Skinbyrd Librarian

My wife Michelle has been taking part in various stunts as part of the library’s youth summer reading program. As reading incentives, the youth staff has worn prison jumpsuits for a couple of weeks, worn color-coordinated clothes, and even dyed their hair. Michelle went for a very complimentary purple. And then, a couple of weeks ago, she and her supervisor took the next step, and had their heads shaved in front of a whole gaggle of thrilled children. More pics here.

Oh, the kids loved the spectacle! A few even sported colorful hair themselves. I had a lot of fun shearing Michelle and hamming it up for the children, some of whom looked especially horrified by the whole event. Now my wife sports a very cute chelsea cut (shaved back, but with the bangs intact), which is very close to how she looked when I first met her almost nine years ago.

Here is a video that Tampa Bay’s Fox News aired– you’ll see Michelle towards the end.

Being the infinitely curious near-librarian that she is, Michelle did some research on skinheads and skinbyrds (women with shaved heads/chelsea cuts), and explained to me that, as a cultural phenomenon, skinheads had no original affiliation with racist or hate groups, but rather grew out of the 1960s British Mod scene, eschewing middle-class affectations and reveling in their working-class roots.

Some time later, scene splintering led to the adoption of the skinhead look by racist groups, and since then mainstream media has followed a tendency to equate skinheads with racists, even though these make up a small portion of all skinheads. In fact, there are very prominent anti-racist and anti-extremist skinhead groups who fight against this stereotype. Oi!


~ by plastron on July 11, 2008.

One Response to “Skinbyrd Librarian”

  1. We just had Wacky Hair Day at our library, but nothing as crazy as this! I applaud this library (and librarian) for going to such steps to encourage reading! I don’t think I’d be as brave. Way to go!

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