The Blackboard Jungle

days spent beating back the seeds of doubt

Monday, May 09, 2005

Something I hadn't ever noticed in teenage culture before: the boys are taking longer to fuss and stye their hair just so than the girls are.

Suddenly all those illfitting tousled chop cuts in the assembly hall look a little too perfectly tousled; the same shock of over-gelled mess falls at the same angle over the same half eyebrow as yesterday and the day before - and I realise these haircuts are premeditated, artful, constructed, intentional.

The girls' hairstyles are messy, hastily brushed, run at most into twin pigtail plaits. No product. No elaborate mullet, hoxton fin, up do, braids, foofy headband, teased afros or razor cut mohican.

Young men in every previous generation have taken at most two minutes' pride in their barenet fair: floppy public schoolboy fringe, or burberry-shaven bonce.
Is this our first generation of truly metrosexual young men?

Remarking upon this to Tom, age sixteen - too much wet-look gel, casual 'mussed' look - he agrees, enthusiastically. "Too right, Miss! It takes me twenty minutes every morning to get my hair right."