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Needs Help: Badass Longhair
Deadlock Clock: 18th May '12 11:59 PM
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Needs Help: Badass Longhair get usage counts

 1 Martello, Wed, 28th Mar '12 7:40:54 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
Badass Longhair is currently up for a new image as per this Image Pickin' thread. During the conversation - the relevant part starts where the link takes you - the point was brought up that this trope should be Always Male.

The salient points are as follows:

  • This trope started, or at leas became popular, in the '90's, when men having long hair was starting to be seen as manly and badass instead of feminine, as it had for many preceding decades.
  • Women usually have long hair anyway; a female character with long hair is essentially meaningless.
  • To quote lebrel: "...most female Badasses have long hair anyway, to show that they're female and/or make them hot; long hair on a woman is neither a marker of badassery nor something that would be incompatible with badassery, and is therefore not narratively meaningful. Badass Longhair is a trope primarily because of the expectation that manly men will have short hair and long-haired men are effeminate and non-badass. But that's a TRS discussion."

So, let's have that discussion. I believe it's clear where I stand on the issue.

edited 28th Mar '12 7:55:48 PM by Martello

"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
 2 lebrel, Wed, 28th Mar '12 7:49:22 PM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
I'll point out that the YKTTW archive is pretty clear that this was intended to apply to male characters specifically; according to the page history, the first reference to female characters was added by an IP-address user on 8th Aug 2010, with no edit note.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
As a counterpoint, Real Women Don't Wear Dresses would imply that badass women should have shorter hair, a la GI Jane, Trinity, etc. There is a bit of a 1990s divide, which makes this dicey, since the trope is written as codified in the 1990s.
 
I think "long hair on a badass male" and "short hair on a badass female" are tropes, but "short hair on a badass male" and "long hair on a badass female" are chairs.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
Chairs how? Aren't they just omnipresent tropes in certain times and places?
 
 6 Martello, Wed, 28th Mar '12 8:12:06 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
No, they're chairs. The reason we don't have Badass Short Haired Dude is the same reason why women shouldn't be included in Badass Longhair.

I'll admit that military-style hair sometimes is used as the mark of a badass, but that's about the military look, not just short hair in general, and it's not the same thing as a badass woman with long hair, since long hair on a woman doesn't mean anything.

edited 28th Mar '12 8:12:24 PM by Martello

"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
Because they have no meaning. It is the default state. It would have to be remarked on in some way, or something, and that would be a different trope or combination of different tropes. An Action Girl with Rapunzel Hair, or something. Action Girl With Rapunzel Hair is not a trope, though.

edited 28th Mar '12 8:23:46 PM by rodneyAnonymous

Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
It does have a meaning. If an aversion triggers some kind of response, the default state must also be intended to convey some kind of meaning as well. It can't be tropable one way and chairs the other; either both hair states are meaningful or neither is.

If you want to restrict this to late 20th century media, you are probably looking at a rename.

edited 28th Mar '12 8:17:06 PM by pawsplay

 
What?! That is not true. Gravity Is a Harsh Mistress, which is a trope, is an aversion of Gravity Makes Things Fall Immediately Unless Something Is Preventing It From Falling, which is not.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
 10 Martello, Wed, 28th Mar '12 8:18:39 PM from Black River, NY
Hammer of the Pervs
Yeah, it ain't written nowhere that all tropes must have aversions or they can't be tropes.
"Did anybody invent this stuff on purpose?" - Phillip Marlowe on tequila, Finger Man by Raymond Chandler.
That's not what I'm claiming. Men having short hair is not a universal physical force. If Samson, Conan, and Case Jones are all examples and Red Sonja isn't, that suggests considerable ambiguity about what is being troped.

Also, as another consideration, what about longhaired male characters in settings where long hair is the norm?

edited 28th Mar '12 8:52:12 PM by pawsplay

 
That is exactly what you're claiming. "If an aversion triggers some kind of response, the default state must also be intended to convey some kind of meaning as well." (False. Many tropes, if not most tropes, exist as a subversion of "default expectations", which are not used to convey any kind of meaning. I think actually "short hair on a female badass" is the Omnipresent Trope, that sort of character very frequently has short hair.) Long hair on an Action Girl in a setting where most girls have long hair is unremarkable. It is correct that a Badass male in a setting where long hair on males is the norm isn't really much of a Badass Longhair in the sense described by that page, long hair as a mark of being unusual (or otherwise "set apart") or effeminate is a big part of it... the long hair becomes somewhat incidental if it lacks those meanings.

edited 28th Mar '12 9:46:03 PM by rodneyAnonymous

Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
Let me decide what I'm claiming. And what I'm claiming is that choosing a conventional hair style for an unconventional character is an artistic choice.
 
 14 Catalogue, Wed, 28th Mar '12 10:17:25 PM from where the good times are
A pocketful of saudade.
My wild, possibly irresponsible guess is that this is originally one of those vague tropes like Bald of Awesome which are essentially "Badass with X" with little or no narrative link between them.
The words above are to be read as if they are narrated by Morgan Freeman.
In short, I believe that if a badass woman has long hair, the hair as little or nothing to do with her badass status. If a badass man has long hair, it's far more likely that the hair does have some significance to his badass status.
The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
But does it make him a badass? Do bishou samurai actually have long hair to convey their badossity?

edited 28th Mar '12 10:52:43 PM by pawsplay

 
"Let me decide what I'm claiming."

The meaning of a signal is determined by the receiver, not the sender. That is not distinguishing between intent and effect.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
Cure Candy
[up][up] Generally yes, when you get people like Sephiroth the long hair makes them look menacing or even heroic (like Lost Odyssey) especially if they get moments where their hair is blowing in the wind.

Typically they are The Stoic or keep up that emotionless / menacing appearance too to really play up the badassness. If we want to split the two I would support that. (Even when Negi from Negima! lets his hair down he gets a different aura around him and looks far more adult than a 10 year old should, and the pony tail only comes off when he is doing something badass.)

These always end up popular with the women.

edited 28th Mar '12 11:13:35 PM by Raso

I believe that long hair is culturally significant in samurai Japan. I can't say if it specifically means badass or noble, but the implications of badassery are still there.

[up][up] So what you're saying is that I can interpret what you say however I want. You're also saying I would be right in doing so, and if it differs from what you thought you meant, you're the one who's wrong.

edited 29th Mar '12 4:33:55 AM by Feather7603

The Internet misuses, abuses, and overuses everything.
 20 lebrel, Thu, 29th Mar '12 8:26:31 AM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
I don't think Badass Longhair applies to cultures where long hair on men is normal. For example, pre-Meiji Japan (where long hair on men was a cultural norm; short hair meant you were a monk, a verminous peasant, a criminal, or a ronin sleeping under a bush while seeking gainful employment and therefore unable to maintain proper grooming standards). Badass Longhair, like for example Badass Adorable, works as a trope because it is a subversion of current cultural expectations surrounding badassery. We currently believe that Long Hair Is Feminine and Feminine Men Are Wimps, so badass + long hair + male = subversion of expectations.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
 21 Catalogue, Thu, 29th Mar '12 8:52:49 AM from where the good times are
A pocketful of saudade.
Is it really about femininity? For me seems it's always about long hair = does not smarten up for professional life = rebel. Rock & roll and all that. It's like a tattoo or piercings for me. It's never about feminine traits.
The words above are to be read as if they are narrated by Morgan Freeman.
I don't think it's about femininity. I think in many ways the long hair is a stand-in for the lion's mane or a stag's ruff, it's supposed to make the guy look a little more wild and powerful, yet attractive.
 
 23 lebrel, Thu, 29th Mar '12 9:19:40 AM from Basement, Ivory Tower
Tsundere pet.
It's about Femininity in the same sense that Real Men Wear Pink is about femininity; a little bit of gender-subversion to show off your total masculinity. The kind of guys the YKTTW was originally about are mostly mullets, which is not a "rebel" hairstyle. At least to me.
Calling someone a pedant is an automatic Insult Backfire. Real pedants will be flattered.
 24 Catalogue, Thu, 29th Mar '12 9:22:50 AM from where the good times are
A pocketful of saudade.
No, I understand the gender-subversion thing. I just never interpreted badasses with long hair that way. It just doesn't come into play.
The words above are to be read as if they are narrated by Morgan Freeman.
Not An Avatar
I agree that long hair = badass isn't just feminine or atypical; it has Wild Hair and lack of self-care in mind as well.
We're not just men of science, we're men of TROPE!

Page Action: Badass Longhair
19th May '12 7:32:05 AM
What would be the best way to fix the page?
At issue:
Total posts: 123
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