The Wig Revolution: From Grannies to Baddies
Wigs, formerly a commodity found around Halloween costumes and Natalie Portman movies, are now becoming a force to be reckoned with both on the runway and off. Now, more than ever, we need to ask ourselves: what are the origins of wigs in the fashion world? When did they pop up? And why, oh why, are some of them so ungodly awful? It’s a question that has kept me up at night for years, y’all. Years. The first time I ever saw an awful wig was when I saw that one scene from the film version of A Chorus Line for the first time (and y’all know exactly which one I’m talking about). It was a wig that transcended all wigs. That’s not to say that there haven’t been some great ones in the past, though.
It’s important to note that the usage of everyday wigs originated in the African-American community, which is why when people like Kylie Jenner begun to wear them consistently during 2013, people’s heat towards her bland appropriation was justified. Kylie Jenner even went as far as to say she was the “inventor” of wigs. Like, the Nikola Tesla of wig-dom. She’s quoted as saying in Marie Claire’s May 2016 Fresh Faces issue: “I started wigs, and now everyone is wearing wigs. Kim just used my wig guy last night . . . I just do whatever I want to do, and people will follow.” I long for the day I can become the type of person who has a quote-unquote “wig guy.”
There have been some unfortunate wigs. Really, just truly blasphemous wigs. Wigs that probably have their own skeletal structure, TBH. Let’s not forget this Rihanna wig from 2014. She’s come back to the light side ever since ANTI, but I feel like we really let this one just brush right past us. We let these TERF bangs happen. We are all complicit. And that wig at the end of Thirteen Reasons Why? I legit thought that was supposed to be some type of funky, Diane Keaton-esque hat at first. I was so, so, so wrong about that one. Kate Mara’s Fantastic Four wig also feels like something I’d spend my allowance on at Claire’s in the fourth grade. In fact, every single wig in the Marvel universe is an absolute nightmare. I’m still shaking over what they did to Halle Berry all those years.
However, there are some wigs we need to discuss in a positive light (I guess, IDK). Gaga, if anyone, revolutionized the red-carpet wig with her bright-yellow dip dye. Her wig line was even VISIBLE on that 2010 Grammys red carpet, but you know what? She didn’t care. Gaga came to take home her trophy. Rihanna has even had some more fortunate-looking wigs of years past. But Sia holds the crown for best wig game, anytime, anywhere. Giant white hairpiece where people can’t see your face? Yes. Red lipstick? Yes. Black turtleneck? Yes. Sia has been serving looks ever since “Chandelier” and nobody wants to acknowledge it, but here I am, y’all.
Are wigs on their way out? It’s hard to say. But, like most things in the fashion world, a wig can make or break you. Whether you’re not too committed to dying your locks or maybe you want to shake up your routine, consider a wig. Just make sure you don’t go full Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain. That one broke my heart (and no, I’m not just talking about the story).