Big Hair

photo credit: via Wikimedia Commons

RY THIS HYPOTHESIS on for size: Women with Big Hair—the kind I'm referring to is á la Debra Messing of Will and Grace fame—are unusual enough to disrupt ordinary lives, especially those of ordinary women. I will demonstrate just how in a moment. My official estimate is that only 600 - 1,000 women in all of America own heads of hair that can be classified as "big." (The lower number is probably more accurate since we must allow for those attempting to pass with hair extensions—shame on you.) I arrived at these figures through a fiendishly complex application of the scientific method, clearly beyond the scope of our discussion today so I would not hold my breath.

My simple and generous proposal is this: Big-haired women belong on television, and only on television, where Americans expect uncanny proportions to appear with unnatural frequency. Therefore, all American women of Big Hair should be written into sitcoms. Furthermore, their contracts should state that they must take up exclusive residence in Hollywood, so they're not sneaking into Iowa or New Jersey during reruns. If you doubt my motives, please review this partial list of compelling reasons why women of Big Hair should not patronize your average society:

Big Hair is too distracting to men, and men are affected by far less.

In the December 1984 issue of Psychology Any Time Now, a statistically significant number of men were found to exhibit distraction over perfume applied to a woman who had left the room in 1956.

But that is only the lighter side of distraction—tragedy awaits those who take Big Hair as lightly. Don't try what young Ph.D. candidate Lester Mayhew tried in 1978. Against all the protestations of his colleagues and his dear mother, Hester, foolish Lester presented his three unsuspecting male subjects with a woman of Big Hair. But not just big hair—big, blonde hair. No one will ever know precisely what transpired in that closed room. Physical evidence points to an explosion, mainly of Lester, since only his nose and eyeglasses could be recovered out of the general wreckage. The three subjects, thankfully, escaped with only minor injuries, although each had to be scolded for years after to wipe that silly smile off his face. The blonde was fine, like I even had to mention it.

At the very least, Big Hair can cause men to drop their jaws, a harmless but most pathetic behavior for which there is absolutely no evolutionary value, except maybe to lessen the chance of someone else swallowing a box-elder bug.

Big Hair often invades the 18-inch envelope of personal space that is every American's right as outlined in the Constitution.

If this hair is not arrested, it should at least be consigned to a particular area of the country, say, Hollywood, where its owners can become famous and thus attend private movie screenings. The happy result is your renewed ability to enjoy a Yul Brynner retrospective at the local movie house without having to comb a part in your personal envelope.

Women with vats of hair require special grooming that only the professional sitcom hair stylist can provide over the professional sink.

As it stands now, big-haired women brush their manes over public restroom sinks, thus endangering the plumbing integrity of major department stores. Think what my innovation in the redistribution of hair would mean to American commerce.

That's just the beginning. I ask you to recall the times you have been stuck behind Big Hair on your way to work on your local bus or commuter train. It is then you notice in horror that the woman who owns this enormous entity can't seem to keep her fingers out of it!

Theories abound—some observers note that these women are continually on the search for lost essentials such as automobile licenses, house keys, or their younger children. Another theory suggests that, whereas women of Big Hair can easily view the scalp of others, they have never actually seen evidence of their own. "Finger Diving," as it's known in the literature, is a compulsive act of self-reassurance. In its most severe expressions, finger diving can be controlled only through the enactment of solemn hair-thinning rites performed by dancing bald men (usually naked dancing bald men) wielding giant tubs of Nair.

And it's only going to get uglier, I'm telling you.

Now, should there be more women of Big Hair than I have estimated through my fiendishly complex application of the scientific method, I'm confident that Hollywood can develop sitcoms populated entirely by big-haired starlets. I submit to you that the script possibilities are as hilarious as those classic Alan Brady bald jokes on The Dick Van Dyke Show. For example:

Glory: "Would you please get your hair out of my face?"

Jenny: "It's not in your face, it's in your sink."

Ha, ha. Or how about the ever-popular comic device of the misheard phrase? (Big-haired women don't often clean out their ears, you know, because of the enormous difficulty in locating them. See Finger Diving, above.)

Glory (with southern accent): "Hi, Jenny, how are y'all?"

Jenny: "What do you mean, 'Hair are y'all?'"

Glory: "No, I said 'How are y'all?'"

Jenny: "What do you care, anyway?"

Glory: "What do you mean, 'What do you hair'?"

Jenny (shouting): "What, are you deaf?! Get that hair out of your ears!"

Glory: "It's not in my ears, it's in your sink."

Elsa: "Hi guys! Say, what d'you think of my new do?"

Glory/Jenny: "Your doo-doo??"

As you can see, this stuff practically writes itself.

Let's start next Tuesday with last names beginning A - H, shall we?