I’m serious, y’all. Samson’s manliness all existed in his hair, his long, sexy, shiny manly-man hair. (Which, okay. Probably a filthy rat’s nest considering the lack of jojoba conditioners in Biblical times. Play along, okay? And shut your damn doubting piehole.) (Is there seriously a term for mouth more offensive yet humorous than “pie-hole”? Because its use implies that you eat pie on a regular basis. Who eats that much pie?)
Anway, so Samson was all tough and strong because of his hair. The 80’s man, much like Samson, also wanted to show his testosterone-laced strength through his hair. But! He was no longer a construction worker or mechanic, who could tuck his long, luxurious 70’s hair, probably cared for with a balsam shampoo and a creme rinse, into a ponytail when handling dangerous man-work equipment like axes or hydraulic things, and tuck it into the collar of his shirt. No, he needed to look businesslike. Clean-cut. Long hair was out, baby.
So what’s a guy to do? His banker bosses want to see his ears. They want him to have bangs. But inside that suited body beats the heart of a rocker.
And so the mullet was born. Short on the top and sides, long in the back. The perfect mix of business and pleasure.
I had one, once. I was ten. I didn’t know what it was called, but everyone I knew was getting one. So I got one. I hated it. It was puffy and I felt, frankly, like some creepy elementary-school butch lesbian. But that same haircut that made me feel too manly did the same for actual men. They exuded manly, like a scent peeking through the heavier smells of Aramis or Drakkar. (By the way, I still love Aramis.)
Yes, some men went too far. There was a trend in my high school for the guys to have the backs of their mullets permed. I ask you. There is nothing manly about getting a perm, not ever. I remember hearing a bunch of them discussing it one day. And one of them was a hockey player.
There were also the unfortunate souls for whom the short mullet front was a different (usually darker) color than the long back. The two tone-effect didn’t really work in that instance.
But everybody had a mullet. Teachers had them. Every guy in my school had one. My brother had one. Various celebrities. More Random celebrities and sports stars (MacGyver!).Mel Gibson. (Curiously, Lethal Weapon-era photos of the mulleted Mel are exceedingly difficult to find online. Imdb doesn’t have any. Conspiracy? You be the judge!)
Now, though, the mightly mullet has become passe. A mulleted man is the kind of man who drinks Busch beer out of a and wears super-tight stonewashed denim cut-off shorts beneath his faded Molly Hatchett t-shirt.
Sow hile we’re mourning the passing of macho, and hoping for a resurgence, let’s think of this. The mullet allowed men who be a little creative with their hair. Isn’t it a shame they can’t anymore? No moustaches, no muttonchops (yeah, I didn’t get to them), no flowing hair in interesting shapes?
It’s a sad time to be a man, my friends.