If a most-hated hairstyle exists on this planet, one that our whole culture has unanimously decided to despise, it would almost certainly be the bowl cut, in all its mushrooming glory.
Short, plain, symmetrical, evoking the pain of an awkward class photograph, you might laugh at the bowl cut if it weren’t so … traumatic. As a result, most adults reserve fringe for their jackets rather than their heads, which is all good and well, considering how impossible the hairstyle is to pull off.
That is, impossible to most people. Many a celebrity has tried out the look. Some have succeeded. Many more have failed. It isn’t their fault; the look is unyielding, unforgiving. They never stood a chance. Also, they aren’t Céline Dion.
Harper’s Bazaar U.S. just previewed its 2019 Icons issue, which, naturally, features a spread of the icon herself sporting a bowl cut that will make you reconsider everything you know about your hatred for it. Among the other icons are Awkwafina, Christy Turlington, Alicia Keys, Kate Moss, and Regina King.
“These actors, models, and musicians have shifted perceptions by resisting the established, avoiding the accepted, and breaking every rule they can,” the magazine says of its 2019 #BazaarIcons, and it’s difficult not to think the statement is tailored to Céline Dion, who specializes, especially in fashion, in rule-breaking.
Rule-breaking, indeed. In the Middle Ages, the bowl cut was reserved for peasants of limited means, who would place a bowl on their head and snip off the hairs below the rim. They couldn’t afford barbers, so they did it themselves. For a while, the style retained its much-maligned reputation as something to escape, rather than something to opt into.
It’s important to note, though, that the bowl cut did briefly leap from its original medieval utilitarianism into intense glamour, when it was regally sported by the legend Grace Coddington in an iconic 1965 photograph.
Now, it seems we have another legendary example of the style turned chic.
Céline Dion thrives on defying convention, on going her own way. She thinks about rules only so she understands how best she can flout them, like wearing a tux backwards, or telling the world she’s not “playing the boss” because she is the boss.
It should be noted that Céline’s hair is not your class-photograph hair, which is to say that it’s likely a wig, and can obviously be removed. (Unlike Timothée Chalamet, whose new hairdo for his leading role in “The King,” a medieval drama, can’t be as easily swapped out.)
If it isn’t a wig, though, and Céline Dion has actually chopped off her hair into a style so many revile, then it certainly further proves her icon status.
Céline Dion can, apparently, do anything.
She can even end bad-hair days.