I said this on Twitter earlier today:
Just one thing: Before @BorisJohnson becomes P.M., will he do something about the Trumpesque hair? That would make him easier to tolerate…
— Brad Warthen (@BradWarthen) June 27, 2016
But that’s not exactly right.
Trump’s hair and Johnson’s do have things in common — they’re both light-colored, they’re both flamboyant and they’re both ridiculous.
But there’s a huge, defining difference, which actually makes them opposites: Trump’s hair is ridiculous because it’s so obvious that he goes to far too much trouble to make it look like that. Johnson’s is distracting because he goes out of his way to look like he does nothing with it, that he has never in his life seen a comb or had anything to do with one.
In any case, both are distracting, and do not inspire the kind of confidence one would like to have in the head of a major country.
Boris’ hair in the actual, formal portrait photo at right, reminds me of my grandson — he resists anyone combing his hair, firmly declaring that he prefers that it remain “bumpy.” In a 4-year-old, this is endearing, and I have been known to compliment him on the bumpiness of his hair. In fact, I regularly reach out and muss it up for him.
But in a grown man who wishes to be taken seriously by other grown men, it is ridiculous.
Now is the time on bradwarthen.com when we all harrumph together over men among us with ridiculous hair.
Harrumph, harrumph, harrumph, harrumph, harrumph…
What sort of hair should a serious world leader have? The sort that we don’t notice. The sort that, if someone asks us to describe it when we’re not looking at it, we can’t. We shouldn’t even be able to swear whether he has hair or not, unless it’s right in front of us. It should be that understated and unobtrusive.
I’ll pause now for a moment while you all say, Hear, hear!
Hear, hear! Hear, hear! Hear, hear! Hear, hear!…