Long hair has been associated with such values as femininity and virtue for literary centuries. For dancers, though, hairstyles often carry more weight than just a headful of hairpins: appearances tend to be intricately tied to many dancers’ self-identity, so one dancer’s ‘do can be another dancer’s don’t. Couple this with the need to fit into a corps de ballet, to make a strong impression at an audition or to obtain approval from a company director, hair becomes about much more than Dippity-Do.

Gia Kourlas with the New York Times examined the implications of hair-style choices made by principal ballerinas in high-flying ballet companies. Ballet emphasizes both conformity and exceptional appearances, so ballet’s first ladies face challenges that are much more personal than just bad hair days. Find more details about the “bob or bun” debate at the link here.

Are you a bob-head or a bunhead? Let me know in the comments below.

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