11:33 PM

Bob Haircuts For the Win

Why does TV and film seem to have an aversion to female leads with short hair? Granted, female leads in general are about as frequent as two digit temperatures in Arizona during the summer, but short-haired ones are a rarity in a category of their own.

I've heard that men prefer long-haired women but I've never come across proof of this popular idea until after looking at the film world.Think about it. Princess Leia ("Star Wars"), Kate ("Lost"), Penny ("The Big Bang Theory"), Jessi ("Toy Story 2 and 3"), Cuddy and Cameron and Thirteen/Remy ("House"), Robin ("How I Met Your Mother"), Buttercup ("The Princess Bride"), and almost every female in a romantic comedy/romance novel.

While it may not be surprising that romantic comedies and drama tend to have more long-haired babes in them - it's needed for those dramatic moments after all, the slow-motion head toss wouldn't be the same without it! - it's telling that the leads in these genres, especially romantic movies, would have long hair.

Why are short-haired women limited to taking center stage in sci-fi? Why is it that only the tough girls seem to have short hair, or the eccentric women, or the messed up ones? We all know that men take the forefront as the main character in disproportionate numbers in books, film, and tv, but for men, it seems that short is the norm and longer hair is either a hippie, druggie, or old Western man. I don't get it.

While this concept could use some reflection and could probably spawn any number of debates, arguments, spoofs, and rants, I've decided that it would be more useful (and fun) to just list five amazing short-haired bombshells that I appreciate.

We'll do a short shout out list for those female characters with short hair who are series regulars or have somewhat important roles in films but, sadly, aren't the main attraction.

Honorable Mentions: Dr. Girlfriend - "The Venture Bros.", Claudia Donovan - "Warehouse 13", Number Six - "Battlestar Galactica", Molly Jensen - "Ghost", Celia Hodes - "Weeds"

But you know you're all really interested in who the main beauties are of the group who get the short and sexy hairstyling AND the main lead. Here's the best that I could do at this time of night! They're in no particular order, and if you can think of anyone else that deserves a shout-out or to be on this list let me know with a comment.

1. Akima - "Titan A.E."

Akima is proud, confident, strong, beautiful, yet flawed. She has some issues with her attitude she's fun to watch on-screen as she learns to trust and also as she kicks some booty. You can argue that she's a bit flat character-wise, and that her main role is to be the love interest, and yes, she's in a science fiction movie, but we all have to start somewhere, right? One disappointing aspect about Akima, however, is that while she is a main character, she is not the focal point of the story. And with hair like that, I can't see why she isn't.

2. Olivia Benson - "Law and Order: SVU"

She's sexy, tough, and compassionate, and she's also a main character for the first few seasons until she disappears and people stop watching the show religiously. She consistently shows up with short hair, possibly because of her job, but we love her anyway because, hey, she's doing the same kind of work as Stabler, and still looking good!

3. Snow White - "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs"

Ok, so she's two-dimensional and a kid's cartoon from the time back when it used to be expected for a girl to have no dreams except getting married. But she's the only Disney princess with short hair above her chin (Mulan doesn't even cut hers that short, and it grows back!). So we have to give her a shout-out and appreciate the fact that she's embodying love for a generation without the use of luxurious long locks. And to top it off? The movie's about her. She's even in the title.

4. Fujioka Haruhi - "Ouran High School Host Club"

Before you judge me on watching and liking this show, I have to challenge you to find a female who is featured as prominently as a main character in a show that is not science fiction as her. Granted, she dresses like a man in most of the series, and has several brusque qualities that may be considered strange for a normal person. But she is the main star of this show and she isn't perfect by any means of the game. Too bad we can't have this combination on a major network show...

5. Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart - "Chicago"

The bad girls and also the main characters, Roxie's and Velma's are both devious and not incredibly relateable, but you gotta admit they have spunk and a flair for the dramatic, and I have to give them this this: they aren't animated OR in a science-fiction movie. Ignoring the fact that Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger are both attractive, you also have to admire that neither are upstaged by the Richard Gere's character (what's his name again? I'm too blinded by the women...).


David D— said...

In 'Roman Holiday', Audrey Hepburn gets her hair cropped so that she can explore Rome unrecognizable as Princess Ann. In 'Sabrina', it's long when she's a mousy girl leaving for a French cooking school and short when she returns in style. Interesting message, wouldn't you say?

In present French cinema, Audrey Tautou had the trademark bob in 'Amelie', and it's probably short in others.

Molly Ringwald: 'Sixteen Candles', 'Breakfast Club', 'Pretty in Pink', and probably all the other movies that nobody ever saw her in.

biriwilg said...

Tank Girl and Starbuck (although you already mentioned #6 from BG) come to mind. The chick from Underworld has moderately short hair. Although, I guess you were trying to avoid sci-fi/nerd movies somewhat. :/

Keira Knightley has had short hair in some of her movies - the only one that comes to mind right away is Domino.

It's true, though, that for so many movies and tv shows female = long hair. I was watching some random show (Sanctuary?) and *every single female character* had long hair and bangs. I couldn't even tell them apart, aside from blonde/brunette/etc.

Go write some movies with short-haired women! :D

frontyardgnome said...

@David: I totally forgot about "Sabrina" and "Amelie", you're right! And it is an interesting message, if you choose to explore hairstyle as a symbol of such. Nice catch! Sadly, I fell asleep through "Roman Holiday", but I do want to try to watch it again someday. I haven't seen the other movies, but thanks for the recommendations!

@Amber: I got distracted by the name Starbuck. Now I want coffee... It's interesting how sci-fi/nerd movies often do include short-haired women, though. Perhaps partly why I love the genre! And trust me, I plan on some short-haired stars in my upcoming ventures!

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