I remember the day when my sister sent me a text message that said "Britney shaved her head BALD like Sinead O' Connor!" At that time, I was still living at the condo in Rancho Cucamonga, so I ran up the stairs to my room, and turned on the TV -- that's right, this was major news around the country.
Never truly calling myself a Britney Spears fan, even though I will hit the dance floors and turn up the volume in the car when her songs come on, I was shocked and saddened. But now I'm totally delighted about her "coming out" on MTV tonight in an exclusive feature that reflects on her dark days. Truth is, Britney taking steps outside of the pop world could have taken her out for good. So I am happy to see this young mom and entertainer speak to millions no matter what the consequences are, even if if it is staged.
As for her past bizarre bald head move; while all of us realized that Britney shaving her head was probably part of an internal struggle she was experiencing, I may have been one of the only ones who became an even bigger fan at that point.
Reposted here for you, my Spring 2007 "Talking Chic" column in Agenda Magazine shows what was going on in my mind during that time:
The "F" in Fashion is for Fun
...Let's step back a sec and pretend that Britney's sole reason for shaving her head was because she was eager to spark a young Hollywood trend in baldness. Did that ever cross anyone's mind? Well, it crossed mine—I am a firm believer in having fun with fashion.
Just as award show season has occupied much of the E! Network with pre-show coverage, post-show coverage, and Fashion Police disses, my few hours between sleep and work consist of watching beautiful hosts talk to beautiful people time and time again. In doing so, I have come to the conclusion that not only "hair" has become the "ultimate accessory" in A-list credo, but so is a star's stylist. And from what I've heard, I have gathered that there are many celebrities out there with really bad taste; however, thanks to the professional stylists, America can barely pick out who is clueless and who wishes they could have more spunk in their swang. So bringing it back to Britney, couldn't one say that she is simply being herself but just getting ridiculed for it? Or desperately daring to be herself despite the commotion she has stirred?
So with a stylist as a sidekick, are other celebs misleading the public into thinking that they actually know a thing or two about real style? Truth is, we care...but we really don't. All in all, we just want a celebrity to look good and maintain the holier-than-thou status that society continues to hold them to. Yet when a star—a person—steps out of the grips of Hollywood and dares to take a chance on the raw emotion she is feeling at the moment, we point, laugh, exploit, make fun of, and chastise them because they are defying what and who a celebrity is supposed to be.
Since when did fashion get so serious that a girl can't shave her head and not make it on every gossip magazine at the grocery store? It's just hair, people, really. But Britney's move was definitely shocking...for me to watch, at least. I'll admit it. I myself enjoy playing around with braids, weaves, and scarfs; how my hair looks is nearly as important, if not more, than the jeans on my butt and the shoes on my feet.
I understand the symbol of femininity engrained in the look of a woman's hairstyle. And for me, I gotta feel confident before I step out the door. So for many of us who watched actual news coverage over Britney's lock chop, which in itself is sad—(Hello? Aren't there troops in Iraq to cover? What about the burglar down the street to show on the 10 o'clock news?)—it seems like the real issue is that without her hair, she has lost any sort of sex appeal that may have made boys twist in their seats and girls buy her music to feel as empowered as they may have believed her to feel.
Maybe the real empowerment was in Britney's forgetting about what her stylist, her family, and her management team wanted for her. Despite any sickness or help she might need, I actually felt a sort of envy in the fact that she let all of her inhibitions go and lived for the moment. Whatever that moment held for her, Britney is still the Mickey Mouse Club tyke and the I-kissed-Madonna chick—but possibly for one of the first times in her life, she became the I-think-for-myself Britney.
So with the insistence of our dear friend, I am actually going to extend the "F" for fun to the "F" for "F&#% you." Now, that's what I call a role model.
Anyone out there agree with me?