This article originally appeared on VICE Spain
Few haircuts today are as controversial as the mullet. The "business in the front, party in the back" cut reached the peak of its popularity in the rock and punk scenes of the 1970s and 80s. But these days, it's not as widely accepted to decide to keep the front of your cut short, while having long tufts of hair gently caress your nape at the same time.
There are, however, some signs that the hairstyle is making a global resurgence, especially in more fashionable circles and the queer community. In anticipation of the mullet's full return to the mainstream, I spoke to a few mullet enthusiasts to find out what they love about the hairstyle, how people respond to it, and whether they think it'll ever make a lasting comeback.
Ricardo León, 24, Student
VICE: Tell me, Ricardo, why do you have a mullet?
Ricardo: Because I like the style, and I love the 80s.
What does the mullet mean to you?
Not much, really. It’s just a haircut like any other. It’s not like I suddenly feel free and accomplished every time I feel a mop of hair touch the back of my neck.
How do you feel about the fact that many people find mullets ridiculous?
I think it's a shame that so many people have such a negative reaction to mullets. I've had people abuse me to my face, while others just stare or laugh at me behind my back. All this has made me realise just how judgemental people can be. And it doesn’t matter what I am wearing, what I say or how I act – I'll always be a thug to some people. Outside of Spain, though, people say I look like Pablo Escobar.
Angela Huete, 21, Stylist
VICE: Hi Angela, is there a specific reason you decided to get a mullet?
Angela: To be honest, no, not really. It wasn’t something I really carefully thought through.
Do you think it affects how people see you?
It depends on the situation. The haircut can make you look sexy, but as soon as you pop on some trackies, you look like a 12-year-old thug.
Do you think mullets make you seem more masculine or feminine?
Gender is a concept that doesn’t really exist anymore, but if we go by the traditional idea that girls have long hair and boys have short hair, then, from behind, you could be a woman, and from the front, a man.
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Alverd Gual-Cibera, 26, Musician
VICE: Do you think most people with mullets sport them ironically?
Alverd: Well, I think I fall into that category. I find this sort of cultural re-appropriation very interesting, especially as a kind of empowerment. It's also a form of radicalism – a way for me to capture my punk side. Also, I like how it represents a blurring of gender lines – that suits me perfectly.
Do people respond to you differently because of your hair?
Yes, I have had to deal with people questioning whether I'm deliberately trying to look like a woman. The same thing happens to girls with mullets because, traditionally, for girls it's seen as a masculine haircut.
Does it bother you that people think that?
It's just stupid stereotypes. I must say, I know I've been responsible for the fact that some people have changed their perceptions of the haircut and the stereotypes that go along with it, and that feels good.
Ahida Agirre, 29, Fashion designer
VICE: Hey Ahida, how did you end up with a mullet?
Ahida: One day, I just decided to completely change my look, so I picked this.
Do you think it's time for society to change its perception of the mullet?
Yes, totally. Historically, mullets have been worn by both men and women from different cultural movements, and it's good to see more and more young people taking ownership of it. You'll actually find lot of kids in Spain with mullets, especially in Bilbao.
Yeah, the mullet is tentatively coming back in style – do you think it breaks with traditional perceptions of beauty?
Yes, I love the way mullets play with gender norms, so I'd be very happy to see it come back for good, and not just as a trend. I get bored of trends very quickly, to be honest – I prefer things that stick around.