Return of the Perm

Ben Bush


Has every hairstyle been exhausted? The iterations of the Mohawk? The social signifier of the Jennifer Anniston dyed/bleached and layered cut? The A-line? The New Wave asymmetrical haircut, which returned on the heels of the dance punk wave of the early 90s? The tangled implications of white boy dreadlocks? Cornrows? Balding guy shaved head? Afro? Long straight Kurt Cobain hair?

There is but one hairstyle that seems to have lain dormant for an appropriate length of time to be revived with a vacant symbology, ripe to be filled with a new cultural message. Does it symbolize libertarianism? Is it a backlash against, or merely the most triumphant gesture of, a certain stripe of indie hipsterism? A way for men to hide their bald spots beneath a cloud of curly hair? Does it symbolizes a person who has severed connections to a web 2.0 lifestyle by committing Facebook suicide? Is the puff of hair synonymous with a more robust presence in the physical rather than digital world? Will their be a puffy-haired, armed militia movement wandering through our post-apocalyptic wasteland?

The overabundance of meanings compared to the meager numbers of physical objects makes this a rare opportunity for a perceptible experience to be truly filled afresh. Help me be the first to take the radical leap into the void. -BB

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