Back in June, Mila Kunis shocked the world when she cut her signature long locks into a shoulder-length bob, and earlier this week, the Bad Moms actress debuted an even shorter crop, courtesy of celebrity hairstylist Renato Campora. The internet has since been abuzz with headlines that read, “Mila Kunis Debuts a Cool-Mom Bob” and “Mila Kunis’s New Mom Bob Is So Chic and Doable.” What exactly is a mom bob? And is it the haircut only reserved for women who have given birth?
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The term “mom haircut” has long been used, similarly to “dad bod,” as physical sign of giving up on your appearance once you have kids. It has the reputation of being frumpy and unkept, and somehow this short hairstyle has the ability to mark mothers as uncool.
“The first thing new moms want to do is cut their hair off. They’re feeling lousy about their bodies, and they just want to get some sense of self again. But, usually, to cut off your hair is a big mistake.” Juan Carlos Maciques, a stylist at the Rita Hazan salon in Manhattan, told The Cut last year, later adding, “When you go short, you are more exposed. There’s less, literally, to hide behind.”
Where do I even start? Not all women feel lousy about their bodies after giving birth. In fact, many new moms are proud of their postpartum bodies and their incredible ability to bring a human being into this world. Secondly, what exactly should new moms be hiding from behind all that long hair? Societal standards of what women should look like post-pregnancy?
I think it’s time that we, as women, stop describing other women with such terms. Cutting off your hair after giving birth does not make you uncool or lazy. As someone who has rocked a bob (sans baby), let me assure you that shorter styles are, in fact, the opposite. They require more maintenance and styling time if you want to look halfway decent.
When your hair is long, you have the option to throw it up in a messy bun, braid it back, or tie it up in a ponytail when dropping off your kids at school, squeezing in a trip to grocery store, and, if you’re lucky, making it to the gym before racing back to pick up your kids from school.
So, please, stop referring to Mila Kunis’s (or your neighbor’s for that matter) short new look as a “mom haircut.” Mothers deserve, at the very least, to wear whatever hairstyle they feel comfortable and confident in.