Revel in the Dishevelment

REVEL IN THE DISHEVELMENT.

This is a phrase I coined sometime back in April or May — time has no meaning any more — to highlight the necessity of foregoing haircuts during lockdown. Make it a badge of honor that you didn’t risk your life or others around you just to look good, that kind of thing.

My last haircut was in February. I had not gotten one in March because I was forced to take the role of Adam in my production of As You Like It at Newnan Theatre Company, and I thought a shaggier look would be better for the octogenarian. I figured I would get a haircut in Germany after we left for our Viking River Cruise down the Rhine, the morning after AYLI closed on March 29.

And so here I am, June, no haircut in sight.

Yeah, I know, it doesn’t look bad. I’m glamorous that way. Just like Jake Gyllenhaal.

But my hair is the longest it has ever been, and certainly my beard has never been anywhere this long. (There are those who will claim my hair was this long back in the 80s, but that was when it was not gray and had no texture, hanging lankly about my ears.)

Now it’s beginning to bug me: it’s too long, and despite the flattering photo, it doesn’t really look good.

Here’s my point: WHY DO I NEED TO LOOK GOOD? 1. I’m in Captivity — who cares what I look like? 2. Let’s think about the pressure to LOOK GOOD.

LOOKING GOOD is one of those cultural/economic hoops you jump through to be “acceptable,” and you always have to ask yourself… to whom, exactly? The short answer is to other people jumping through those same hoops and who now firmly believe in their reality.

I’ve never been one to grant those hoops “reality” — I jump through them because I’m privileged and it’s easy — but I am under no illusion that a) I really have to; or b) I would be accepted as “acceptable” by gatekeepers whose gates I have no intention of going through.

So it’s easy enough to wear my hair uncut — and my beard untrimmed, even though I could keep that in check — as a symbol of my “purity” of intent, even though the way things are going I probably won’t be getting a haircut until August or September — if then. The important thing is that I continue to self-quarantine in order to do my best to keep myself and my family from being exposed to the virus.

I’m kind of looking forward to the ultra-dishevelment. New boundaries to transgress, old hoops to set on fire and not jump through. I’ll keep you updated.

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