[Hey, that’s me] Scissors and locks
by Guest Beanie
By night owl
I am not a forgotten rock star with a bad hairstyle. I am not a man in his 40s hoping to re-capture his youth when he was a popular star and gave it all up to chase a woman. I don’t play the guitar or have much interest in music. I actually found the character in Laurel Tree Tailors really annoying and would groan every time he would sing his song. So why did I connect with Sung Tae-pyung and say to myself “Hey, thats me!”?
It was all because of a haircut.
It’s a rite of passage for a character in dramaland to get a haircut when there is a life change. Unlike most new hair styles, which usually happen off-screen, we got to see Tae-pyung walk into a salon to get his hair cut. It was a pivotal moment in his arc. He had fallen in love and now had to prove to his girlfriend’s family that he could be financially responsible. He wrangled a gig to sing trot music to ajummas and ajusshis, but the manager of the bar told him to get a haircut so that he would look more the part. Reluctantly, Tae-pyung sat down in the salon chair.
As his future stepdaughter (a budding hair stylist) started snipping away the locks he’d had since his debut, he was aware that he was letting go of his former glory years. The success and failure, his love for rock music and his hopes for a comeback. He had to look to the future, and while the genre of music may not be glamorous, trot could pay the bills with a regular gigs and paychecks. So it was time to let go of those locks. He teared up as his hair was cut but held it in. It was a bittersweet moment and it made me cry.
For well over a year, I had debated chopping off my hair. The weight of my thick, wavy-curly hair was adding to the pain during migraines. Yet I hesitated cutting off the locks that had taken me a few years to grow.
The salon I would visit was also known for its bridal make-up. So during my regular visits, I would flip through the book where they had pictures of traditional brides with different hairstyles and makeup. All those glamorous traditional styles required a good length of hair and a zillion accessories. The salon regularly updated this book and so it was fun to browse. During wedding seasons, I would peek at what the stylist did on the bride of the day as I waited for my appointment or got a pedicure.
I was going on traditional blind dates and was hoping that something might click. The romantic part of me wanted one of those glamorous styles at my own wedding, whenever that was. It feels silly to admit it, but I did. However, it seemed romance was not on the cards for me and a haircut felt like I was admitting that I had failed and had no romantic hope. It was crushing.
It took many months, but I finally came to peace that I was okay with being single. I was not averse to romance or a wedding but whenever it happened, it would be fine if I didn’t have one of those hairstyles like in the book. So as a new year dawned, I made my resolution to get a haircut.
My usual salon was actually closed that day and so I walked into another before I lost my nerve. The stylist was taken aback when I asked her to chop so much. Like with Tae-pyung, she asked if I was sure; I was. However, as she chopped, there were a few moments when I got emotional as I could feel myself letting go of old dreams and embracing the new unknown.
Like Tae-pyung, a few tears escaped but I largely held it in. I chopped off a little over 16 inches in one go that day. With curls framing my face just below my ear, my current hairstyle (a graduated bob) suits my face more. People see it as a reflection of my style and character and are amused to discover it was actually a health choice.
While I had absolutely nothing in common with the character of Tae-pyung, the haircut scene reminded me of the mixed emotions I had experienced during my own hair chop some months earlier. It made me watch his arc closely and feel the joy when he went on to become successful in his new career as a trot singer. It made me cheer for him as he also found his personal happiness with his wife and stepdaughter.
Sometimes, all it takes for a character to go from annoying to interesting is a small moment when you can say “Hey, that’s me!”
- [Hey, that’s me] The mouse in the sharehouse
- [Theme of the Month] Hey, that’s me
- [Theme of the Month] Villains
- [Theme of the Month] K-dramas and community
- [Theme of the Month] Dramas and food
- [Theme of the Month] Short but sweet
- [Theme of the Month] Adaptations
- [Theme of the Month] Happily never after
Tags: Theme of the Month