A truly remarkable element of Leonardo DiCaprio’s teenybopper stardom changed into once the hair: aspect-parted and rising in a wave that fell at his forehead. Back in the ’90s, whether or not watching through a fish tank in Romeo + Juliet or freezing to loss of life upon a picket door in Gargantuan, there comprise been those blonde locks delicately draped over one take into yarn, upright begging to be tucked slack an ear. This inclined, mussed evaluation conveyed its possess Oscar-fine drama and directors particularly loved getting it moist such that it would delicately drip upon those excessive cheekbones. That hair worked exhausting, but when Leo clocked out, so did his hairstyle. In paparazzi pic after paparazzi pic of this duration, he changed into once shown alongside with his hair swept off his face by a skinny steel accessory. It changed into once his heartthrob expertise—and, not incidentally, his off-camouflage headscarf expertise.
I know this because circa 1997, I ran a Leo newsletter and fan web field, which concerned spending hours scanning and importing photography from diverse teen mags and tabloids. There comprise been the photography I loved: studio shoots wherein his mussed hair sensually framed those child blues. Those had been designed for ladies love me. Then there comprise been the photography that boldly broke the teen heartthrob contract: hair slicked reduction by a scarf, which invariably brought on the ends to poof out in a manner that changed into once decidedly not sensual. Worse, it changed into once deeply uncool. Typically, these photography had been captured on the avenue, birth air of the highly-managed machinery of well-known particular person. He’d be hitting the metropolis with chums, working errands, or inexplicably performing a roundhouse kick over a car, all alongside with his hair loudly asserting the truth of being off-accountability. That headscarf reflected purposeful practicality wholly unconcerned with (maybe even a chunk resentful of) all those moony minute ladies.
The truth is, the teen heartthrob is famously constructed as an embodiment of non-threatening heterosexual masculinity, veritably androgyny. The characteristic requires a certain softness and sensuality, the kind embodied by that loose swath of Leo’s hair curtaining the depth of his discover. But it is a soundless tightrope to stroll, as evidenced by frequent gossipy interrogation of minor heartthrobs’ sexuality. In 1998, a Conceitedness Sparkling profile infamous that Leo “avoids the Hugh Grant behavior of tossing a forelock by securing it with a tiny wire headscarf.” He even commented to his interviewer on this style fixture: “I’ve been wearing this for heaps of years, since I changed into once 18. It’s the most masculine one I’d earn, the most discreet.” Let me underscore: Leo changed into once avoiding the tossing of a lock, a historically female gesture, by securing his heartthrob hair with a masculine, discrete accessory. (Please, somebody live me from applying to grad college upright so that I would write a gender reviews dissertation on that single quote.)
The hair, and the cautious administration of it, speaks to each the burden and vigilance of this marketed male hetero sensuality. As a longtime haver of bangs, I will inform with authority that it is ceaselessly unhappy and inconvenient to comprise hair falling all over your eyes and face. It’s the extra or much less dazzling normally reserved for ladies and women folk, who’re anticipated to endure for beauty. What Leo’s ’90s-expertise headscarf told me, a pubescent fangirl with a thick mat of bangs hiding a perennial nick of forehead zits changed into once that he suffered, too. At this, I felt a sympathy in opposition to him that I most positively did not actually feel for myself, which speaks to one in all the most famous gains of the teen heartthrob: allowing ladies to, through men, vicariously actually feel the feelings they’re not presupposed to actually feel for themselves.
Sympathy apart, the headbands revealed Leo’s hair-in-the-eyes evaluation as highly stylized versus the carelessly mussed delusion of my projection. The soundless, poet-y guy perpetually dripping bang-water on his excessive cheekbone changed into once pure fiction. Dang it. On every occasion I saw one in all those pulled-reduction photos, I felt equally to after I be taught a quote from Kate Winslet in that identical Conceitedness Sparkling article: “[T]o me, he’s upright pungent, farty Leo.” Mostly, I tried to ignore those rattling headscarf pics, and the Kate Winslet quotes. On occasion, though, those headbands even ended up in official photo shoots, veritably as a form of L.A. bohemian nineties kewl.
At the turn of the century, after the realm match that changed into once the movie Gargantuan, each Leo and his hair left slack teenybopper-dom. First, he minimize it into a instant spike, then he grew it out while fully slicking it reduction. At closing, he went for the man-bun. Mostly, though, he has abandoned those sensual ’90s locks and the accompanying instruments. (This day’s sensually-locked heartthrobs comprise taken up the custom of the off-the-clock headscarf, with some reworking it as an intentional style assertion.) Now, Leo is a serious ac-tor and he doesn’t need his hair as a supporting personality. Granted, he does on occasion smash out the headscarf, even with a shorter minimize. Let me jabber this emphatically and for the file: Leonardo DiCaprio does