Discussion in 'Trek Literature' started by GaryH, Sep 25, 2020.
The replicator did her a lace front
It's not like it's unprecedented for Burnham to have an Important Haircut That Reflects Character. In the first three episodes, we saw her with a Vulcan bowl cut during her fostering, short, straight hair when she was the Shenzhou's first officer, and curly hair post-mutiny (and post-incarceration), which she more-or-less kept until she was stranded in the future, even after being restored to her prior rank. Even if you just want to write it off as a whim unworthy of being mentioned in prose, it is interesting that being separated from Discovery seems to have been the first time she gave any thought to her hair beyond a wash and a trim.
Yes, exactly. I always thought that was a nice subtle detail, that she started with the straightened, presumably Vulcan-influenced hair and then was back to a natural hairstyle after her prison term.
Sleepy Hollow did something vaguely similar with Nicole Beharie at one point. She'd had straightened hair for the first couple of seasons, but then her character was trapped in some demonic netherworld for some time and naturally didn't have access to hair care, so her hair was back to its natural curls when she came out, and she more or less kept them from then on, which I thought was an improvement.
Conversely, The Flash this past season has had Iris West trapped in the mirror dimension for over a month in-story, but her hair is still straight well after it should've started to revert to its natural curls. Which is surprising, because there'd been a news report early last season that Candice Patton was going to adopt a natural hairstyle at some point in the season. I would've thought it would be then, but they never followed through.
As if that's in any way important to anything...
Annnnnd we just circled back to the beginning of the conversation again.
Not every little detail, like a simple hair style change, needs to be questioned or explained.
In the case of Burnham's hair she changed it for the same reason other people do it. Because she simply felt like it. As for the change in length. She got whatever the 32nd century equivalent of hair extensions is.
But it can be, and sometimes you can get something interesting out of doing so. Like I said, I've gotten a lot of good ideas by looking at questions that everyone else before me dismissed as things that didn't "need" to be explained. Creativity is not about need; it's about possibilities. A wall doesn't need to have a mural on it, but it's nice if it does. A piece of paper doesn't need to be folded into an origami animal, but it's enjoyable to do it anyway.
But most of those were pretty big questions that a lot of people had probably thought about over the years, this is a minor easily explained thing that most people don't really care about enough to give more than a moment's thought.
And I'm not saying I want the whole book to be about it. I'm just saying it could be mentioned briefly. It would take a paragraph, or a couple of sentences. Really, you guys have blown this up into a far huger deal than I was. I made an offhand expression of minor curiosity and others made a federal case out of it. It's gotten ridiculous. And it's rather contradictory that so many people are expending so much effort on telling me that they don't think it's worth the effort.
I don't think someone who isn't a Black women should casually comment on the growth of a Black women's hair.
And why was he able to do that? Because the movie left it open to speculation. I bet many fanfic authors had had their own turn at that.
Una McCormack is likely to address Burnham's hair in the forthcoming "Wonderlands".
I thought I remembered Sonequa addressing the new look in an early Season Three interview.
Why is it so impossible? Perhaps in the future, you can be given something to make your hair grow faster. I can believe that because they can easily do stuff to disguise you as another race and unless you screw up, it's not detected. Hair length should be easy-peasy, that being the case.
Or else she has extensions, or a wig.
See Ryan’s comment.
So you're saying there's a reason for her new look that may not be immediately apparent to segments of the audience... which means we should ignore it.
I realize there's a third-rail element here that's giving many of us pause, but I think it's a little weird that everyone's tripping over themselves finding reasons to not bring up the hair like we're doing a 21st century adaptation of Fawlty Towers. It's too trivial, it was just vanity, it's too intimate to discuss and should be entirely hands-off. I mean, come on, this thread is right next to one with examples of cases where black characters were illustrated as white people on book covers because apparently someone in the chain didn't think that that was an important aspect to their character and they should just be presented with a "default" appearance. I'd hope we'd know better than to immediately back off from talking about anything specifically black for fear of causing offense and shaming anyone who does talk about it, because that's not a constructive behavior.
In fiction, appearance typically reflects character, costuming, hairstyle, makeup, what have you. It has applied to this character specifically, and does in this case, too (for all the issues I have with DSC, I don't think the creators are so utterly creatively incompetent that their only thought was "We need to show time has passed, let's change Michael's hair" and then picked her new style completely randomly without any thought as to which style they might change it to that would make sense for her character and context). And, you know what, it's an entirely fair avenue to explore why this happened during a story chronically the period in which it happened. It's an obvious, and obviously deliberate, change, from someone who had been, and then apparently lost interest in, using hair as a means of self-expression and social signaling.
Anything would've told us something, paired with a year time-jump. Keeping it as-is would tell us something, letting it grow out without maintenance would tell us something else. Like, Spock having shaggy hair and a beard in DSC season 2 told us something, and if he'd had a ZZ Top beard that went down to his belly button after a few months of isolation, it would probably bear some degree of scrutiny, despite the fact that it's been established you can make hair grow faster in the future, and tens of thousands of men wear fake beards every winter. I know that's a flip comparison, but taking something seriously doesn't mean ignoring it if you're not confident about how to be respectful about it, something I've learned the hard way time and again. From the outside, it doesn't look like you're keeping a respectful distance, it looks like you don't care.
So, I suppose it's appropriate that the thread is devolving into a ridiculous muddle of "Michael's hair is too frivolous to talk about at all, how dare you care about such a petty thing so much?" and "Michael's hair is too important to talk about at all, how dare you bring up such an intimate thing so flippantly?"
He's saying that it's a mythologized and culturally sensitive subject and it's very easy to teeter into it being unintentionally racist.
And there's nothing unintentionally racist about just putting a big DO NOT DISCUSS sign up with regards to it? "I don't see color... or black women's hair, because sometimes they get upset when people talk about it and I can't understand and/or explain why, so let's all just pretend it doesn't exist at all."
One can use that line of reasoning to justify discussing anything culturally offensive.
I'm merely pointing out that there are topics which can seem to be totally innocent to outsiders which are in fact culturally sensitive subjects that very easily teeter into unintentionally offensive dialog.
It's a fantasy future where they can turn you into a breakfast cereal (Tuvik!) and back by the last commercial, and somehow the fact that a future person's hair might grow somehow faster than people's today is a topic? Really?
Why does it matter that her hair is longer? It shows the passage of time, we just assume she grew it out not every single detail needs to be explained to us in perfect detail. It’s a series about people in space not a detailed biography.
We don’t need a book to mention that Burnham bought some weave so we can add that to the Memory Alpha article. Obsessing over this because some people think that every single human’s hair grows an exact amount in a year and any deviation from this must be explained is absolutely bonkers. I don’t get why they can’t wrap their heads around the concept of hair extensions or it just grows faster than the average.
I propose we focus on what's really important :-), namely: why has the logo been changed? Our book collections will look inconsistent now...
Then again, yes, the other series have gone quite a few logo changes, so maybe I'm wrong. Still, I liked the old logo very much.
(Sidenote: my copy of DV is a few mms higher than LBH, it's infuriating! ;-))
The real question is who is her stylist. That salon could make a better series than DS9.
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