4384 Stories - Awaiting Approval:Stories 2; Comments 1.
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Mr Brown by clippered kid

The stories I enjoy most on this site are the ones set in the seventies. Writers like Snipped Sam, Sean Barnett and others describe so well the struggles some of us went through trying to assert a little independence and control over the way we looked. I know from posted comments that some find this fascination with the seventies hard to understand but things were very different back then. It's a very specific time period and to appreciate the stories you need to understand their historical context.

It was a time when there was a real conflict between the younger and older generation. The older generation felt things were changing too quickly. Things started going downhill after national service was ended. Youngsters were out of control, getting to big for their boots. They needed to be brought back into line and taught to have more respect. Many felt things had gone to far, it was time to clamp down and insist things were still done like they were in their day

It's impossible to explain to someone today just how much some older people detested the sight of long hair on young men. Many parents grandparents and even elderly neighbours, seemed to take great delight in seeing a nice short back and sides installed by an elderly barber on a cocky teenagers head. It was more than just a haircut, it was most definitely seen as a way of putting someone firmly in their place.

Another thing about this specific time is this. If you were a teenager in the early 70's It follows that you must of been a kid growing up in the 60's. A time when the old barbershops reigned unopposed and short back and sides or crewcut [in the uk at lest] was virtually the only option. So the majority of lads in the 70's would of had first hand experience of visiting this type of barber when they were younger, and the threat of being returned to such an establishment would of hung over them and been very real

As you might of gathered this is the era I grew up in and can totally relate to. Coming across these stories really brought back a lot of memories for me. One thing Iwould say is that the stories tend to be written with a great sense of nostalgia and fondness. That's not a criticism, I suppose that's just inevitable when you look back on things but it certainly did'nt feel nostalgic at the time

Looking back I'd say the mid 70's was the tipping point.By then the majority of lads had made the transition from old fashioned short back and sides to longer trendier styles. A time when many of the older barbers went out of business replaced by new fangled modern unisex salons. However some of us, those of us with older more conservative parents, did'nt find this transition at all easy. We missed out, got left behind. There were still some old school barbers about who, shocked and even thoroughly disgusted by the way things were going were more than happy to inflict a severe short back and sides on any teenager unlucky enough to find himself caped up and in their hands. Sadly for me I was one of these poor unfortunates, condemned throughout my teenage years to be ordered up to Mr Brown for regular shearings with no room for negotiation.

So what I'd like to do is not tell the story of one or two especially traumatic trips to the barbers, but instead share my genuine haircut memories of those times. By pointing out some of the prevailing attitudes of the time, maybe more people will come to appreciate the real stress and anguish that lies behind the nostalgia of the 70's stories. It's all true and without any exaggeration, if anything it's a bit toned down.

One thing before I start, don't confuse the short back and sides roughly clippered to the very top of your head we received. back then with the trendy carefully clipped look of today. For one thing short hair is in at the moment and perfectly acceptable. Back then short hair was completely out of fashion. Any short haircut was taboo and if you had a short back and sides you stood out like a sore thumb and were basically a laughing stock. Also we did not get our haircuts from a cool dude with a sleeve of tattoos trying his best to do a good job and please the customer. we received [and were expected to be grateful for] our haircuts from old men 60-65-70 for most of whom the main consideration was putting a lad firmly in his place by imposing a bit of haircut discipline.not style.and your feelings or opinion on the matter did'nt come into it


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