Monday, July 17, 2006

Super Hair

I live among frivolous beings. Hell, I'm one myself. Which is why this morning's post-shower-watch-the-dog-eat-breakfast conversation with my husband was all about Superman's hair. Or rather, why did Superman Returns (which I rather liked) and the 1970s movie get Clark Kent's hair so wrong? This was touched off by the repeated laments of our local movie critic, Mick LaSalle, who kept bitching about Kate Bosworth's hair in the movie. He thinks it's a wig, and he thinks it's ugly. I thought they dyed her hair, and I thought it looked like the untidy hair of a woman who's learned to dress herself well, but never took the time to worry about her hair. I'm much more concerned about what they did to poor Superman's head. It shouldn't be so hard: the 1950s TV serial managed the hair okay. On Lois and Clark they managed it also. So why, when Superman leaps over tall buildings to get to the big screen, do they plaster his hair unflatteringly to his head in a haircut that makes him stand out from every other living being in the film? Forget about "is Clark Kent Superman?" The real question people should be asking is "why does this Clark guy look like he's shellacked a fox fur and stuck it to his head?" Or perhaps, "where did he get that awful toupee, and wouldn't just shaving his head be more dignified?"

The Spouse, of course, had a brilliant notion: they should have used the hair as a talking point in the movie. Superman has to put tons of styling product on his hair to subdue the famous Super Spit Curl because he has super hair, see. So either it is a really bad, possibly homemade, toupee, or when he changes back from Superman to Clark Kent he has to redo the goop in his hair really fast.

The thing is, the guy is really Clark Kent: the people who raised him and gave him his values, are the Kansas farmers. Superman is just his job title. So if anyone should have the real haircut it should be Clark. Maybe the Super Spit Curl is part of the disguise.


Blogger Nalo said...

When I was a kid in the Caribbean reading comics, I didn't understand that straight hair gleamed. (No-one in my family had naturally straight hair.) So I didn't realise that the blue patch in Superman's hair was meant to represent highlights. I thought he had a patch of blue hair. I envied him that patch. On my 40th birthday I dyed my own hair deep blue. For a year or so, I finally had Superman-coloured hair.

3:47 PM  
Blogger Madeleine Robins said...

I've only known two people (both male) who had the kind of black hair that had blue-ish highlights, and I always wondered if they had helped nature. But the gleam is remarkable, isn't it.

Maybe I should consider Superman-colored hair? I've always thought having a blue or bright red patch would be interesting, but my kids--such reactionaries--won't hear of it.

10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've always thought that the difficulty was scissors. After all, he can't exactly go to a barber and ask for kryptonite clippers. So, the super dude had to cut his own hair. And how, you may ask, did he do this? Well, I surmize he had to bite it off. He did this by running around himself fast enough to go back in time to when he was just standing there. Or something. Don't cha think?

2:51 PM  
Blogger Ken Houghton said...

I would do a what-color-did-Niven-say-supersperm-is riff here, but there might be children reading.

Who specifically should not be allowed to see this link, which features (if that's the word) an old friend you will be frightened to recognize, Mad.

7:41 PM  
Blogger Christy Lockstein said...

Dear Ms Robins,
I'm sure you get this question a lot, and I apologize, but I can't find the answer elsewhere online, so I thought I would ask the source. Will there be any future Sarah Tolerance novels? I read both of them this past weekend, and the idea of there being no more breaks my heart. I am a reviewer, so reviews of both will be posted on and my book blog sometimes tomorrow. Your writing so enthralled me, I forgot myself for a time and was completely lost in Sarah's world. Please let me know if I have more books to look forward to.

Christy Lockstein

10:12 PM  

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