July 20, 2011

Robin Givhan chides Rebekah Brooks for her big, curly hairdo: "That was look-at-me hair — stare at me, remember me. Me, me, me."

"It’s always risky to attach politics, social status or cultural affinity to a hairstyle — to endow it with too much meaning," says the writer whose stock-in-trade is finding meaning in fashion and style.
Surely the many debates and lawsuits stemming from disagreements over cornrows, Afros, and dreadlocks have driven home this lesson.
But Brooks is not black, so let's put that worry on the backburner.
Still, in such a serious situation as an interrogation by Parliament, why risk being misread, mischaracterized or misunderstood?
Would you say that to a black person with a trademark extravagant hairstyle?
... One could argue that it’s to Brooks’ credit that she refrained from dramatically altering her signature look. She is who she is. She didn’t pull her hair into a trim bun or clip it into a ponytail. Either choice would have made her hair less of a distraction, but it also might have made it less of a personal comfort.
It would have been distracting to change it, and I bet Givhan would have written her column about that.
[Brooks's hair is] a spray of self-conscious indifference.... [P]erhaps... Brooks was attempting to defy presumptions.... But that’s a pretty brazen thing to do when Parliament is on your case for defying laws, ethics and common decency.

Brooks’ hair was a distraction because it was a ballsy rebuke of our expectations governing how people on the defensive are supposed to tread.
Do you, like Givhan, attribute that to brazen ego, or do you think that a powerful person, called to account by government, should maintain the basic aspects of her image and individuality? And how much of a self-defense is it, really, to become someone other than who you've been, by taking away your tangled, spangled, and spaghettied hair?

58 comments:

Phil 3:14 said...

Why women so hard on "conservative" women? This is "Mean Girls" all over again.

virgil xenophon said...

Might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb...

Phil 3:14 said...

I assume she did a similar critique of Elizabeth Warren's hairstyle?

Michael said...

I think Robin should go fuck herself

Sixty Grit said...

How about that conked mess on Moochelle's head? Did I miss the article pointing out how the first lady is "acting white" by straightening her hair? What, that article was never written? RACISTS!!!

As for the woman in question - she is a redhead, right? If so, she can do what she likes, so long as she doesn't bleach it blonde.

Scott M said...

She's a proud carrot-top, not a self-hating ginger. Power, sister!

Shouting Thomas said...

That's a Sex and the City do!

There is a continuing theme here that the corporate world doesn't embrace the themes of pop culture.

Wrong.

The corporate world loves gaydom and the life of the childless, promiscuous female. In fact, the corporate world promotes both. Both lifestyles are endorsed by the corporate world because they produce solitary, work obsessed drones.

(Remember, we've been schooled in the lifestyles BS by the corporate world. Who else is it that you think pushes this crap?)

Yet another post that calls for the heavy hand of Crack. Calling Crack!

Meanwhile, how about talking vaginas!

vet66 said...

In a position of power perception is everything and first impressions matter. Her hair is arguably "in your face" non-conformity which bespeaks her failure to establish rules in her organization. She is not a leader and certainly not accustomed to the humility that should be a trademark of her leadership style.

wv: torib - a biblical reference to her humble beginnings.

ndspinelli said...

"Give me a head w/ hair..long, beautiful hair." Written by a bald man.

Pogo said...

But if she should shear her long locks, does she not lose her powers?

The wonderfulness of Givhan is she could argue both sides of this argument, which she does, entirely depending on whether she admires or despises the woman in question.

I am woman, here me whore.

Beta Rube said...

I wonder if Givhan had to pry her lips off of Michelle's ass to write this, or if she is a multi-tasker.

AllenS said...

Sixty,

Those are wigs that Michelle obama wears. She keeps her real hair very short.

Greg Hlatky said...

After-sex comments:

Blonde: "So you'll give me the part?"

Brunette: "Damn, I must have been crocked. What did you say your name was?"

Redhead: "NEXT!"

Shanna said...

This isn't the one who died, right?

She does have a major head of hair. It seems like you should get a pass on a big hairdo if it's natural. If you did it on purpose, then people can analyze to their hearts content.

Bryan C said...

Brooks' hairstyle doesn't really seem all that strange or unusual to me. Redheads seem to prefer that same windswept natural look; I just assumed it was an Irish cultural thing. Why does Givhan feel the need to attack minorities like this?

John said...

I thought Robin Givhan was the one married to mike Tyson. According to Wikipedia, she is not.

However, she is the Robin Givhan who gave up a job at the Washington Post to move to NewsWeek/Daily Beast.

How much credit should we give someone so stupid on any subject?

John Henry

Hoosier Daddy said...

If women don't like to be thought of as petty and catty, articles like this don't help.

grackle said...

The unruly look seems to be popular these days, among men as well as women. There’s a definite disheveled trend in styles. The goal seems to be to appear as if you had just gotten out of bed and hastily thrown on some clothes. Shirts are untucked underneath jackets, pants waists are down past the butt crack, shirt-necks and cuffs are left unbuttoned. Among the men the hair looks twisted and uncombed and on the face, unshaved.

However, only the young can pull this off without looking ridiculous. Brooks is past forty and succeeds only in looking slightly pathetic. That said, to have changed her hair would have drawn more attention. She was in a position of power and could do damned well what she pleased. Now that she’s been brought down perceptions are altered but that’s her look and she’s sticking with it. Too late to change now.

Scott M said...

Among the men the hair looks twisted and uncombed and on the face, unshaved.

My wife actually prefers a rough face and I don't have a job that really requires "refined" dress (thank god as I came from shorts/sandles/tshirt radio). Thus, I rarely shave with a razor, and instead just use hair clippers without a guard on the shortest setting for the face, without a guard on the longest setting for the rest.

This gives me just the amount of "roughage" my wife prefers, but also leaves me with a somewhat permanent shadow.

Carol_Herman said...

Rebekah's career, at this point, is shot. On the other hand?

Wendi Deng Murdoch just advanced to getting control of the company! This will piss off Murdoch's other four kids ... But they didn't wallop the tin-pan man.

Also, the cameras TURNED AWAY from the whole show! Wendi Deng PURSUED THE PERP!

Didn't stop Wendi Deng's spontaneous reaction to make it to the top of "twitter." And, the she provided the "slap heard round the world!"

The Brits are coming off looking like a bunch of weenies!

And, the politicians are just hungry saps!

Hoosier Daddy said...

I must he missing something. The chick had long curly red hair and this makes her look unruly and pathetic?

Sheepman said...

I saw all of her testimony live yesterday and she was so solid - brainy, articulate and seemingly humble - that it made me forget her wacky hair. It was a triumph of substance over style.

traditionalguy said...

Givhan sees Brooks as "flaunting brazen, ballsy, flaming, jaunty, red hair" when she should act like a lowly arrested person appearing before her accusers.

God forbid if Brooks had had Dolly Parton breasts too.

I suspect Brooks has freckles too, and has not covered them up.

Let's face it, Brooks will never meet the beauty queen standard of African tribes which is what Givhans sees as the sole standard of " the victim look."

Freeman Hunt said...

I like her hair.

This looks like a case of reading something negative into the appearance of a person one dislikes.

Robert Cook said...

I like Brooks' big head of wild, curly, vibrantly RED hair!

Va-va-voom!

Titus said...

I love her hair.

It says fuck me and my hair will fly everywhere.

Scott M said...

Ditto. My 7-year-old has vibrant red hair (without slipping over into that 5-ball orange worthy of derision...but only from other redheads...that's OUR term) and it should darken up to about that shade as she gets older. It usually about as wild as well.

Scott M said...

Ditto at Robert, not Titus. Must be cleared up asap.

Robert said...

I believe Givhan doesn't really understand fashion.

Fashion is not paying greate attention to the way one dresses, so that people will look at others instead.

ndspinelli said...

Let's hope the frb[flaming red bush] down under is a little more tidy.

Titus said...

What if her puss hair was styled just the same.

edutcher said...

Interesting Givhan presumes her guilty. A feature of having worked for Michelle or the WaPo?

ricpic said...

I see corn rows now and then but the Angela Davis big black ball of frizzy has almost disappeared.

mariner said...

I think writing about hair in this situation is an indication of nothing more worthwhile to write.

Chip S. said...

I see corn rows now and then but the Angela Davis big black ball of frizzy has almost disappeared.

Casual observation gives me hope that the Afro is making a comeback among women. Imagine the First Lady rocking the Pam Grier look!

Scott M said...

I think writing about hair in this situation is an indication of nothing more worthwhile to write.

DING DING DING

HOWARD JOHNSON IS RIGHT!!!

Freeman Hunt said...

Casual observation gives me hope that the Afro is making a comeback among women.

I like the afro. Especially on women who have little ringlet curls like this or these. Except the last one. In my opinion, men almost always look better with short hair

Chip S. said...

@Scott--Well, of course you don't want to talk about hair, especially Afros. When you gingers try something like that, it never turns out well.

Scott M said...

@Chip

The FFO (freckle-faced oracle) has foreseen a world where everyone has red hair and at least a sprinkling of freckles. She won't say whether this is through some sort of non-ginger holocaust, divine intervention (Jesus was a ginger), or simple genetic superiority. In any case, you're on the List.

MadisonMan said...

I do like her hair, even though it does remind me of Medusa.

Chip S. said...

@Scott--[yawn] Mendel was a melanist. You are doomed by your recessivity.

Scott M said...

You are doomed by your recessivity.

Wrong. Our top.ginger.scientists. have identified the genome necessary and used Instapundit FASTER PLEASE nanotech to make the appropriate markers dominant. Say goodbye to your brunette apostate descendants.

Chip S. said...

Say goodbye to your brunette apostate descendants.

But we have all the sex appeal.

Wither and die on the vine of heredity.

William said...

I watched a good chunk of her appearance. She looked very intelligent and poised. She looked like someone who's always thinking two moves ahead but rarely thinks of anything except her own advantage.....I think she toned down the color a few notches. I have seen pictures where it's more flamingly red. The Medusa locks probably give her an edge in the newsroom and corporate meetings. She's not someone you want to screw with. By the same token, that is not the hair style of someone who respects the decent boundaries of civilization. It's to no advantage in a courtroom....If she abandoned her look, it would just draw attention to her previous wildness. If, on the other hand, she maintains it, the semiotics are not in her favor. Perhaps she might try combing it out a little.....I don't think anyone would claim that she is not a strong, independent woman. I don't see any feminists coming to her defense though. If she had used the same methods to reveal Blair's warmongering, she would be a greater hero than Joan of Arc. Bradley Manning has had a more sympathetic press than she.

Chip S. said...

Cloning is your only hope, Jinge.

The melanist ruling class will keep it illegal, unsafe, and rare.

Karga said...

Vet66 is dreaming with his comments at 7.52am. Brooks took for a ride those sactimonious politicians and she finished by telling them nothing. And the hair, well what a hair and in my village we call her kind a "lady with square balls"

JAL said...

Robin Givhan sometimes sounds like an idiot.

It's all about appearance. The heck with facts.

JAL said...

Was that the first time Givhan had seen Brooks? (Rhetorical, obviously.)

Everyone in Britain knows what she looks like.

Anyone who is in touch with some media here knows what she looks like.

We've looked, seen and moved on.

Givhan's hair is too short and not curly enough. ("Look at my lovely neck!!")

There.

gutless said...

"7/20/11 7:46 AM
Blogger Shouting Thomas said...

Meanwhile, how about talking vaginas!"

Oh, the tales they could tell.

Jenner said...

I think it would be more interesting to comment on Casey Anthony's radical change of hairstyle pre-verdict and post- verdict.

Rebekah Brooks seemed to be true to herself, which to me indicates at least a core belief in being honest inside and out.

Jenner said...

Or possibly a comment on Hillary's change to longer hair. I don't find it to be flattering. Somebody should tell her.

Jdennyv said...

This rather reminds me of the Stieg Larsson character Lisbeth Salander who shows up in court with her piercings, tattoos and her Goth getup. But then again she was "anti-social" and thought to have Aspergers syndrome.

Jdennyv said...

This rather reminds me of the Stieg Larsson character Lisbeth Salander who shows up in court with her piercings, tattoos and her Goth getup. But then again she was "anti-social" and thought to have Aspergers syndrome.

Chip S. said...

Meanwhile, how about talking vaginas!"

Oh, the tales they could tell.


Yes. Cocktales.

jamboree said...

I think she might be jealous of someone with so much (it would seem) natural hair. Robin needs to stop worrying about it. White people don't take hair quite as personally as black people.

Asking a woman to cut her hair is like asking a man to eunuch themselves and last I checked, male CEO's didn't have to do that.

Did she care about Maria Shrivers Big Irish Hair? I heard a lot of bitching from older women on the Republican side about that back when she was campaigning for Obama. Dude, she's Irish a large portion of which ethnicity, male and female, has Big Hair Unto Death. Deal with it.

Cedarford said...

Sheepman said...
I saw all of her testimony live yesterday and she was so solid - brainy, articulate and seemingly humble - that it made me forget her wacky hair. It was a triumph of substance over style.

================
I did not see much of her testimony, but what I saw - she was showing why she rose to such a high position.

Ken said...

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HT said...

Robin Givhan is in Washington, right? We are obsessed with throwing the "me-me-me" accusation at everyone now. Used to be you had to sort of explain the me me me thing whether you were outside of DC or inside, now everyone's hurling it at each other with abandon. Also, DC's not a flashy place, to state the glaring obvious. Lacks fashion sense. Another old but true stereotype. Please use someone else as your fashion touchstone! Preferably someone in New York.

But moving on the Murdochs. What amazes me is how little discussion there is of the ins and outs of this thing, and what it means when you bottom line it. Not that I know. But am I to infer from the discussion that the journalists promised smears on cooperating politicians' opponents, and the like? Why doesn't any real discussion take place? It's all bloody implied.