What isn’t to like about the bob? I recently went to a fancy Mayfair hairdresser and asked him what he thought about me getting a bob. His answer? Bobs suit EVERYONE. It may not be the same kind of bob, but there is definitely one for each face shape. It’s known for being universally flattering, and edgy at the same time, and historically symbolises independent and progressive women.
When we think of the bob, we may picture Julia Roberts’ famous blonde wig in Pretty Women, or Uma Thurman’s sleek black ‘do in Pulp Fiction, allowing the haircut to become sexy and cutting edge (see what I did there?). However, the stylish haircut originally began during World War One, when it became acceptable for women to cut their hair to take on military duties and Red Cross work, and was considered more hygienic and affordable. However, it’s rising popularity began with the 1920’s flapper girls and art nouveau: shapes became simpler, and hairdressing magazines helped to spread the word to New York and London, from France. Then, the iconic French fashion designer Coco Chanel had her hair bobbed in 1916, leading to the popularisation of the cut among aristocratic women in the UK.
The media and movies played a significant part in promoting the haircut, and will be forever defined as a look of revolution and how it quickly abandoned old rules of femininity and fashion: women were now becoming emancipated and financially dependent on their own. In the 1950s, bobs were once again symbolising youth and teenage looks with jaw length styles, which were flicked out at the ends. However, the revolution really began when, in 1963, Vidal Sassoon re-styles the bob by creating the five-point-bob cut, which was short, geometric, and angular in all the right ways. This cut was amazingly iconic, mainly because the style lay in the cut.
Fashion designers such as Mary Quant, who was at the heart of the Swinging Sixties, became known for making it fashionable. The UK model Twiggy also wears a style not unlike the severe but pixie-like Eton Crop of the early 1920s, and became a modeling sensation, as well as becoming a poster girl for a new look, and generation. Other famous stars that sported the bob included Julie Christie Barbara Streisand and Diana Ross. However, now we have Taylor Swift’s soft long bob that is casual and side-swept; and not forgetting Kylie Jenner’s dip-dyed black and green locks, which sparked major trends all over the world. Oh, and how can I forget the seriously chic blonde bob on the one and only US Vogue Editor, Anna Wintour.