The purpose of our blog is to discuss topical issues, stories, and situations, as well as to share what we are up to and new ways for you to get involved. We are always searching for possible answers to the question: Why is a girl's worth culturally and historically relative?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Emma Watson’s Pixie Cut Strikes Controversy

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Emma Watson, the young woman who as girl brought us Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, has now shed that girl image and become the face of Lancôme’s “Rouge in Love” lipstick.  And that’s not all she has shed.  Last year after wrapping Harry Potter, Emma sheared off her signature long locks and opted for a chic new pixie cut.  While the Wall Street Journal declared this move as one of the most influential haircuts of 2011, not all of her fans approved of this daring departure from her usual look.

Recently in a candid interview with the Independent, Emma expressed some of the criticisms she’s been facing due to her haircut.
"I had journalists asking me if this meant I was coming out, if I was a lesbian now." She rolls her eyes. "That haircut did make me realise how subjective everyone's opinion is. Some people were crazy for it and some people just thought I'd lost my [mind]. All I can do is follow my instincts, because I'll never please everyone."
I can honestly say I relate to Emma’s frustration, as recently I was subjected to similar commentary due to a new short haircut.  Confusion doesn’t even describe my reaction to complete strangers labelling me as a lesbian due to the way I looked.  Really?  Does homosexuality have a ‘look’ now?  Have we not moved away from such archaic stereotypes in recent years?  I was even further shocked when a colleague assumed I was a lesbian due to a combination of my ‘look’ and using the term ‘partner’ instead of boyfriend or husband.  Is this the state of things?  Where by your appearance or vocabulary determines your sexuality???  And when did a haircut become something more than just a haircut?  It seems like a grand leap to take from haircut to homosexuality, which I am baffled by the connection and worry about such narrow-mindedness.  Similarly, it is completely puzzling to me that a hairstyle can be applauded by the fashion industry and yet sparks such conflicting sentiments in others.  Emma’s candour and ability to remain unscathed by the critics is impressive.  With so many issues already out there for young girls to worry about, let’s hope that a haircut can just stay a haircut.

-Marisa Lindholm
Junior Girl
Girl Museum Inc.

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