Monday, July 30, 2012

Oscar Wilde's Hair

We may quite rightly bemoan today's celebrity culture and the complicity and laziness of the media in regurgitating one another's stale tidbits of gossip, but one should note that on January 7, 1886 the New York Times thought that the following was important enough to reprint from London's Figaro newspaper:

Mr. Oscar Wilde, much to the chagrin of his more thoroughgoing followers, still persists in wearing his hair cut short. Both in look and costume indeed he is so altered for the better that the name - prematurely given him by a satiric journal- of Oscar Tame would now fit him like a glove.

One should note that Wilde, in great dandy style, was original and always ready to confound his critics by doing the unexpected - when his long hair became a cliche, he simply cut it off so that he couldn't be so easily caricatured as the languid, supra-bohemian aesthete. 

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