Out on a dike

Out on a dike phr. [mid 19-C] (US) going out in one's best clothes. [DIKED DOWN] I'm out as a dyke, occasionally out with a dyke. What I do when I'm out on a dike can become your business once I write about it here.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Shaved: when the media has it in for you

The stereotypes about women with shaved heads are alive and well, then.

I don't know if Britney Spears is experiencing a breakdown. Perhaps she is. It's none of my business, and not for me to judge. But why should the media assume that choosing to shave her head is the ultimate sign that she's close to the edge and no longer in control of her own actions? Why can't this be an act of self-care? It could be a sign of emotional turmoil, a cry for help, or it could be a sign of someone who has decided to begin a therapeutic relationship with herself. She could very well be signalling the need for change in her life. She could, however, be beginning to take that control for herself.

Admittedly, Britney Spears didn't shave her head in the privacy of her own apartment; she chose to go to a LA hair salon, attended by ravenous paparazzi and fans, a following which is never likely to help a situation appear cool, calm and collected. But this is a woman who has lived most of her life amidst a media circus. It doesn't necessarily mean this was a rash, frenzied or freakish decision.

She had gone from gorgeous pop idol to grim GI Jane.

This is one of the most depressing things I've read today on the subject of Britney's shaved head, and do you know where that's from? Not your average tabloid, but from an article in The Observer. This reaction is not about one female pop idol. This goes to the heart of society's views on female beauty and what is considered acceptable behaviour for women. Shouldn't our Pop Princesses be able to change?

I know all about the exposing effects of shaving your head when you're a woman. I know about the positive effects. I love myself shaved. Shaving my head is an act of self-love. I feel alive, honest, centred, attractive. Isn't this how most women feel when they decide to pamper themselves? Not all of us pamper in the same way. I often feel I think more clearly when freshly-shaved. I feel confident, more totally me. Definitely gorgeous; not at all grim.

I hope the media take their attention elsewhere, allowing Britney Spears to do whatever she needs to do next, whether this is relaunching her career or entering rehab. Did you know the hair salon is now selling Britney's hair on eBay? Lay off the shaved head, you vultures.



  • At 10:51 am, February 20, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "Cute and perky" eh Nicki! Maybe you are right at that. Anyway you are certainly an uplifting influence! Heh.

    When I saw your post about Britney (which incidentally put "Out on a Dike" in advance of CNN or the BBC) I immediately ran for Google to read and see the worst (Britney shaved being an imaginative leap that defied even my athleticism). I should of course have known better than to enter the word "shaved" into Google, let alone in close juxtaposition to "Britney" (one despairs of a young generation exposed to these smut engines). Resisting the temptations of upskirt revels I was about to return to your blog and post a banal attempt at hilarity when something distracted me, and by the time I thought about it again I'd read about the whole rather pathetic episode in the papers the next day. I might have got entirely the wrong end of the stick but the girl seems, er, disturbed, unwell even. Ridiculous I know, and certainly the unpolitically correct old fashioned reactionary knight in me coming out, but when I see young pretty (especially American) girls, derailed by "success", I get frustrated and upset. (The "especially American" bit derives from my eternal love affair with Karen Carpenter who, I have convinced myself, I could have saved had I only been 30 years older and richer - sigh). Anyway, no doubt, with a woman's pragmatism in these matters you'll say I'm over sentimental and letting the wrong regions of my body rule the cool commonsense that says she's a spoilt rich bitch (Spears not Carpenter of course). Or some such. Or maybe not. As Britney herself might say... "whatever".

    I'm hypocritical about hair. I like it, as long as it's not on my face, up my nose or in my food, or, for that matter, to the point where it tickles irritatingly between my eyebrows and my eyelashes. I am still distraught about the way my wife cut off her beautiful soft tresses fading to a lighter brown at the curly tips when she was 20, in the name, for god's sake, of practicality. What's 10 minutes saved from the morning ablutions compared with the loss of something beautiful from the world (what I mean, of course, is my lost happiness, heh). It's hard for me to accept the merits of the abbreviated follicle in artistic terms, but looking at your physiognomy for the last few months has softened my uncharacteristic intransigence on this point - I must be using the right conditioner I guess. And thinking about it I MUST have been bigoted in a "no hair = no woman" kind of way, because, and I would have previously hesitated to tell you this but now I know you might accept it as a compliment, when I made my first typically unwary impetuous post to your blog I actually believed that you where an extremely gorgeous guy! So knowing what a sensitive soul I am (well you don't I know, but I am; witness my easy blush) imagine the horror driven rush with which I exited Eloise's blog heading toward yours, when 24 hours later I realised the awful truth (well not really awful, but you know what I mean), to see what ghastly faux pas I might have committed...

    You see my essential innocence!? Even the words dike and dyke etc etc flashing all over the place didn't wake me up. Yep I'm proud of myself - something of the child survives!

    Now, after that rant, pass me a childlike Carlsberg Special Brew please.



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