Beyoncé's haircut: the meaning behind her new short style

Beyoncé's short cut might just be the biggest news of all time. But what is the singer trying to say with her 'fierce' hairdo?

Whoa, Beyoncé's haircut! What do we think of this?

Whoa indeed, Sara, whoa indeed. Truly, our grandchildren will one day crawl on to our laps and whisper, eyes open wide with elfin amazement: "Was it true you lived through the great Beyoncé haircut, grandmama/papa?" And we will smile down at them, a twinkle in our octogenarian eyes, and say: "Indeed I did, little one. Here, have a Werther's Original while I tell you all about it."

To anyone who has been in a coma for the past week, I'll catch you up here by explaining that Beyoncé has had a haircut. I KNOW. I shall pause proceedings while you go and look at photos on the web. OMG WTF BFF, right? Beyoncé went and had a pixie cut, just as many other female celebrities have done before (Anne Hathaway, Kate Moss and Carey Mulligan, off the top of my head), but because this is Beyoncé this is even bigger news. In fact, it might be the biggest news of all time. Suck on THAT, end of the first world war!

In fact, this being Beyoncé, it isn't a haircut at all. Rather, according to Beyoncé's stylist, the delightfully named Kim Kimble: "It's a statement that, 'I'm young, I'm beautiful and I can do it all.'" Coo-ee! She can do it all! If only the feminist movement had known about this years ago – instead of bothering with all that activism, all a woman had to do was cut off her hair and she could "do it all".

Leaving the magical properties or otherwise of Beyoncé's hair aside, all in all, I approve of this development. Generally, I'm a bit wary of a pixie cut because it can make a lady look, "Ooh, I'm a bit Audrey Hepburn, me, giggle giggle." But Beyoncé's cut, like Charlize Theron's not dissimilar one, is, to borrow a word from another fan of the pixie, Victoria Beckham, fierce. It's cooler and tougher than Anne Hathaway and Carey Mulligan's cuts, which is as it should be, as Beyoncé looks as if she could easily have Hathaway and Mulligan in a fight in about two seconds flat. (I wouldn't bet against Kate Moss, though. Beyoncé's tough, but Moss looks like a proper scrapper.)

Beyonce and her new hair
A back view of the cut. Photograph: Instagram Photograph: Instagram

Apologies for coming across a bit John Frieda here but, while Beyoncé was always clearly one of the most beautiful women on God's green earth, this cut emphasises the beauty of her eyes in particular, and the elegance of her cheekbones. So that's, you know, nice. So while I don't love the hair cut yet, I do like it, especially with its pleasingly 80s side parting.

My only quibble, really, is the blond colouring, which makes no sense at all. She would look 10 tons prettier with it natural, and the blonding just makes me think of Miley Cyrus. On the other hand, if Beyoncé had gone dark, presumably the Huffington Post or similar would have insisted that she was copying Rihanna (truly, getting a haircut when you're a female celebrity requires more tactical negotiating than the Treaty of Versailles.) There was always a large part of me that was sort of hoping Beyoncé would one day go natural and rock an afro, as her sister Solange does to fabulous effect, but this short cut is, I guess, a nice alternative.

I like to fancy that Beyoncé decided to hack off all her hair after her long locks got caught in a giant fan at a recent performance, during which, it must be noted, again proving Beyoncé's supernatural skillz, she didn't even stop singing as bodyguards attempted to rescue her holy hair from the devilish blades. (Again, I shall pause here while you watch this. OK, you're back now. Amazing, right?)

Or maybe it was a simple case of switching up a decade. Beyoncé is now 32, and I am a big advocate of women changing hairstyles when they reach their 30s. For many women, the hairstyle they wore in their 20s is generally not all that different from what they had in their teens, except maybe a bit longer and wilder than their mothers let them get away with when they lived at home.

Going purely from my personal experience and observation, it is when a lady hits her 30s that she begins to feel properly, for want of a better word, womanly, by which I mean confident in her adulthood as opposed to how she generally felt in her 20s, which was like an overgrown, awkward teenager but with more responsibilities. So a good adult cut is a nice way for a woman to mark her segue into her new decade of true adulthood, and getting a short haircut that requires proper styling and constant maintenance is, in my eyes, about as grown up as taking out a mortgage.

So, in conclusion, Beyoncé's haircut is basically a tonsorial expression of the 30s themselves: compared with what came before, it's harder-edged, less obviously pretty and will require a bit more care. And you know what? It's a glorious improvement.


Hadley Freeman

The GuardianTramp

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