I brought this up with Ciara Knight who runs an amazing blog, and yes, I am an odd duck that thinks of these things. Oh and I may have been influenced from having just watched Tangled as well (and the subliminal messages pushed by Disney).
Basically, I just want to know what's up? Why is long hair draping the heads of all of your books? Why do all of your female protagonists have long hair?
Exhibit A--Please turn your eyes to the anecdotal evidence I have gathered to support my hypothesis:
Now, I just want to dismiss the idea that I'm making a blanket generalization. I know that the percentage of young adult books that feature girls with long hair is not 100%. Ciara Knight has already told me in a comment that her protagonist has short hair. But the percentage is high. I'm going to say maybe 95%.
So what's up with hair? Why? One of my best friends is Meg. I asked her if I could post a picture of her and she agreed for this post that it would be okay. So here she is at left.
Notice how short her hair is. I think that Meg is a beautiful woman. So I guess my question is this. What kind of message are all of you young adult authors out there peddling in your book? Is it that young ladies need to have long hair? If so...why?
Is it beauty? Does having short hair make you less attractive to men? I for one have plenty of guy friends and they never point out a girl's hair as the thing they are attracted to. It's always the "rack" or "butt" or body type. So, am I just not getting something here?
Amanda Hocking goes really far with hair. Her book Switched has pages devoted to hair care products, she refers to her character's hair all the time, calls it an unmanageable frizz and a tangled mess and whatnot. She even says that her hair makes her ugly. Like WTF?! Really?
And then there's the young adult movie Tangled by Walt Disney. Rapunzel loses all of her magical power and becomes normal when her hair is cut. It also goes from sunny gold to dark brown. However, I still find the new Rapunzel attractive for a cartoon. But having her hair cut also freed her from the evil witch that dominated her life. So is this a message? If you cut your hair you lose your power but you also set yourself free.
So discuss please. Let me know your opinions on hair. I'm interested and want to know. And please tell me if you are writing a young adult novel with a protagonist that has short hair. I would like to know why you made that choice seeing as the market is awash with long-haired ladies.