The mullet has enjoyed a revival in right-wing America

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WHEAD AN the wind catches Powell’s three-year-old mule Eli “Ginger Mane” just right, his mother said you can hear the national anthem playing and bald eagles screeching in the distance. For Easton “The Ida-Flow” Klink, the hairdo is a symbol of “247 years of American fans” like barbecue and big trucks. Catch Brantley”BK“Kirwin shakes his locks at concerts and tells you about his love for the military and “AMERICA“.

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Here are some of the contestants, all under the age of 12, who competed to be crowned “United States “Kid Mullet Champ” this week. Offbeat cuts kids together from the islands of Hawaii to the suburbs of Nashville; girls in day care centers across the country beat them. Together the 25 contestants raised mullet, many of them with relatives in uniform, $125,000 for a wounded veterans charity.

The competition, along with ones for teenagers, men and women, started during the pandemic. When workshops opened “the mullet came screaming back,” says Kevin Begola, the competition’s bald founder. Google searches for the hairdo have since increased. For many, the scene is a way of life. Members of the Facebook group “The Mullet That Changed My Life” talk about finding “lifelong friends” in the mullet community. One young immigrant says he gets five people on the street from “America the best” because of his mule; another says the cut gave him the chance to confront school bullies.

Australians call it their national. But the “business in the front, party in the back” fashion has a long history in America as well. In the late 18th century, Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding fathers, seems to have used his “skullet” (a bald headed mule) to entice the French to invest in the new country accidentally Years later Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce tribe put on a braided mule in protest against the usual styles of the missionaries who stole his people’s land.

In modern times the scene has become an example of 1970s iconography. Glam rocker David Bowie took out his goldfish-coloured mullet the same year he came out as gay – his androgyny was seen as a rejection of gender norms. Jane Fonda, an actress blacklisted from Hollywood for her anti-Vietnam war activism, played one in a famous mugshot. In the 80’s Cher, Prince and Tina Turner made the mullet a bit normal. Islamic leaders in Iran have since banned the scene in an attempt to rid their country of “decadent” Western styles.

When the mullet came back in the last few years, it was mainly worn by oil salesmen and truckers. While the cut is still hot in queer circles – lesbian TikTok is full of mulleted “masks” – it now represents a new layer of right-wing non-conformity. Until he shook his head last week, Morgan Wallen, a country music star who was briefly suspended for saying the n-word, was the pride of America’s mulleted men. When asked if he planned to cut his hair after the competition, nine-year-old Dre “The Electric Slide” Bell from Alabama said definitely not. Just as the luscious locks of the Biblical Nazarite Samson gave him his strength, the mullet has a special power.

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