Writing a Trinity Trend during lockdown at first seemed like an impossible feat. But adaptability has been the beacon of hope in lockdown, and somehow from our social distances we have remained social animals.
Trends have become far more universal: TikTok dances are shared by millions, Zoom meetings are the new normal and most importantly (tragically, for some), home grooming has become essential.
But first, a moment of silence for the alternative (unquarantined) universe of post-Normal People Trinity trends. If we were still in College, there would be pieces written about the new sea of bangs floating around the Arts Block, or the abundance of chains adorning the necks of Trinity students with hopes of ensnaring an unassuming American tourist – “Oh yeah I used to play GAA too, I thought about studying english but Daddy really wanted me to follow the family practice…farming? Ha! No, corporate law”.
Our College is the focal point of a cultural phenomenon, a Trinity Trend existing without us. Forgive my journey into the metaphysics of Trinity Trends: I am mourning the many opportunities for mocking fellow students – gone, but not forgotten.
Lockdown has led to a new outlook on personal grooming. While many forgo their previous habits – showering is not essential for a video call and makeup seems farcical – others have used this time to try out new looks.
I am mourning the many opportunities for mocking fellow students – gone, but not forgotten
The most prominent example of this is the shaved head. Men and women around the world have taken this opportunity to go full Britney. Herd immunity may be an absurd tool for fighting the coronavirus, but herd mentality certainly drove many to follow this trend and shear their locks.
I asked a friend who decided to take the plunge how he felt about the decision. “It was something that I’d always wanted to do but I never had the balls to go through with. I’m very particular about my hair – I’m very hyper-sensitive of how my hair looks all the time. But I thought that this quarantine period gave me an opportunity to have a free trial at a haircut I always wanted to try but never knew how it would look. I’m still dealing with the consequences of it.”
Like many trends, the feeling of being part of something bigger gives reason to wear or do things far outside our comfort zones. But shaving off all your hair is not as easily undone as doffing a pair of flares or a statement necklace.
It was something that I’d always wanted to do but I never had the balls to go through with
A month later, for my friend, the fun of feeling his new hairless head has worn off and he admits to being “so over it”. As the novelty well and truly wears off, he now reminisces about his long hair, looking at old photographs with a sense of longing. The obvious beauty of shaving your head – saving money on shampoo and the fact you can do it yourself while barbers are closed – makes this trend a utilitarian one.
But a barberless future is no place my newly bald friend wants to be: “Sometimes I think about my barber. I just think about how he’s doing. Sometimes I just think: ‘Fuck, I hope he’s doing okay.’ He’s probably seeing all these photos of his clients shaving their heads and making awful decisions, just weeping in the corner.”
But this is just one student’s experience. For many, a shaved head is the new normal, free of awkward conversation between mirrored reflections and bad hair days.