Man, what a bunderful hairstyle!

The ‘man bun’. Perhaps the less emo brother of ‘guyliner’ and the younger, hipper cousin of the ‘man bag’, the man bun has joined the ranks of other traditionally feminine items that have come to be acceptable – trendy, even – for men to rock. Ranging from a teeny tiny top knot on an otherwise shaven head to a full-on mane of hair tied up into a hulking beehive, the man bun can take many forms, and have been sported by everyone from Harry Styles with his baby-bun, to man bun aficionado Brock O’Hurn (seriously, look him up).

If there was ever a hairstyle so controversial or divisive though, it was the man bun. Love it or loathe it, most people have an opinion on it – and I’m here to tell you why you should embrace the beautiful metrosexual creation.

Yes, it is ridiculous that for a man to enjoy something typically feminine he should prefix it with ‘man-‘, lest his masculinity be thrown to the dogs and destroyed forever. When Jaden Smith stepped out in a dress, he made a point of ensuring we all joined him in calling them ‘clothes’, rather than ‘girl clothes’. Why then, should we not do the same with (man) buns? In an age where we are actively challenging notions of gender and gendered practices, it seems redundant to continue insisting that one hairstyle or item of clothing or practice is inherently masculine or feminine, and to enjoy those belonging to other genders requires naming it in a way that screams “not for girls!!”.

However, semantics aside, the man bun is an example, much like guyliner, of how when one ignores the gendered norms of style and fashion, beautiful things can happen (don’t tell me you didn’t swoon over Brendon Urie and Pete Wentz at least a little bit when they discovered black kohl eyeliner). Those who oppose it call it ‘effeminate’ and often they will tell you it looks silly, but why? Because a man with a ‘female’ hairstyle is silly? Do you find the look as ridiculous on women?

I believe it is time to move beyond the daft notion that hairstyles have anything to do with gender, and learn to see the man bun for what it truly is – a damn sexy way for guys to wear their hair, and challenge prescribed gender roles in style and fashion.

[Hannah Burke – @hannahcburke_]

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