A Disturbing Trend

Last week in tap class, my teacher stopped randomly in the middle of warm-up and told us she had to tell us about some things she’d seen. Disturbing things. Things nobody should have to see in this day and age.


Everyone gasped in horror when she said the word. We shook our heads in disbelief when she told us she’d seen this appalling hairstyle not once, but twice in recent weeks. Others stepped forward and admitted that they, too, had seen a mullet or two around town. This was not, it appeared, a single sighting that could be written off as an isolated incident. No, unfortunately, this looks to be the beginning of a trend.

Take a deep breath. Step away from the computer for a minute if you need to. I know this is very upsetting news. Take all the time you need to pull yourself together.

Better? Okay, let’s continue.

I am sad to say that I’m not terribly surprised by this. When I studied abroad in Spain back in 2004, I noticed the trend there. Mullets were everywhere. I saw every variation of mullet imaginable — dread-lock mullets, multi-colored mullets, curly, straight, crimped — in those 6 weeks in Barcelona I saw more business-in-front, party-in-back than I ever cared to.

It wasn’t just mullets, either. The entire 80s decade seemed to be back in full force in Spain. My friends and I would go shopping, excited to take advantage of the big summer sales, and walk away from the shops completely mystified by what we’d seen. Leggings. Plastic bangles. Hot colors. Shoulder pads. I even saw — I kid you not — an entire display of those plastic rings that we used to use to tie our oversized T-shirts off to the side. It was . . . unsettling.

Those 80s trends were sneaky, too. You’d be shopping, innocently admiring some unusual-yet-vaguely-familiar thing, trying to decide whether it was cute enough to try on. You’d pick it up, turn it over in your hand once or twice. And then you’d realize where that vaguely familiar feeling was coming from and recoil in shock. You’d seen this exact fashion piece before — in pictures of yourself from 3rd grade. The type of pictures that are so hideous and embarrassing your parents threaten to bring them out on prom night. Immediately upon realizing this, you’d drop whatever hideous 80s trend you were holding, refusing to admit that you everĀ  considered trying it on, and exit the store as quickly as possible.

It was not good. I know I’ve never been a very fashion-forward person, but I do know enough about trends to know that what is trendy in Europe is very likely to make its way over to the states at some point. I sent postcards home to my friends, warning them about the imminent return of the 80s — a decade of fashion that I think we can all agree should never be repeated. But I knew it wouldn’t do any good. I knew it was only a matter of time before the 80s crimped their hideous way back across the Atlantic.

That time, I fear, is upon us. We’ve all seen the direction of the trends lately — leggings, leg warmers, side ponytails. And now, the worst of all things 80s — mullets. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how this could have happened. I thought we were all smarter than that. That we’d learned a thing or two from that horribly ugly decade. That we knew better than to be duped into ever repeating anything as disastrous as mullets.

But apparently I thought wrong. The mullet, it would appear, has returned. And, y’all, it is not pretty.

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