October 17, 2010

What's with powerful women and thick bumpers of bangs?

Drudge is — I think — implicitly asking with this alignment of photographs:



What drives intelligent women to that hairstyle? Are they thinking something like I don't want those feathery bangs...



... or the classic Louise Brooks straight-across look...



... but I can't have my forehead just out there to be gazed at!



What's wrong with foreheads? Is it that the forehead symbolizes the mind, and a woman can't have you looking straight at that? The intelligence must be filtered. There must be a buffer zone of femininity, so there must be some hair veiling the forehead — the theory seems to be. But why the bumper look that we see in the Drudge trio of Angela Merkel, Condoleezza Rice, and Maureen Dowd?

39 comments:

edutcher said...

MoDo is powerful????

As powerful as Miss Sarah????

Guess again.

HDHouse said...

i suspect Sarah is involved in this discussion because she can't figure out when end of the comb to use...but that may be snarky.

Dowd looks particularly beautiful.

AprilApple said...

Who knew Garbo was a super-genius?

ricpic said...

I always thought the hair pulled back and forehead exposed look was upper class indicative. At least that was the look that separated the tonier sorority girls from the unaffiliated coeds at C.W. Post college on Lungisland when I attended that diploma mill a million years ago.

Big Mike said...

The headline just above MoDo reads "JACKASS 3D." Seems appropriate, somehow.

sydney said...

Some of us just have faces that look better with bangs swept to the side.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

i suspect Sarah is involved in this discussion because she can't figure out when end of the comb to use...but that may be snarky.

When insulting someone else's intelligence, it's always important to proofread.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Is it that the forehead symbolizes the mind, and a woman can't have you looking straight at that?

That's why God invented boobs.

rcocean said...

I thought the whole point of bangs was to focus attention on the eyes and hide frown lines. But that's a guess.

dbp said...

I'm with edutcher on this one: In what sense is Maureen Dowd powerful?

Yeah, yeah, she has a column in the NYT. The people who read it fall into two groups: 1. People who already agree with every thing she writes. 2. People who just read her for the entertainment value.

Sarah Palin on the other had is powerful. When she comes up with something like "death panels" powerful elected leaders feel the need to respond to that. Also, her endorsement means something--people get elected or win nominations based on her stamp of approval.

Irene said...

When I think of a powerful woman with bangs, I think of Anna Wintour. No bumpers there.

former law student said...

I note that blogger Amanda Marcotte sports a classic Louise Brooks set of bangs.

dbp said...

There is a good reason for powerful women, but not powerful men, to want to hide their forehead.

A man of affairs should have a creased forehead--it shows that he is serious and conveys he is aware that important decisions rest on his judgement.

Lines on the forehead are not pretty and no matter how powerful she is, no woman (at least none I ever met) wants to look less pretty than she can look. Lucky for women, their choices in clothes are much broader than those of men and they can convey power and still look attractive using clothing (and accessories) wisely.

rhhardin said...

Barbara Feldon (99), Mireille Mathieu.

Bangs are us.

Even the enlightened feminism is dismissive of women, though.

Guys don't worry about being taken as something more than a woman.

rhhardin said...

Palin takes herself as a Denise Austin enthusiaser.

Kensington said...

It's just hair.

rhhardin said...

Wm. Empson somewhere (in The Structure of Complex Words, but I can't find it) speculated about an Egyptian word that apparently meant not a child or woman, as to its use.

He thought maybe it meant something like "no good for fighting."

rhhardin said...

To the extend Palin plays to the men, it's by making a place for them.

Mr Evilwrench said...

Foreheads are ok, but I just like bangs, especially Bettie bangs. I never thought to read anything into it. My hair grows forward, so I'd have to be pretty hard on it to keep my forehead exposed.

Bob Ellison said...

When she wasn't playing a nun, the impossibly beautiful Ingrid Bergman almost always showed her beautiful forehead.

Coketown said...

Bang Bang, I shot you down.
Bang Bang, you hit the ground.
Bang Bang, that awful sound.
Bang Bang, I used to shoot you down.

Drudge is hinting at the classic story of two lovers, in this case sparring factions of the feminist movement. They used to play nicely and work together toward common goals, consummating their union with marches against pornography.

Then the Palin brand of feminism up and left, saying women should claim agency over their destinies and not wait for government mandates to do it for them. It's why Whitman, Palin, Fiorina, Angle, etc, aren't products of pro-woman social policy but made their successes from scratch. And people like Gloria Allred advance their agenda by suing everyone, and they sing, in a most solemn tone:

Now she's gone, I don't know why.
And til this day sometimes I cry.
She didn't didn't even say good-bye.
She didn't take the time to lie.
Bang Bang.

SteveOrr said...

Stuff White People Like #104: Girls with Bangs

http://stuffwhitepeoplelike.com/2008/06/27/104-girls-with-bangs/

traditionalguy said...

Today must be religion themed.The Sinead O'Conner style is the in your face challenge to religious submission rules. Hair can be worn to cover the head as a sign to angels of being under an authority...that can be taken all the way to the extreme where legalists whip a women without the Burqa on in public. Women also once wore small hats into churches to show the attitude of submission, as recently as my childhood. The Professor may be onto something in saying that the woman's uncovered forehead is also seen as an independent mind. Ultimately, men see the intelligent woman's mind as our friend when serving us, but as our enemy when opposing us. According to the Apostle Paul any legalistic attempt to make people keep religious law means that Christ's grace by believing the gospel becomes of no use to them anymore.

Synova said...

I think it's more that some women feel like they have a pumpkin face if their hair is off their forehead. I have a wide temple and blond hair and I pretty much look bald with my hair pulled back.

But in the end I think it's simple... no matter the style, it's about looking as though you don't work... don't have to wear a hat, can mess with your hair, and all the other "style" things that are about making it difficult to do normal things in a normal way without mussing one's self.

Menley said...

If your forehead is one-third of your face, you probably should consider bangs. I'm talking to you, Helen Hunt and Kristin Chenoweth.

Dan from Madison said...

I think a lot of women who do the big bang thing have receding hairlines a la Helen Hunt.

JAL said...

Well I think she has the bangs thing down.

1jpb said...

If bang bumpers are the sign of a powerful woman, Althouse's Bumper Helmet (especially noticeable in her profile profile) must be the ultimate power do.

But, maybe it can be the ultimate in power hair regardless of gender".

Ignorance is Bliss said...

But this guy definitely doesn't have the she bangs thing down.

AST said...

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.
Get a life.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Nice Louise Brooks picture. I remember watching her with that haircut in Diary of a Lost Girl, where she played a whore. Probably not the best style for political leaders trying to avoid what Althouse was talking about the other day.

Rialby said...

4 words: They hide the wrinkles.

Methadras said...

There is no doubt in my mind that Maureens hotness is measured in equal parts to her unhinged-ness.

Beau said...

What drives intelligent women to that hairstyle?

If you have thick hair that grows forward that's what you go with.

You go out into the world the hair you have, not with the hair you wish you had. Or something.

Mark said...

AprilAppl, Hedy Lamarr may have been a more suitable example for the full-forehead look.

Oligonicella said...

"What drives intelligent women to that hairstyle?"

They like it?

jr565 said...

On some people bangs just look hot. So if you like your face better with bangs, that's the look you'll go for

James said...

Is it that the forehead symbolizes the mind, and a woman can't have you looking straight at that?

That's the most fucking retarded thing I've ever heard. There's hidden bigotry in everything, apparently...

Ruby Dynamite said...

Don't look at me - I have a mohawk! O.o