In our ongoing series, From Nada to Prada, we explore the transformative power of a hair switcheroo, as seen in the competitive world of Model Land, where an agency-mandated bang cut or a bleach job can make the difference between booking a Prada campaign or slaving away e-commerce for the rest of your livelong days.
Haircuts are sort of like marriages. Sometimes you don’t even realize you’ve been in an inferior union wasting valuable time until you lob off the ball and chain and seek a better fit in a brave new world. And so out you go, on a blind (and possibly stupid) quest for the better, the new, the perfect fit for perfect you. Oh, you’ll search and try and fail sometimes. Looking for love is hit or miss… mostly miss. But if you’re lucky, you find it, and all the stars align. Suddenly you feel whole, comfortable, like your whole life has been spent wearing a size 25 jean when you were really a 26. And to think… all those years you spent pandering to a person you thought was the love of your life when they were really just a placeholder!
Yeah, haircuts are totally like soul mates and too-tight pairs of jeans. I stand by this analogy.
Chinese model Jing Wang started in the game back in 2012 with the long, shiny hair women have all been taught to want—a conventional marriage, if you will, the type with a good looking couple living in a good looking house with matching white BMWs in the driveway, a fridge stocked with organic peanut butter, and once-yearly scheduled vacations to Hawaii, always to the same hotel with the same breakfast buffet. Comfortable? Yes. The type of marriage you think about on your deathbed with great fondness? Meh. No, for that you’ll need something remarkable, reckless, heart stopping… which was kind of how I felt when I saw a more recent picture of Jing dragging on a cig with bedroom eyes and an above-the-shoulders chop. Bitch got a divorce and, oh boy, was it a good one.
I think, in this world, there are the short-haired girls and the long-haired ones. I’m not talking physically; I’m talking mentally. A short-haired girl doesn’t care about being classically attractive. She doesn’t give a shit about curling her hair, wearing dresses. She loathes the idea of being someone’s pet. I think short hair still communicates what pants once did when chicks started sporting them on the regs after World War I: power, boyishness, autonomy and independence. Long hair, on the other hand, like dresses or skirts or high heels, is a hindrance for living freely, the garb of modern concubines. To chop off all your hair is a fuck you to that variety of femininity, something Jing has perfectly embodied with this recent bob. She appears in photos to be more of herself than she ever was with long hair, which is a weird thing to say about someone you don’t know, but… whatever. Girl did good. With long hair, Jing looked like a babe. With short hair, Jing looked like a babe who didn’t give a shit that she was a babe, and nothing is babe-ier than that.
Hair is so deceivingly decorative. When you take it away you boldly require an audience to engage with you—real you, without bells and whistles, smoke and mirrors. And it takes a certain type of girl to take that on. Unfortunately, a lot of short-haired girls never get the balls to match their head with where their heart is at.
Verdict: Girl found her inner Prada. Nothing else matters.
Photos courtesy of Wilhelmina