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What's Your Name? B.O.B.

Photographed by Sophie Oster and Auset Pope of Sofia Serratos and Morgan Hughley
Styled by Emily Gonzalez
Directed by Kennedy Ray
Hair and Makeup by Lauryn Elgert
Style Assist: Makenna Gallagher
Hair and Makeup Assist: Kristina Wise
Photography Assist: Austen Pope

By Jaden Merimee and Lily Howland

“I hid behind my hair. And then, I just decided I was okay with myself,” revealed Playboy magazine model Pamela Anderson in a 2012 interview with Cut. “To have short hair and really show my face is even more revealing than anything.”

Ever since the original bob haircut made its first appearance by famous ballroom dancer and actress Irene Castle in 1915, it truly has been everlasting. This look started an unintentional movement by the means of which Irene cut her hair into this style for the sole purpose of practicality when undergoing an appendectomy.

This look had its first debut when a friend of Irene’s had encouraged her to go out in public for dinner one night. From there, the “Castle Bob” emerged.

Beginning as a daring symbol of resistance in the fight for the women’s suffrage movement, this fiery look ignited in all types of women in the 1910s.

During World War I, the “New Women” had formed. This movement was set forth by women who wanted to make a change in the restrictions they had with society. Going forth women had taken on new roles to support the war.

The bob had quickly taken off as an easy-to-maintain style in wartime America. During this time, women would trim their hair when working military and Red Cross duties.

After World War I, as women’s activism progressed to the ‘20s, a “new breed” of women had taken way. These women were described as “flappers” for which they rebelled against feminine norms in ways that pertained to their looks, behaviors, and actions.

The crown that had taken part in these women’s fight for independence was none other than the bob.

With bobs starting out as a movement in the 1910s, people ask, how has it continued on?

Other than the fact that the bob is a powerful symbol of feminism, each era has kept it going by producing a wide range of styles still incorporating the cut.

Bobs made a comeback each decade as the different forms popularized. The bob took formation as the shingle cut in the ‘20s, the notched bob in the ‘30s, the floaty bob in the ’50s to ‘70s, the bob bowl cut in the ‘80s, the “Rachel” cut in the ‘90s, and the A-line bob in the 2000s.

So, with bobs emerging again this fall, we wonder, did they ever really go away?

This style has maintained its power in modern fashion with many hit celebs incorporating this look.

Long-time American Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, has never strayed away from the timeless, polished, and precise chin-length cut.

“I would hate to change it,” said Andreas Anastasis, her hair stylist for almost a decade now, to the New York Times. “That’s like Karl Lagerfeld getting rid of his ponytail. Or Marilyn Monroe going brown. That bob is who she is.”

Since Wintour’s big break in 1988 when she began her longstanding position, she has been idolized but also ridiculed by the public for her particular taste and high standards.

“When a guy does what she does, he’s a businessman. But Anna gets such a hard rap because she’s a woman,” Anastasis concluded in the same interview.

Without a doubt, Anna Wintour’s drive and commitment are reflected in how she presents herself. Her iconic bob shows her loyalty and consistency to herself and her craft.

Singer and songwriter Sia is also known for her signature blond bobbed wigs that she wears to maintain her identity private. This started out after the song “Titanium” she featured with David Guetta became a hit later in 2011.

“Well, I have one thing- I used to have a blond bob, and maybe I’ll make myself just a blond bob,” Sia said in a 2015 interview with Kristen Wiig for Interview Magazine.

Famous actress Emma Watson had embraced this short cut as well, encouraging the powerful message it initially embodied amongst women.

“If I had it my way, I would have just kept it short forever,” Watson said in a 2012 interview with Glamour. “Of course, men like long hair. There’s no two ways about it.”

Watson had said in the interview that most of the men she has been around had questioned and criticized her cut. Her response being she didn’t care for what they thought of it. “I’ve never felt so confident as I did with short hair- I felt really good in my own skin.”

Celebs today are continuing to revive the bob by grabbing the media’s attention and forming trends.

Over the summer, Kim Kardashian had hard-launched her jet-black bob in a Skims advertisement. In Kim’s past, she has rocked numerous hairstyles from her wet-look black waves at the 2019 Met Gala to her slicked-blonde Marilyn moment at the event three years later. Despite her ever-changing looks, the internet still blew up over Kim’s chic bob.

Whether it was the sharp-edged shape of the bob or the Kardashian fans accusing her of copying her older sister Kourtney Kardashian, Kim had stirred up media attention in more ways than one. The most prominent being that this do had brought out the FAB trend.

Without a doubt, the FAB (f*** ass bob) is back in the conversation after being coined originally in the 2019 hit series Euphoria when referencing Barbie Ferreira’s character Kat. In a scene where Kat got in trouble with the school’s principal over an explicit video going viral, she questioned if it was because of her weight.

“No, it’s because you have that f***-ass bob,” Principal Hayes responded.

There is an ongoing debate on whether a FAB is a bad thing or whether it’s in.

Well, if we look at just some of the iconic women who debuted the hairstyle this year, like Hailey Bieber, Jenna Ortega, Emma Stone, Lily Collins, Charli D’ Amelio, and Zendaya, it seems to be here to stay.

“Well, here’s the thing: it’s not just hair,” Zendaya said in a 2016 interview with Cut. “It’s also something we talked about forever. We talked about it in the Bible, hair being powerful then. It’s never just hair.”

“Charli D’Amelio is channeling her best Aeon Flux bob, and I’m here for it,” says hairstylist and Matrix ambassador Castillo Bataille found in an article by Byrdie last September.

In the same article Ryan Austin, a celebrity hairstylist based out of IGK Salon in New York, also raved about Lily Collins do. “It takes a bold person to pull off a super short bob with bangs.”

The FAB truly is the new FABulous cool-girl hairstyle of the fall.

“Everyone is running to the salon to get a bob,” says Bataille. “It’s a quick and easy way to get a fresh new look that is chic, fashionable, and effortless.”

Bobs may be a time from the past, but its power has proven to be everlasting.

With more celebs capturing this style, who’s next to shed the layers, and who shall be crowned the Belle of the bob?

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