Let's face it, the hairstyles worn by the ladies of the US basketball team on Saturday were pretty spartan, if not downright lackluster. Yet it's as if all the blogosphere wanted to talk about was their win over France. At times it appeared as if Diana Taurasi's hair was drenched with sweat. At one point I thought, oh my gosh, if Lindsay Whalen goes for another steal, her bun is going to unravel altogether. Candace Parker's layup is great and all, but a simple ponytail? Really? On the upside, Geno Auriemma's feathery coif was a three-pointer in my book.
It goes without saying what these 'ballers needed: more bobby pins! Gabby Douglas, who was unfairly faulted for her (understated? plain Jane?) hairdo, knew how to hold her hair in place with these good old fashioned accoutrements. Compared with the hoopsters, Douglas and her teammates were princesses at the royal ball. After all, gymnasts like Gabby get judged on their artistry. It's not enough to stun the crowd with impossible leaps and flips. You also need shiny leotards and stage makeup. And you gotta rock the motionless hairdo if you want to medal in this sport.
I'm afraid that if American athletes can't bring themselves to raise their game in the hair department, the country may just be headed on a slippery slope back to the old days. That's right: the 70's, where "natural" hairstyles were acceptably worn in public. I'm talking Angela Davis. Janis Joplin. Art Garfunkel. James Hetfield. (If you're thinking, wait, Hetfield is 80s, then you know exactly what I'm talking about.) People who woke up and basically left the house without doing their hair. Check out these shocking photos:
What has been forgotten is that the progenitor of this look, the man who first popularized the natural hairstyle, was this radical:
That's right, Albert Einstein. And as we all know, Professor Einstein was a socialist. For socialists of his era, revolutionizing man's understanding of the universe was more important than demonstrating that you can be smart and sexy. And that's pretty un-American, isn't it? We might as well be Canada if we are going to break our addiction to image.
To combat this backlash of prizing function over form, to show just how deeply average hair threatens our modern way of life, I'm proposing that September 1st be designated National "Anything Goes" Hair Day. Just wear your hair however you feel like, preferably with a minimum of effort, and--this is important--make yourself a pact not to evaluate anybody else's "anything goes" hairstyle. See just how it feels to be noticed for your talents, your wisdom, your kindness.
Then go out and shoot some hoops. Gracefully. In the meantime, somebody please buy Abby Wambach some bobby pins.