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Celebrity shearings garner praise, scare fans

Tae Andrews | Friday, March 9, 2007

Maybe it’s cabin fever from being stuck indoors during South Bend winters, or spring fever arising from the prospect of spring break and warmer weather. Or maybe it’s just the onset of insanity.

Regardless, we all feel that temptation come springtime: The urge to grab some scissors and shear off our winter locks in favor of shorter, cooler styles. This is an equal opportunity phenomenon: after Britney Spears, anyone is fair game for lawn mower jokes.

However, shunning our customary coiffures in lieu of shorter, more streamlined looks is a precarious undertaking, and there are some significant questions that must asked before going under the blade.

Fortunately, our obsession with celebrities gives us significant fodder to point out good and bad examples of shearing. For some, taking a Mach 3 or a barber’s No. 1 blade to the scalp is a career move, bumping them from boy-band status to pop stardom, or rescuing them from film prequels to a return to form. For others, shorn locks can be a sign of mental instability.

So without further ado, here’s the good, the bad and the just plain ugly of celebrity head shavings and near-shavings.

Demi Moore

Pairing her close-cropped hair with a killer body, Moore proved that the only thing sexier than a man in uniform is a woman in uniform. As a tomboy with sex appeal, not only did the femme fatale manage to kick butt, she’s possibly the sexiest 40-year old on the planet who’s robbing the cradle with Ashton Kutcher. Consider it a double “Punk’d.” Clearly, less was Moore.

Justin Timberlake

JT’s hairstylist has earned his or her pay throughout the years. With hairstyles ranging from bouncy blonde curls to David Beckham-esque “white man” cornrows, Timberlake’s many hair-do’s during his stint as the lead singer of ‘N Sync turned out to be hair-don’ts. However, after saying “bye bye bye” to his curls and growing some chin stubble, JT has brought sexy back, landed a No. 1 album and even had a memorably hilarious hosting stint on Saturday Night Live.

Natalie Portman

After being forced to spit out George Lucas-written love lines opposite Hayden Christensen in the Star Wars prequels, Natalie Portman needed a change. Said change came while shaving her head onscreen during an intense torture scene in the film “V for Vendetta,” which got her career back on track. Sometimes you need to crack a few eggs to make an omelet, even if it means exposing some eggshell.

Britney Spears

The former wife of Kevin “Fries!” Federline became something of a head case in more ways than one after an impromptu “Britney shears” session left her looking like a deranged Teletubby or Nick Stahl’s character from “Sin City.” Spears has left both fans and the public scratching their heads as they read about her latest exploits in the tabloids. Perhaps the old saying needs to be changed – “Hell hath no fury like a woman shorn.”

Jack Nicholson

It’s uncertain whether or not Nicholson was ever sane to begin with, but the star of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” looked like he needed to be institutionalized after sporting his new ‘do at this year’s Oscars. The sight of Nicholson cackling away with his sunglasses and splotchy bald head was genuinely disturbing.

So as you sit there, either with blade in hand or anxiously twiddling your thumbs in the barber chair, think long and hard about your choice of haircut. It’s not like the stuff won’t grow back, but you’ll want to go for the Justin “do,” as opposed to Britney’s “don’t.” After all, what’s hair today may be gone tomorrow.

Contact Tae Andrews at [email protected]

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.