Bring Back Braids
Cutting off your braids has ever been a rite of passage and a sign of rebellion.
Which was why I was fascinated to see the starring role played by Mattie Ross’s braids in Joel and Ethan Coen’s True Grit. (The Coens appear on NPR’s Fresh Air today; also see the show’s excellent Tumblr.) Lustrous, practical, they summed up the character precisely. A bob would have been cute, the Dorothy Hamill haircut sported by the 1969 version’s Kim Darby dated, long hair absurd. The braids say: “I happen to be a girl, but that is no matter. I am here to do business.” Mattie may change into her father’s pants to ride into Choctaw territory, but she’s never pretending to be a boy, and no one mistakes her for one.
More on women, hair and the Coen brothers here.