Tallulah Willis Is The New Poster Girl For ‘Short Hair, Don’t Care’

But why the backlash? And why are we still so weird about women with short hair?


by Zing Tsjeng |
Published on

This week, Tallulah Willis took her cues from her GI Jane mum and shaved her head, posting an Instagram video of her DIY buzz cut. The 23-year-old celeb scion (I mean this in the best possible way, because being Bruce Willis and Demi Moore’s kid is pretty damn awesome) obviously looks great. After all, Next did snap her up for their modelling books earlier this year. But less impressive are the comments made about her new look.

‘The rehab chicks usually go for the head shave,’ sneered one gossip blog, referring to Tallulah’s recent stint to tackle drug and alcohol addiction. Even #FreeTheNipple campaigner Scout Willis felt compelled to jump in and defend her sister, reposting one fan’s praise for Tallulah’s haircut.


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‘People either hate bad chicks for natural hair growth or because they shaved their hair off,’ she retweeted. ‘I just find it extremely weird that you get bashed for either having hair, or not having hair.’

But online haters aside, Tallulah looks like she’s never been happier, Sinead O’Connor memes and all. And as someone who once had a partial buzz cut (read: undercut gone wrong), I totally get it: there’s something totally liberating about cutting it all off and starting again. The biggest problem? Other people.

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Having super-short hair is the follicular equivalent of a short skirt: suddenly, everybody feels entitled (wrongly) to comment on your appearance. It wasn’t just drunk uni lads in clubs inquiring about my sexual preference, girls would give my hair the covert side-eye, too.

Worse, they’d patronisingly commend the bravery involved in chopping it all off, cooing that they could never ever work up the nerve to do the same. Newsflash: it’s just hair! It grows back.

Alice, 24, dealt with her fair share of odd looks and double takes when she shaved her head for charity this summer. ‘One time I was on the tube with two drunk guys,’ she says. ‘One was like, “Oh my god, that girl has no hair.” The other turned to him and said, ‘Yeah, bet she never gets laid.”’


But while I’ve ended up growing my hair out, Alice’s buzz cut proved to be a sartorial turning point. ‘I’m a big fan of short hair now,’ she says. ‘I think every girl should try it once, especially girls who are very body-conscious. It’s made me lose any of my stupid hang-ups. Now when I get spots, I think, “Well, I had these spots when I had no hair to even distract from them, and nobody even looked at me funny.”’

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Hair can be a source of unbridled anxiety for women and men alike: do you have enough of it? Are you losing it? Are you going grey? Have you fried it with home bleach kits? Every girl has probably had a hair day so unalterably bad that it ruined her mood, which is why so many of us – myself now included – like to play it safe with longer hair. But Alice says that choosing to get rid of her hair entirely freed her from all that baggage.

‘I was always like, “Mmm, is short hair that liberating, though?’” she explains. ‘But it really is. I was so worried people would say, “Oh my god, why have you done this?” But that didn’t happen!’

So the world didn’t end? ‘Well, if something happened and I lost all my hair, now I know I can pull it off,’ she laughs. ‘That’s a nice thought.’

Between this and Tallulah, it’s enough to make me pick up the electric clippers. Well, maybe not quite – I’m not sure I can pull off the army look as well as Demi Moore does.

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Follow Zing on Twitter @misszing

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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