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poodle cut. A woman's coiffure resulting in ringlets like those preferred for poodles.

Despite the fact that this fashion for women's hair has come and gone several times over the last few decades, it generally comes in for snide comments. In the 50s poodles in general were a fashion statement, including poodle skirts, pins, and other accessories. By the 60s they were associated with declasse styles, such as the big hair of the beehive. There appears to have been a strong return in the 80s and early 90s, but often with other names, perhaps to avoid the stigma of the term “poodle.” Note that the poodle cut below (on Christina Aguilara, not the dog!) is significantly larger and longer than the one that Lucille Ball wore in our primary illustration. In the fifties, poodle cuts were close cropped,reference 1by more recent times they were longer and not nearly as tightly coiffed as the pet hairdos to which they refer.

 

 

1. Burke, Kevin, ed. 2000. Popopedia. Yesterdayland.com. Accessed Feb 6, 2002 from http://www.yesterdayland.com/.

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Poodles are the national dog of France, which probably leads to their reputation for being effete, spoiled, and overly coiffed pets. The Continental cut, shown in this illustration, is one of two that are acceptable for shows. Note the tight round balls on the lower legs and the tail. For informal purposes, a wide variety of cuts are used. Poodle hair and dander is said to be of a different nature than that of other dogs; humans who are allergic to dogs in general may not be so to poodles. The hair is curly, lending itself to a permed or afroed look.

 
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In the archives of the Gallery of Stars section of the Afrocentric Resource Center, they suggest that “Maybe Christina Aguilera is saying, 'Be kind to animals' with this poodle hair-don't.”reference 2

2. Gallery of the Stars. 2001. Afrocentric Resource Centre. Accessed Feb 6 2002 from http:// www.jazm.com/ gallery/.

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Of course two months later, the same publication described Ms. Aguilera as having “finally got it right”reference 3 in the picture to the left. You may draw your own conclusions.
3. Ibid.
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About the illustrations: Yesterdayland says that “when Lucille Ball adopted the tightly-curled poodle cut, ladies across the nation followed suit.” The photo is a Desilu Productions publicity shot that Yesterdayland altered; rights are unclear.

Figure 2: The poodle is Hilary and appears courtesy of Linda C. Campbell.

Figures 3 and 4: The first picture of Ms. Aguilera is of unknown origin; the second is a Virgin Records publicity photograph. I believe that the use of scaled-down, low-resolution images of posters to provide critical commentary on the recording in question or of the publicity photograph itself qualifies as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image may be copyright infringement.

see also: poodle; poodle skirt Last updated: July 28, 2008
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