Blend: The Short Hair Syndrome
Featuring: Love Live! School Idol Project (Season 2, Episode 5)
Hello, good friends. It was today that I watched my favourite Love Live episode to date. It was also another instance of a great topic I never really got to express publicly about. Today is the day I rectify this lack of expansion with a little look into said subject.
Quick spoiler alert before we dive in- this is something to touch up on after completing episode 5 of our recent season. With that out of the way, let us first take a look back at what basically happened in this episode. Fiery tomboy of the idol group µ's, Hoshizora Rin was appointed temporary leader while the seniors went off on a trip.
Needless to say, having a newcomer first year with an affinity for being on the sidelines enter a position of leadership doesn't sink in too well. Poor Rin has a difficult time stepping up and fails to provide a satisfactory first practice session. It's a scene of timid insecurity that I haven't seen from Rin since she first joined the group in the first season.
Sure, Rin's fresh blood in the leadership role. However, what's got her so shaken up and absolutely against the idea? Her upstart peppiness and exertion of great charisma seems to prove otherwise. She consistently upholds her less eccentric friend Hanayo in the spotlight as her own self-confidence subdues itself in the gallery. That's right, Hoshizora Rin is the tomboy that wishes she had more prominent female elements to her name, and her best friend is the personification of what she seeks.
It turns out that Rin was unjustly tormented as a child for looking like a boy with her short hair. An amalgamation of this with the donning of a girly skirt was a personal invite to insults. In such an early period of her life, these occurrences pushed her to hide away almost any indication of her femininity deep inside. Luckily, it's through her participation in this supportive idol unit that she begins to receive the pat on the back she deserves. The girls place Rin front and center for the first time in a breathtakingly beautiful uniform; a chance for her to shine on her own. When she steps out on that illuminated stage, you would have the same reaction as the crowd did: "You're adorable".
It's at this point that I'll mention that Hoshizora Rin was my second favourite member of µ's, even from the first season. Her spunky nature along with her irresistible charm hit home with me right away. I believe this is where the divide in the fandom rears its ugly head.
Let's bring this post to its denouement with a topic I like to call: "Short Hair Syndrome". It's an infectious devastation of faith and loyalty to a character within the revelation of her choice to sport shorter hair. It's something that I find so unjustly shallow that I find myself respecting the freewill of tomboy characters and shorter hairstyles on females as a result. As we never saw Rin showcase a longer hairstyle before, we can only add her to the ultimate list of "short-hairs".
I am of the full understanding that a youthful woman is greatly defined in the pride of her beautiful, flowing hair. I can certainly understand the divide that occurs in seeing a valued female character take it upon herself to do away with her womanly traits. But I ask of you, are we so privileged in our judgment of people that we must express such elevated disdain for another in their own personal decisions in appearances? These girls aren't being pinned down, their hair butchered. They make the decision themselves in a fully conscious and mental state, with their own personal reasons for doing so. I have nothing but the utmost respect for the characters (and women in general) that overstep these boundaries and just portray themselves as who they want to be. It's a perfectly reasonable look that I oft find brings youth and a layer of sweetness to one's charm. Riots bled the streets when Karen pulled off her hair in Nisemonogatari. Maddened cries of frustration resonated when Azusa snipped off her long purple locks in THE iDOLM@STER.
Heavenly pedestals were placed under Miuna when she entered her teenager years and pinned back her shoulder-length hair for the first time in Nagi no Asukara. Why are things like this, I wonder? I leave you good folks with this internal inquiry, and humbly ask that you refrain from allowing something like a trim thrust you from liking a character. A woman is defined by her personality, not the crop that rises from the top of her head. It's time we valued that, even just a little bit more.