Grooming

Why Does The Male Top Knot Refuse to Die?

This men’s hair trend has overstayed its welcome.
IMAGE Viva Films
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By now, you should be at least peripherally aware of the upcoming JaDine film, even as you may deign to use that portmanteau yourself in real-life conversation. Superstar couple James Reid and Nadine Lustre are hitting cinemas again later this month, in an Antoinette Jadaone film entitled Never Not Love You. Teasers for the movie popped up online last February, and the first full trailer just came out yesterday. Check it out:

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Now, we’re fans of Jadaone’s work, and are inclined to trust that she’s made another potent heartstring-tugger here. But we can’t even begin to form our impressions of Never Not Love You without first addressing a grand distraction in the trailer: that goddamn top knot.

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Movies like this—local rom-coms starring blockbuster love teams—are always designed for the audience to see themselves in the main characters, and are often painfully transparent about it with the stereotypes that they deal in. Think of the recent local films that reflect the aspirations of the common Filipino moviegoer by making the main character a blogger or an “online influencer.”

This time around, it’s Reid’s latently self-affected, metro-bohemian millennial artist Gio, a likely representative of all the real-life designers, art directors, photographers, and writers who comprise—*groan*—“the creative class.” He makes and sells his own sticker packs, he hangs out at poorly-lit places, he wears loose T-shirts and deliberately ripped jeans, and he festoons his body with tattoos, because individuality. Because self-expression. Because art! This is exactly the kind of guy who you’d expect to rock a top knot. The film seems right on the money about that.

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Unfortunately, this also means that the male top knot is still a thing. It shouldn’t be. That long-on-top, buzzed-on-the-sides ponytail was only tolerable for so long as it was a passing hair trend among youths, a residual effect of 2013’s man bun (which, thankfully, came and went long ago). It was never an acceptable hairstyle for grown men, and it never makes you look as edgy as you think it does, especially with that ratty old tank top and those tube socks, Steve. It shouldn’t matter if your workplace has a loose dress code, or how loudly your stickers proclaim that you “DGAF”—no one can take you seriously if you wear your hair like a cheap samurai wannabe.

Lustre herself would remind you: It’s 2018, guys. Men are done with their man bun phases. The man bun is dead, and the top knot should have followed shortly in its wake. Clearly, it didn’t. It's time to cut that shit off and save your rubber bands for the loosely-sealed tupperware in your fridge.

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