Death to the man bun trend

Hair polarizes University community members

Published: September 25, 2015

Commentary by
MATTHEW DEFRENZA

Submitted Photo: Jonathan nicklas JONATHAN NICKLAS, a sophomore biology and philosophy double major, poses with his hair down (left) and pulled into a man bun (right). The trend of “rocking the man bun” has sparked controversy because some view the hairstyle as an attractive expression of masculinity, but others, including Matthew DeFrenza, view the trend as a hipster-inspired attempt to revive something better left buried in the past.

SUBMITTED PHOTO / JOHNATHAN NICKLAS JONATHAN NICKLAS, a sophomore biology and philosophy double major, poses with his hair down (left) and pulled into a man bun (right). The trend of “rocking the man bun” has sparked controversy because some view the hairstyle as an attractive expression of masculinity, but others, including Matthew DeFrenza, view the trend as a hipster-inspired attempt to revive something better left buried in the past.

Man buns have withstood the test of time, ranging from the samurai of Japan to the Founding Fathers. And yet again, they are resurfacing. Like a common cold, there seems to be no cure.

Similar to most fads, they seem cool in the moment, and are later reflected on with despair.

Calling your attention to some notable fads that have thankfully met their ends, such as: boomboxes and mullets in the 80s, Heely’s, the Ripstick, Myspace, Backstreet Boys, High School Musical, Club Penguin, Twilight, Kony 2012, Occupy Wall Street, Beliebers, “YOLO,” Farmville, Candy Crush; Kim Kardashian exploits with: Damon Thomas, Ray J. Norwood, Nick Lachey, Nick Cannon, Reggie Bush, Miles Austin, Kris Humphries and recent events with Kanye West; Cinnamon Challenges and now the man bun. In the moment, they were sensations. They conquered news, pop culture, music and social media. But they all share one thing: they didn’t last.

Yeah, sure, it’s college, so why not “rock the man-bun?” Because saying “why not” is appropriate vindication to rationalize any absurd idea. And following in the footsteps of celebrities, is equally absurd. Volumes of tabloid and yellow journalism focus on the asinine actions of the rich and popular. The article in the previous week’s edition referred to the man bun as “plaguing” metropolitan cities, and the diction could not be better. It is a plague. The problem is not that some “normal dudes” cannot “rock the man bun,” but that the man bun exists at all. It does not take bravery to put your hair into a glorified ponytail by a different name, and it is insulting to use a word reserved for the brave to describe a hairstyle.

The Hipsters are to blame. Digging through history, looking for trends long dead and bringing them to light. The literary tradition has an infamous example of a character taking things that had long since been dead, removing them from where they belong, mashing them together and bringing them to life. This tradition is more commonly known as Frankenstein’s Monster. Simply, there are things that are buried, and need to stay buried. Like the embarrassing Photo Booth pictures that you thought the entire Facebook world needed to see.

If I may just offer a modest proposal, humbly embellishing Jonathan Swift, why not bring back bloodletting or the draining of blood from sick patients to heal them; why not settle our disputes in a duel, like the Southern gentlemen of yesteryear; why not grow out sideburns like Elvis; why not break out a Velour tracksuit and parachute pants like our parents; why not grow out afros and wear our bodyweight in gold around our necks?

History is made to be learned from, not repeated. Digging out trends from history upsets the Darwinian principle of progression, and is instead a regression into a trend that failed once, and will surely fail again.

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