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Friday, June 17, 2005

Should you bob your hair?

Michele asks in Is Long Hair Sexy?: "Do you think there really is a certain age when long hair is not appropriate?"

Used to be, every grown woman had long hair.

My Pennsylvania Dutch grandmother wore her gray hair, almost a yard long, in two braids wrapped around her head and fixed with old-fashioned hairpins.

Used to be, it was wild young women who cut their hair, often to the disapproval of their elders.

Blind Alfred Reed wrote and recorded the following song, "Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls?", in 1927. It was such a smash hit he followed it up with "Why Do You Bob Your Hair, Girls? No. 2" in 1929.

You can download a midi or print out the sheet music for this song at Digital Tradition.

I would like to point out the imaginative (or, rather, regional) rhyming of "sin" with "men."

As a modern woman, I am surprised by Blind Alfred's contention that God cares about our hairdos. It smacks of micro-management.

Why do you bob your hair, girls?

Why do you bob your hair, girls?
You're doing mighty wrong.
God gave it for a glory
And you should wear it long!
You spoil your lovely hair, girls,
To keep yourself in style;
Before you bob your hair, girls,
Just stop and think a while.

Why do you bob your hair, girls?
It is an awful shame
To rob the head God gave you
And bear the flapper's name.
You're taking off your covering,
It is an awful sin;
Don't never bob your hair, girls,
Short hair belongs to men.

Why do you bob your hair, girls?
It does not look so nice;
It's just to be in fashion,
lt's not the Lord's advice.
And every time you bob it
You're breaking God's command
You cannot bob your hair, girls
And reach the Glory land.

Why do you bob your hair, girls?
It's not the thing to do;
Just wear it, always wear it,
And to your Lord be true.
And when before the judgment
You meet your Lord up there,
He'll say, "Well done! For one thing,
You never bobbed your hair!"

Postscript: when my grandfather died, within weeks my grandmother had cut her hair and gotten a blue rinse and a perm. She then abandoned her cotton dresses and calico aprons and replaced them with polyester pantsuits and then she got in an airplane for the first time and flew to Hawaii for a vacation with her youngest daughter. And then she sold the farm and moved into a little house in a raw new development.

Very un-nostalgically she exulted: "it's so easy to keep clean."

Is this what Blind Alfred was warning against?

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At 6:44 AM, Blogger kenju said...

Ohhhhh, yes! Blind Alfred, like most men, were trying to keep their women "barefoot and pregnant". He somehow realized that cutting one's hair is liberating in more ways than one.However, I seriously doubt tht God care one whit about the length of one's hair.....LOL

At 7:40 AM, Blogger Tamar said...

I want my hair to become as wild as it can be - to make up for all those years of pulling it straight so that I could fit what???

At 10:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The most daring thing a woman can do with her hair nowadays is let it gray naturally. I'm doing that now and have gotten some negative comments, but my husband says he likes the gray. (I attribute them all to his children, my teenaged stepkids.)

At 3:34 PM, Blogger Kevin said...

Visiting today from Ms. Michele's. To answer her question, long hair is definitely sexy. That is, unless it's Crystal-Gayle-down-to-the-ankles long. Then it's just a bit too much.

At 7:48 AM, Blogger Badaunt said...

The sect I grew up in (and left) bans women from cutting their hair. That thing about hair being women's 'glory' was preached to me numerous times as a child. Then they got stricter, and you weren't even allowed to wear it up on your head. Even tying it back is frowned upon.

Funny how all these 'religious' rules about appearance are aimed at women. The men can pass as normal in the outside world, but the women are marked.

At 2:13 AM, Blogger Michele said...

I love this post, I also loved your "wild woman" comment on my post. My mother has always had short hair and I have no memory of her with long hair. I have only had short hair twice in my life and hated it both times.

Do you think it means anything that I hav e not followed my mother in the short tresses department? Neither do I.

At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stumbled on this whilst 'trawling' the net...interesting. Particularly Badaunt's comments re: ''religious' rules about appearance are aimed at women. The men can pass as normal in the outside world, but the women are marked.'

You will actually find that when it comes to hair in the Bible, men as well as women are 'marked.' (Honest!!!)
Apparently long hair on a man is a disgrace to him. (New Testament)
But your correct also...a woman's hair is apparently her 'crowning glory' (personally I don't think it matters either!)
At the opposite end of the spectrum, as a long haired male I have 'got it in the neck' from fundamental Christians (even though I am Christian myself) If you read the passage more closely it was actually the 'practice' or custom' of the times. Reading closer still (and this is for the fundamentalists) A woman should never have her hair exposed when in Church or praying, it should always be covered. Now I don't know ANY Christian female who practices this, fundamental or not.

Long or short? who really cares?
I certainly think God has bigger fish to fry!


At 12:04 AM, Blogger Jacy said...

I am a young Christain 21. I love Jesus. I love short haired girls. The thought of Hair cutting to be a sin makes me shudder. I want a short haired wife. 1st Corinthians 11. Does it command against women wearing short hair. I don't know.
Is it against nature for me to want a short haired woman? I am so confused! Can someone with some wisdom make me feel better?

At 9:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you ever read 1Corinthians 11? It says there that a woman's long hair is her glory. If a woman pray or prophesy without a covering she dishonoreth her head. It also says that hair is given her for a covering. Read your Bible and see.


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