Feminist scholarship has looked extensively at the perception of the body as a flexible construction of cultural and social dictates, but head hair has been often overlooked. Feminist Interrogations of Women's Head Hair brings new focus to this underrepresented topic through its intersections with contemporary socio-cultural contexts.
Scholars from a wide range of disciplines investigate private and public meanings associated with female head hair, problematising our assumptions about its role and implications in the 21st Century. Readers are invited to reflect on the use of hair in popular culture, such as children’s television and pop album artwork, as well as in work by women artists. Studies examine the lived experiences of women from a range of backgrounds and histories, including curly-haired women in Israel, African American women, and lesbians in France. Other essays interrogate the connotations of women’s head hair in relation to body image, religion, and aging.
Feminist Interrogations of Women's Head Hair brings together cultural discourses and the lived experiences of women, across time and place, to reveal the complex and ever-evolving significance of hair. It is an important contribution to the critical feminist thought in cultural studies, fashion studies, media studies, African American studies, queer theory, gerontology, psychology, and sociology.
List of Contributors
Introduction: Why hair? why women?
Amit Kama and Sigal Barak-Brandes
Part I: Agency and Resistance Reified by Women's Hair
Chapter 1: Fiery gingers: Redhead girls in children’s popular culture
Dafna Lemish, Diana Floegel, and Michal Lentz
Chapter 2: Hair rites and wrongs: Tonsorial acts in the work of women artists
Shir Aloni Yaari
Chapter 3: Samson the Hero in the new millennium: Hair donation, altruism, and feminine bravery
Chapter 4: Hair as an indicator of liberation: Lesbian's biographical paths
Sophie Devineau and Célia Laplace
Chapter 5: "It won't go straight": Curly-haired women tell their stories
Shani Okavi-Partush, Amit Kama, and Sigal Barak-Brandes
Part II: Women's Hair as a Marker of Identity
Chapter 6: Ages and stages: African American women and their lives through their hair
Ashley Garrin and Sara Marcketti
Chapter 7: Hair and the "body-self" of women with body image despair and eating disorders
Chapter 8: Women’s gray hair as an abomination of the body: Conceal and pass, or reveal and subvert
Vanessa Cecil, Louise F. Pendry, Jessica Salvatore, and Tim Kurz
Chapter 9: Women's gray hair in online discussions
Part III: Women's Hair in a Consumerist Age
Chapter 10: Black women’s hair politics impact on bodily health: A historical essay
Melodie Davis-Bundrage, Katalin Medvedev, and Patricia Hunt-Hurst
Chapter 11: Creative consumption of modesty: The wig in a Jewish Israeli Ultra-Orthodox community
Rakefet Erlich Ron
Chapter 12: Imagery of hair and identity in album covers: Beyoncé, Bjork, Madonna, and PJ Harvey