8BrickMario on Jul 10th 2018 at 4:00:48 PM
Last Edited By:
8BrickMario on Jul 13th 2018 at 8:39:15 AM
Page Type: trope
You have a supernatural character. Maybe you're going for maximum scares and have made their body or face grotesque and frightening, but don't know what to do with them next. Or maybe you want them to look fairly normal or beautiful and want something strange for effect. An easy route to go in either case is to remove Earthly gravity from their hair.
Although the blowing of hair in the breeze or flowing in water is often used as an image of beauty, particularly in advertising, the effect of someone's hair billowing and floating around them without any air or water currents to move it is strange and often frightening. The only explanation could be some otherworldly force or power, and it's usually not a good thing. Ghosts, witches, and other supernatural entities may have constantly-floating hair or just run an occasional supernatural breeze through it for a moment of drama, and this imagery is often used for fear, though it's not exclusive.
Given that longer hair is more dramatic when floating like this and the connotations of long hair to feminine beauty, this trope is usually a feature of supernatural women. For this trope to apply, the hair does not need to be in constant motion, but the hair must have sustained fluid motion at some point, and not through natural forces. If the entire being is floaty, the hair must stand out within that. Not to be confused with Prehensile Hair, where the hair moves on the bearer's direction and serves as a tool, or Dramatic Wind, where the visual may be invoked but with natural causes. Often overlaps with Power Floats. Compare to Anti-Gravity Clothing, where, for some reason, a piece of somebody's outfit refuses to obey gravity.
- In Uzumaki, one form of the spiral curse plaguing the town of Kurozu-cho is living hair which stands upward in mesmerizing spiral disks which consume the enemy of the person attached.
- Devilish child Chizumi in Dissolving Classroom has a short bob hairstyle, but it still floats around her without explanation when she approaches Keiko in the first chapter.
- Yubaba in Spirited Away wears her hair in a bun for most of the film, but when her hair is let down and she panics about losing her son Boh, her hair streams around her in the air.
- The Tall Ghost Girl in Coraline has long ribbons of hair which float around her as she talks. The other two ghosts have short and braided hair, respectively, making her hair the only one that floats.
- The witch in ParaNorman manifests (in contrast to the town's Halloween Wicked Witch perception of her) as an electrical ghost, with hair that floats upwards and turns into lightning.
- The First Ancestor in Mulan is a spirit who has both floating hair and beard.
- Hera's hair in Hercules stands out among the Olympian gods' for its floating.
- Moana villain Te Ka invokes this with her design, as she billows volcanic smoke from her head, which resembles streaming hair.
- In Ghostbusters (1984), the ghostly librarian's startling transformation includes loose floating hair, and the ghostly woman in Stantz's dream also features this.
- The ghostly titular entity of Mama has constantly floating hair.
- The ghost of Josette in Dark Shadows has floating hair, perhaps in connection to her death in the water.
- The ghost of Enola in Crimson Peak has very long hair that floats behind her.
- The Haunted Hotel, from the children's book series A-to-Z Mysteries, features an alleged haunting from a ghost whose appearance features a halo of floating hair.
- Monster High character Spectra Vondergeist, the first ghost character, is depicted with dramatic floating hair in everything but her physical dolls and the 3D-animated specials, where her hair is bone-straight and not the least bit floaty.
- Ghost-type Pokemon Misdreavus resembles a floating head with streaming hair.
- Darkrai, a Dark-type legendary, has what looks like a single streak of floating grey hair on its head.
- Dark/Psychic Pokemon Malamar is a vaguely humanoid upside-down squid, and its waving tentacles invoke undulating hair because of its unusual body plan.
- Yo Kai Watch Yo-Kai Foiletta has some tendrils of floating hair.
- The Shadow Queen, the demonic sorceress Big Bad locked away for most of Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, has long tendrils of levitating hair that float behind her.
- Haunt The House is a Flash game where you are a ghost possessing objects in your house to scare away living guests of an unwanted party, and you unlock more powerful scares for each item with the more people you frighten. The most powerful "Spook" option unlocked for the rag doll in the bedroom makes it scream and raise its arms while its hair streams outward.
- The Banshee ghosts in the video game for The Haunted Mansion have floating hair as they attack with a ghostly wail.
- The Ghost of Northwest Manor in Gravity Falls invokes this via his beard of blue fire.
- Princesses Celestia and Luna in My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic have ethereal undulating manes which signify their magical nature. Indeed, when lacking their magic, their manes don't so much as flutter. Nightmare Moon utilizes the flowing mane imagery for horror.
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