When Chris Brown and 50 Cent revealed their bold new hairstyles, the internet was abuzz with jokes about each. Chris Brown was looped into that list of eccentric stars who have dyed their hair like Sisqo and Dennis Rodman. Several people even questioned his sexual orientation. 50 Cent was taunted for his S-Curl so badly that he posted a tweet to defend it:
Sure Chris Brown could’ve chosen a deeper blonde that better complimented his skin tone and 50 Cent should have trimmed those straight ends.
But even if their styles were flawless, would they still have been criticized?
The backlash about each seems more linked to limited notions of masculine style than legit criticism about their hair. Our society and hip hop culture especially is rigid when it comes to men expressing themselves through hair.
Women dye, chop, color, texturize, braid and dread our hair on a whim, but men aren’t given the same freedom from women or other men. The playing field may never be equal, and I don’t know that it should be. But as a society, we certainly shouldn’t keep men resigned to the same Caesar haircut or dreads just because those are the styles we deem acceptable for them.
We rally to dispel notions of beauty that limit us and take pride in letting our creativity show through our hair—when will we extend that same freedom to our men? And when will they extend that freedom to each other?
Do men have room to experiment with different hairstyles as long as their hair is healthy and looks good? Are our notions of masculine style too limited when it comes to hair? Discuss.