1930s hairstyle

This is what Rosalie’s hair should have looked like when she was changed in 1933.

*runs for my life*

I am of two minds about Rosalie’s hair. On the one hand, I think it most likely that she tried to be trendy. Her parents, who were capitalizing on her beauty to lift themselves into a higher social sphere, encouraged her to be fashionable as well– and in the early 30s that meant your hair was bobbed.

On the other hand, we’re flat out told that it’s very long. I suppose there are two main questions, really:

First, did Mrs. Hale have Rosalie’s hair cut short when she was a child in the 20s? If she wanted Rosalie to be at the peak of fashion, then yes, she did. Rosalie was born in 1915, which makes it possible (or even likely!) that her hair was never allowed to grow long in the first place. However, I suppose Mrs. Hale could have loved Rosalie’s golden hair so much that she couldn’t bring herself to cut it. I don’t particularly like Rosalie’s parents, tbh. I think Rosalie’s fixation on her own beauty and the way she borders on measuring her own self-worth (and the worth of others) by appearance is directly related to the way her parents’ love for her seems to have been based on her beauty and what it could bring them. She has a whole lot of baggage that has nothing to do with being a vampire and lots to do with crappy parenting. Anyway, all that to say I see her mother as the worst kind of beauty pageant mom, and I can easily envision her brushing Rosalie’s hair and talking about how beautiful it is and how it would be a crime to cut it short. Also, if they kept Rosalie dressed uber-fashionably then her long hair theoretically could make her stand out in a good way (as opposed to making her look like an unfashionable, countrified urchin.) So, I do think it’s possible that Mrs. Hale, in her vicarious vanity, kept Rosalie’s hair long and lustrous.

I don’t like the implications of such an extreme decision– because make no mistake, having hair long enough to hang curling halfway down her back (as Bella describes her in Twilight) would have been incredibly strange for a young woman in the early 30s, especially one of Rosalie’s social class living in the city– but it is, unfortunately, possible.

I have to wonder why it was so very long, though, because it’s not as if she could have worn it down in public. Once she was a teenager (15 at the absolute latest) she would have had to put it up every day and that’s A LOT of hair to have in a bun at the nape of your neck. Shoulder-length or even shoulder blade-length would have been doable, but halfway down her back? And even with gentle curls it would be a couple of inches longer than that when pulled straight! There’s no way she would have been able to easily imitate the hairstyles of the day or wear fashionable hats. We may think, “Oh, hats, big deal,” but they WERE a big deal back then, and an important part of a fashionable ensemble. That’s what I mean about not liking the implications– the only people who would be able to see Rosalie’s hair down is her family. Why was having it that long worth the trade off of being unfashionable? Did her parents make her keep it down at home so they could look at it? I doubt that Stephenie Meyer, who is happily ignorant about history, realized exactly what situation she was creating for Rosalie, but it creeps me out.

Which brings us to the second question: did Rosalie rebel when she became a teenager? When she was 14 or 15 or 16, did she stop at the hairdressers’ after school and have her hair cut short? Was she tired of dealing with that mass of hair and looking so different from her peers? Or was she too invested in her parents’ plans for her by then to even want to rebel?

I wish she had rebelled. I wish her hair was only shoulder-length, because then it would be possible she had it lopped off at ear-length when she was 14. It’s late and I’m tired, but she’s just making me sad.

A vintage picture of Maiko Yoshiko of Gion Kobu dressed for Setsubun holding an ichimatsu doll, early 1930s.

Ichimatsu dolls are made to look like little boys and girls and are realistically proportioned. They are mainly used als dress-up dolls for girls and usually have elaborate outfits with them.

It is popular with photographers to depict young Maiko playing with toys to emphasize their innocence and childishness.

This was even more popular before WWIi, when young Maiko were still children.

Source: Blue Ruin 1 on Flickr