Sunday, October 12, 2008

(Overheard) BANG, BANG, You're A Whole Different Person aka The Bang Debate 08

WELL i'm living the questions, again. I'm genuinely TORN about cutting my hair into bangs. it haunts me like Casper the Angry Drag Queen Stylist ghost. this has been a source of anxiety and deep reflection lo these long adult years. and so, here it comes again. the bang sudden death quandary. and as usual, I'm taking a poll. because when bangs go wrong, I'm instantly rendered a LAUGHINGSTOCK for the foreseeable future. I'm not strong enough for this.

so, i think maybe y'all should look at my FACEBOOK PHOTO ALBUM (it's on the left side, once you register, free, on facebook. You have to register just to SEE EVERYONE ON FACEBOOK. but you don't have to have A FACEBOOK yourself.) you can see all Jon Engdahl's guerrilla mosaic street art while you consider the Bang question.

anywho. look at the more recent pics with my bangs LONG and then look at the others w/ bangs short, and then tell me. plus my hair's longer now. won't bangs look weird w/ long hair? kind of like Meatloaf? I CANNOT MAKE A SIMPLE DECISION. this is why I'm staying home tonight and watching books.

October 10, 2008 6:51 PM

polly kahl said...
Hi Suzanne, to me the question is what look you want to go for. The longer bangs (Facebook version) is softer while the shorter blunt bangs are more sophisticated and distinctive looking. I personally like the shorter bangs because to me they are part of what makes you unique. Even though we've never met I might actually recognize you on the street with the shorter bangs, whereas with the longer bangs you look like lots of other people. Plus I think the shorter bangs are kind of sexy. So I vote for the short and sassy Suzanne, and I hope you'll post before and after pix when you decide.

October 10, 2008 9:23 PM

lindac said...
I think you are beautiful either way, but I agree with Polly. But, you are right, you may need to cut some of the length for the short bangs to work like they do in your other photos. You have such lovely and piercing eyes, I think the short bangs frames them in a way the longer hair just doesn't. But, I am a fashion moron, I have no fashion sense at all - so I think you should do whatever feels right for you. After all, you are the one who is going to be looking back in the mirror.

October 11, 2008 10:59 AM

DAMN. bangs are just a MASSIVE decision. i thank you both for your thoughtful and ridiculously complimentary posts. I'm still in a twist about it. I'll prawly take my good scissors to them and just cut a LITTLE BIT off. so i can see. then of course they will be crooked, and i will even them out, more and more, until i look like Friar Tuck. history bears this out: i go all CHARLES MANSON on my bangs, every few months. it's an Issue.

Polly Kahl said...
There are some fun software's which allow you to upload a picture of your face and put all kinds of different hairstyles on it. I think some are probably free online but if not let me know and I'll send you my disk. I'm doing nothing but growing my hair out for at least the next year. It's my last hurrah before I'm so old that it looks completely ridiculous. (Right now it only looks partially ridiculous. In another year it will probably qualify as completely.)

OCTOBER 11, 2008 8:54 PM
oh yes! I've seen those,. ill try googling a link to one of those on site hair experiments pages. thanks.

although, my friend Mad Augusten Burroughs weighed in on NO bangs. Augusten said that "bangs are SO 90's..."
besides,i DO like hiding one eye behind my hair, sometimes. it feels safe there.

OCTOBER 11, 2008 11:09 PM
Polly Kahl said...
That's true, bangs are so 90s, but we're not talking mall bangs here. Mall bangs are 90s but Bettie Page bangs are timeless. Here's one with long hair and short bangs that's kind of sweet.

I demand before and after pictures.

Caryl sent you a message.
Re: profile

Saw the pics. Here is the verdict.

soft and feminine, longer bangs that sweep to the side to do this you part your hair in the middle. and
when drying the bangs, sweep them to one side, but just the bangs. DO NOT part
your hair on the side.

sexy and sassy, darker hair with short bangs straight across. This is best
done with botox. not for you in particular, but all women of a certain age who
want to pull off short bangs. I know I will probably be kicked out of the club
for saying that, but you can be smart and vain, and still be deep and human.

Please don't underestimate the hair parted in the middle, this came from a very
important stylist who is in the "business" and it is absolutely true.

OCTOBER 12, 2008 7:42 AM




SUCH A MAGIC, MAGIC TIME TO BE ALIVE. all the bangs you can choose from,in fact all the VARIATIONS OF ALL HAIR STYLES, in current and classic shots, celebrity and real people who look like supermodel photographs, not old stock photos or line drawings -- all on one website, it's just HEARTBREAKING and RIGHT.

i feel like when Princess Ariel sang "A WHOLE NEW WORLD" on The Little Mermaid, when she got to grow legs. and yes, i do cry at Disney movies. in fact, ten minutes into Beauty And The Beast, I had COMPLETELY FORGOTTEN i was watching an "animated feature film."


lindac said...

Well, you did not say before that Haven and Augusten had voted for no bangs. They actually know you and love you and would not steer you wrong. Ack! Now I don't know what to do. I mean, I know and love you but only through the air waves or computer waves or whatever the hell makes this thing work. I have never seen you all in one piece in the flesh. I need a trip to California before my vote counts.

Oh, I just realized I never really gave one actualy answer. ha. I am such a wimp but I can't gamble with your lovely head.

Jodi said...


I am 30 pages into "Split." I have been where you were, when my New York City musician starter-marriage husband walked in one day and said, "I'm leaving. You clean up the mess." That was October, 1992. So much of what you did, I did, too. (Except for the child. We did not have a child. I have no children. It is my greatest gift to the Cosmos, and to me. But I digress.) All the cocktail napkins, quiet phone calls to "nobody," him choosing to sleep on the sofa for a YEAR before he left ... like you, I blamed myself, I wondered what I did, I was an idiot and overlooked every crime he committed against me, and my good good friends did not have me institutionalized.

I can tell you that, if the same were to happen again but with me having the knowledge I gained over the past fifteen years, I would draw the X-Acto knife you mention on page 230 with a steady hand across his throat, calmly drop it on the floor, and eat an entire box of Hostess Ho-Ho's while I watched him bleed to death. Not that I'm bitter now. I have a better, a perfect husband, one who has taught me the meaning of trust and fidelity. I barely think of B, and when I do, I see his place in the tapestry of my life. He was my "ticket" to The Next Phase, and although he ended our relationship, it was the kindest thing he did for me. Ring down the curtain, enjoy the intermission, come back refreshed for the second act.

Great book, Suzanne. It cost you a lot, but don't you find that it's priceless wisdom you gained? That you would never allow yourself to be duped again? I do. I'm going to keep reading. I'll be back with more thoughts, because your book is having that effect on me.

Jodi said...


Jodi again. Hey, about the bangs. Have you cut them since you posted the blog? Don't cut them short like in your avatar photo -- that gives you the Mamie Eisenhower look, and you don't want that. Don't do the Betty Paige thing, with the curl in the bangs. Nononono. Too cutsey. You're not cutesy, my friend. Neither are you 24 years old. (I know it stings, but it's true. Get over yourself -- I'm 49. I know what I'm talking about.) Your look is dynamic, arresting, smoky, provocative. But Not Cute.

Cut your bangs long, long like the blonde with the pink heart over her eye at the top of your blog.

Most of all, GET OVER THE ISSUE. It's just hair. It grows. If you called five of your friends who have seen you in the past week, and asked them to describe your hair as they last saw it, they'd be hardpressed to tell you what they saw.

I'm a woman who has lost her hair during chemotherapy. That was twelve years ago. I worried, I tried to keep it, I cried, I wasted a lot of time about it. Today, if I had to face the same issue, I would get an electric clipper, have my husband shave the damned stuff off, pull on a hat and take a walk. It's like the marriage. You live, you learn, YOU KEEP LIVING.

I'm a very forthright person, and it takes one (you) not to be put off by one (in this case, me.) I mean all this in the kindest, most concerned way, you know.

We really need to get together for a day of Marlene Dietrich movies. I own them all. Well, up to the color movies of the 1950's, when she became a drag queen and I couldn't watch anymore. We should begin with MOROCCO, then watch DISHONORED (god, I love her in that), SHANGHAI EXPRESS, BLONDE VENUS(love that jungle scene in the club), THE DEVIL IS A WOMAN, DESIRE (the film that inspired me to collect powder compacts), and then we'll stop because she starts making westerns with Jimmy Stewart and that's a travesty. Oh, and SEVEN SINNERS. With John Wayne.

Jodi said...

Dear Suzanne, you were So NICE to your mother-in-law and ex- in "Split." Do you find it amazing that you ALLOWED these people to belittle and berate you? If you'd observed the very conversations you describe taking place between two people, with you as an onlooker ... you'd have to intervene, wouldn't you? I would. I'd be feigning death, or hitting either of them upside the head to induce consciousness. But I did the very thing you did when I went through a divorce. WHO WERE THOSE SUBSERVIENT WOMEN? They're gone now, and good riddance.

Oh!Oh! Where N calls from New York to whine, and you apologize for the weather he's experiencing. How true. How embarrassing. How often I did it.

Just because I LOVE this sentence: "Much like the trains in India, grief is a circular, irrational process with no discernible rhythm or timetable. Her it comes, there it goes." Lovely, picturesque, worthy of memorization.

As I say about many things I have lived through -- including my first marriage -- I'm not sorry I did it. I'm just glad it's over.

Great, true, enjoyable writing, Ms. Finnamore. Thank you.

Jerri said...

After the disaster that was my last comment, I hesitate to type again, but....oh hell, I've never been one to keep my mouth shut or my fingers off the keyboard.

You're a lovely woman. Beyond that, you have what so few (even lovely) women do, and that's a style of your own.

To bang or not to bang is a very big question. Can you post any of the images you generated with the bang-trying-on machine? Would be great fun to see.

Polly Kahl said...

I still vote for the bangs as shown in the link I sent you, but on the other hand Jodi's wisdom is worth listening to. Sometimes it takes a cancer survivor to bring it into perspective. The last time I cut my hair was about five years ago when a 36 yr old friend was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer after her baseline mammogram. She lost every single hair on her body during chemo, and I cut my hair and donated it to Locks of Love. Without a dash of hesitation, despite the fact that I've always been hair-obsessed. I like the bangs and see them as your timeless trademark, but no matter what you decide there are two absolutes. 1) You are an attractive woman with a good sense of style and you're going to look attractive either way, and 2) It's only hair, and if you hate it, it will grow back.

carrie said...

If only the link Polly sent survived -- I am desperate to see that site!

I'm one of those who loves your look in your avatar. To me it says Chanel, not Mamie. Chic, sexy, smokey. I do think short bangs are best with cropped hair. With longer hair, I like no bangs on myself but with eyes like yours, I don't know. I'd want to frame them appropriately. (Also, long hair works best when you have buckets o' hair in top condition, as you appear to.)

Plus, you could always segue over into wig culture.

That said, you have exquisite style, and whatever you decide I know will express your essence perfectly.


CARRIE: the link Polly sent me did survive! it's just below the headline on this blog post!

JODI: so many good points you make. mostly, that subservient woman is gone, never to return. i learned that no one respects a doormat, least of all the doormat. it WAS all worth it. glad to hear your 2nd H is a keeper. i do believe in love, again. it took some time. and yes my GOD i know the bangs issue is so paltry! i hope nobody thinks that all i think about is my hair. although i do notice that i can spend lots of time discussing hair, as can many other people i know.'s like safe gossip. oh,and augusten DELIGHTS in reminding me that i'm not 24 any more, whenever i get frothy about any topic re: men or appearances...i am keenly aware of not being 24, and i also recall that at 24 i was more insecure and whack than i am now. so i'm cool, and i am aware of not humiliating myself by wearing tube tops, short shorts, or tie dye tank tops, etc. i think everyone has their own style, and that beauty comes from within. right onto all that, oh and "Happiness is a woman;s best cosmetic" Rosilind Russell.



ps to JODI

oh i wasn't all that nice to my m-in-law or my ex. trust me. LOTS O RAGE that got left on the editing floor. i think the ANGER chapter spells that fact, i left out many, many things out of respect for our son and my ex's privacy. i once said 'goodbye' to him after a visitation w/ our son by running onto the driveway and screaming "I HOPE YOU'RE HAPPY NOW THAT YOU LEFT YOUR FAMILY FOR A WHORE!! DRIVE SAFELY, YOU PIECE OF SHIT!!!" at the top of my lungs. in a quiet neighborhood. god bless my neighbors, they just turned the other cheek. years later, they ALL read Split and said how much they enjoyed it. wonderful folk....

Jim said...

Here's my two cents (for exactly what that's worth) with the "Great Bang Debate." Bangs = Glam Goddess, no bangs = Earth Goddess. Which one are you feeling, Suzanne?

Jim, via Haven's Place


well, christ, jim. i want to be all things to all people. this leads me to suspect that long bangs are the way to go. that makes my bangs a lame duck, which is the way of all powerless fools. i am essentially foolish and wield no power in the world, and this is by DESIGN. i'm lazy as a busted drum. therefore my bangs should be as halfassed as my domestic policy. they should be bangs-but-not. this can go on forever,because any real woman can see through her bangs, even if they cover her face in a high wind on the freeway. in fact, i suspect i want to grow my bangs out to cover my face in a sexy, windblown way, instead of in a shame-based, oppressed-people way. so i stand down on the issue,knowing myself a vain dunce and a charlatan. viola! "bang bang, i'm not dead!" no, only wounded by a father who made fun of my looks daily. therefore no matter what i do to my hair, i will always be one card shy of a deck. s'okay. i compensate like a house on fire. xo sfc

Jim said...

Hell yeah! to the "in a sexy, windblown way"! Make it smokin' hot the way you peer through 'em. :)

Jim said...

And I had a mother who would make fun of my looks when I was a young teen... "Look at those chicken legs." Actually, she's not winning mother of the year. Is there a common denominator with artistic people having screwed up childhoods?

Polly Kahl said...

To answer Jim's question in a word, Yes!

Suzanne, the link isn't working. All we see is a box with an X in it. If readers want to open it in its present state, right click on the little "x" and open the image that way. It really does show coolio bangs, I promise.

George said...

I think the bangs are cute -- but, and I will just say this out loud -- you are knock-out drop-dead gorgeous and the bangs will call too much attention to themselves and not the whole program.

That's one man's opinion.


GEORGE WINS! GEORGE WINS! because george told me exactly what I wanted to hear. and because, well, he's george.

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I think on you, the really short bangs are darling. DARLING!

George said...

I win? Great news...all I had to do is appeal to your vanity -- a skill I have learned after two marriages totaling 30 years of my life! Is there a prize involved.


the prize, george, is that you get to stay alive.

George said...'re killing me!


GEORGE: i am not killing you. you would know it if i were. but this DOES remind me of a twisted piece i wrote called 101 WAYS TO KILL A SQUIRREL...looking for it post willbe,literally, a killer.