to my home (European) country, both during the layovers and at the final destination, I noticed how many more women (otherwise presenting in a very feminine way) were wearing short-short hair. Here, it seems you either have to be a lesbian or "an old lady" (i.e. over 50, so presumably not interested in "catching a man" - that's another set of assumptions right there) to have short hair.
I'm saying this as a straight woman wearing a very short cut, which makes me feel comfortable and fashionable back in Europe, but self-conscious and insecure here in the US (OMG, I'm not girly enough! Nobody will want to date me!)
eeka — November 18, 2010
I like that there's a mix of racial hair textures on the poster. Usually hair posters/books are either "hair styles" or "black hair styles." I really really wish they'd accurately label the book of styles for straight Caucasian hair.
DK — November 19, 2010
I think most of these are pretty cool. A few of them I don't like (I think they look silly and/or ugly, but that is just my personal taste), but most are
It seems to me that almost all of the women shown here have either an angry, a disinterested/indifferent or a sad expression on their faces. Is that just my reading of it, or is there really almost no "positive" expression there? If so, why?
Mishie — November 21, 2010
I love these haircuts. I have had both waist length and super short hair, including buzzed at the back. I now have a pixie cut, similar to 6th row, second from right.
I identify as heterosexual (but have a female long term domestic/romantic companion).
I love this poster and I wish my salon had one. I like the models' expressions, but I wish there were more smiles. Nobody EVER seems to smile in hair photography, they always seem angry, disillusioned or dismayed.
mike — November 21, 2010
haha, i know these people. welcome to the NYC queer hipster scene!
azizi — November 22, 2010
This article adds more opinions to the discussion about Black women's hair styles-
Black women rewriting the rules on hairstyles
Individuality trumps conformity as locks go long, short, natural, curly and straight.
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Margart — January 25, 2021
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