The last time I tried to grow my bangs out, I was in middle school. The feat proved nearly impossible – a combination of a low forehead, a widow’s peak, and thick hair I inherited from my mother’s side of the family made it so that my tresses would always fall into my face, obstructing my field of vision and causing me to bang my shins on many a coffee table. Now in adulthood, my best friend will often say to me, “I’m sure your styling techniques have improved at some point in the past decade, so why don’t you try growing out your bangs again?” I tell her that I just can’t be bothered, that I have better things to worry about than my hairstyle. This is a lie. In truth, my bangs have been something of a trademark – my gift, my curse, my raison d’être. I do not tell her this because then she’ll think I’m cuckoo, and I depend on her to let me know about all the cool parties.
Aside from those few failed attempts I had trying to grow it out, I’ve had my fringe for pretty much as long as I can remember. I wore them long and blunt as a little kid, side-swept at my senior prom, and bordering on Bettie-Page-short last summer. Every few months I’ll become extremely agitated at the way they are styled, and with a couple of snips I’ll make them jagged-er, or smoother, or whatever else suits my fancy at the moment. I do believe there still remain some stray locks of mine on the floors of the WORN offices from when my bangs weren’t staying in place during a photo shoot.
They do have their practical purposes, for what it’s worth. For one, having my forehead covered at all times helped hide those inevitable breakouts during the high school years. I feel better when I can convince myself that the difference in pennies I’ve saved in buying cover-up is totally on par with the cash dropped on headbands, gel, and bobby pins, all in vain attempts to keep my bangs from sticking straight up. Other benefits have also arisen: most recently, I had a guy approach me at a club, exclaiming, “your bangs are awesome! They’re so short and it looks like you can’t control them!” I didn’t know how to take that until he asked for my number (tragically, it didn’t work out, but at the very least it was a nice boost to my ever-growing ego). They’re also convenient to hide behind when I don’t feel like dealing with the rest of the world, a bit like Violet Parr from The Incredibles. I’m not the only Wornette with a fringe – in fact, I’m pretty sure those with currently outnumber those without. As you can see from those incredibly flattering pictures above, mine are probably due for a trim – but only a little one.
- Anna Fitz