Tuesday, January 29, 2002

Return of the mullets
By Andre Mouchard
The Orange County Register

Last Thursday, the Web site Milkandcookies.com celebrated “Mullet Day.” Nothing special about that. On the Net, every day is Mullet Day.

Photo Courtesy of KRT Campus
Actor David Spade, far right, checks out Alan Relf's hair while judging a “best mullet” contest at a Planet Hollywood last April. From left are contestants Rick Eads and William Vaughn.

The haircut dissed by some (not us) as the Canadian Passport or the Kentucky Waterfall or, well, Ugly Hair is more than a lamentable, 1980s-era fashion statement.

Online, it’s an obsession.

Hundreds of sites are devoted to mullet hair and the so-called mullet lifestyle. There are sites about mullet art (velvet is a key medium) and mullet poetry. Naturally, there are oodles of pictures of adults engaged in adult activities wearing little more than their “business in the front, party in the back” haircuts.

Mullet mania on the Net simply mirrors off-line mullet love.

“Go sit on a bench at Disneyland for an hour and just watch,” mullet-hunter Jim Muhic says. “They’re everywhere.”

Muhic, 31, who insists he never embraced his own inner mullet (“My friends all had ‘em. But not me. I swear,” he whines), owns a mullet calendar and has even snapped photos of those the world calls “the mulleted.”

The mullet:
A haircut short in front, long in back. Typically doesn’t cover ears but does cover the neck. Men, women and kids of all ages and races can wear mullets

Mullet Chic:
Last year, the mullet was so far out it was in. A few semiknown runway models went mullet. A couple of nonhit movies featured mullets. A documentary was out about the mulleted among us. Vogue magazine, the arbiter of such things, declared the mullet “chic.”

Except it wasn’t. Not here anyway.

© 2001 Colombia Pictures, Inc.

“Nobody ever asked us for one,” says Carlos Gallegos, a barber at Hank’s Barbershop in Orange, Calif. “People ask us for flat-tops and buzz cuts and just short hair. But no mullets.

History of mullets:
Mullets were rare before the early 1980s. Cro-Magnon man wore a mullet (if you trust the Smithsonian). The term “mullet” popped up in the 1967 film “Cool Hand Luke.” David Bowie, in Ziggy Stardust dress, was mulleted. Jane Fonda, in “Klute,” wore what some might call a proto-mullet. But the 1979 hit movie “Mad Max” — featuring a post-apocalyptic world dominated by mullets (and a few mohawks) — really kicked things off.

Soon, Rod Stewart, much of the American South, the Inland Empire and every human in Canada was mulleted. Country crooner Billy Ray Cyrus popularized the current version of the mullet in the early ‘90s. Cyrus reportedly is no longer mulleted.

Celebrity mullets:
Every major male actor who worked in the 1980s or ‘90s wore a mullet at least once.

Kevin Costner, Mel Gibson, Arnold, Tom Cruise. All of them. They’ll deny it, maybe even threaten to sue, but they’re lying. Current mullets include the guy who runs “Lord of the Dance” and, maybe, Kid Rock.

Mullet poetry:
“It’s not a trailer./ Angry mullet man insists./ Manufactured home.”

So reads a haiku about mullets. More are found on (kendalljones.com/haiku.html).


TCU Daily Skiff © 2002