Friday, February 19, 2010

Frizz is in

Ha. This will speed up many, many women's morning routines if it catches on. Here's hoping the trend lasts at least through the humid months this summer.


Anonymous said...

" she turned flaxen-haired models into wild wooly women."
Flaxen refers to color (blond) not straightness. So this ends up sounding racist, which it may be, or it may just be idiotic. As is the belief that anyone with naturally straight hair would not go crazy if an experiment with frizz turned into a permanent condition.

Phoebe said...

Right. Obvs frizz is not a real trend - just something in one runway show, to shake things up. I'm not throwing out my John Frieda products any time soon.

Britta said...

That comment is incredibly racist. Not only does flaxen refer to blonde (though with connotations of smooth silky hair), "wooly" was a derogatory term used to describe black people's hair throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Like much racism, physical traits were strongly linked to behavioral (and moral) traits, and "wild and wooly" often went together to describe the "savages" of Africa and Australia. For someone to use that language in this context is incredibly offensive. I don't know if the author knows this or is drawing on some vast unconscious store of racist tropes, but I'm surprised it was allowed to get published.

Phoebe said...


Just a guess - because the models are 99.99999% Slavic or Nordic, once frizz'd, their hair is imagined to resemble at most that of unlucky or 'ethnic' white women (such as yours truly), and it's socially acceptable to speak ill of frizz if the frizz-holder is not of-color. What I saw, at any rate, looked far more like my own hair in humidity than it did like an afro. Which is to say, the look the post advocates is not one I've ever seen advocated, as part of a pride movement, fashion trend, or otherwise. Thus my (half-sarcastic) excitement.

Which is my long way of saying that yes, it's racist, but the whole industry's racist, and in ways that go far deeper than what's already obvious from the rarity of successful black models. It's racist that the hair looks typically promoted as 'healthy' or 'wash-and-go' or (and thus one's especially frustrating) 'low-maintenance' are basically 'be white, have straight hair, rinse, repeat'.

Or, ever-longer story short, I feel a bit about the frizz 'trend' they way I'd imagine many larger women feel about the 'trend' for plus-sized models. Wary, to say the least.

PG said...

My husband refers to this trend (that he's observed on a fellow diner at Spice Market and on the H&M ads) as "fright-wig" hair, and insists that mine even in its unbound state doesn't look like that. The Sonia Rykiel models really don't look like anything I've seen in nature.

Phoebe said...


I know those ads, and I've absolutely seen that level frizz in nature, just not that color. The girl who sat in front of me in 10th grade French (ethnicity unknown, but possibly Spanish, as in, from Spain) is the example that comes to mind most readily, but there are plenty of others as well. There'd be a whole lot more of it in nature if women with hair like that did not by and large discover the relevant conditioners and serums at a young age.