You Know Something Awful Has Happened When A Female Character Cuts Her Hair

May 23, 2017 in Daily Bulletin

Alaina Leary delved into the “Important Haircut” trope:

  • In movies and television, a female character cutting her hair is typically a response to severe trauma and the point where the character is “reborn”.
  • It’s an easy trope as it allows the viewer to visualize internal trauma.
  • It also has some basis in truth. Psychologists say that survivors of trauma often find a haircut helps with healing. It is an aspect of one’s life that one has complete control over, and there are no detrimental effects.
  • There are downsides to the trope. People may think that only major external signs like a haircut are an indication that their friend may need help or support.
  • A character cutting her own hair is often shown to be in hysterics – possibly creating a stigma against what can be a healthy act.
  • And then there are women who just like to have short hair, and would rather people don’t think they have cancer or are traumatized.

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