June 7, 2011 - Posted by Erin in Culture, Madrid, Spain

I think I´ve been in perpetual mullet-watching mode since the day I first set foot in Spain. Maybe I’m just captivated by their entertaining and perplexing aerodynamic-ness, or perhaps I’m still trying to come to terms with my childhood. Yes, that’s me to the left looking all happy and clueless at Disneyland for my seventh birthday. I was a kid, and it was the 80s, so excuses can be made (but Mom, Dad – what the!?!!!!???).

Before I start analyzing the heinous haircuts of others, however, I want to emphasize that I have every right to do so since I too had one of them. I believe this is a part of the healing process.  

A few months ago I decided to take my mullet spectating to the next level – I wanted photographic evidence of the hairdo in the wild. But you see, this is a very difficult task for two reasons: 1) you must get profile shots in order to encompass both the business in the front and the party in the back, and 2) in doing so, you don’t want people to actually realize that you are not only taking a picture of them, but potentially laughing at them too. This is complicated.

Well, apparently not that complicated because my friend Holly recently went to the ongoing protests in Puerta del Sol and hit the mullet jackpot (similar to the lottery in terms of excitement, but not quite). She also happens to be a pretty talented and sly photographer. Come to think of it, given her crafty mullet-capturing skills, she’s probably cut out for snapping those elusive nature shots of some undiscovered species in the depths of the Amazon.

As you can see, this rebellious haircut comes in many different forms. First there’s the classic mullet (exhibit C) – probably an American favorite, and obviously preferred by me at the age of seven. Then you have the mohawk mullet (exhibit D) – a little more punk rock, and somehow closer to acceptable. And then, my personal favorite, the dreadlock mullet (exhibit H) – an especially popular choice here on the Iberian Peninsula.

If a mullet could talk, what would it say? Aside from “I have bad taste,” it also may communicate, “I’m anti-establishment,” “I’m not a big fan of grooming,” “I’m indecisive” or “don’t break my achy breaky heart.”

So what’s your favorite kind of mullet? Does anyone else out there want to make me feel better and admit that they too once had one of these lovely hairstyles? And please, if you had a bowl cut, don’t even try to compete. Bowl cuts are way more acceptable than mullets.

Happy mullet watching!

*Jacobo wants me to clarify that not ALL Spaniards have mullets (duh), just a disturbingly large percentage of them seem to when compared to other countries (and most of them can apparently be found in Puerta del Sol, or in Basque Country – or so I’ve been told).

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C

Exhibit D

Exhibit E

Exhibit F

Exhibit G

Exhibit H

Exhibit I

Exhibit J

Exhibit K

Exhibit L

Exhibit M

Exhibit N

18 comments

18 Responses to “Mullet fever”

  1. Erik R. Says:

    Great. Now the rest of us are in “mullet-watching mode”! Thanks a bunch!

  2. Erin Says:

    I like to keep my fellow American expats on their toes, what can I say.

  3. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures Says:

    Jajaja is it weird that I kinda dig it on some men? You’re too cute in that pic!

  4. Erin Says:

    Hahahaha! I suppose I could be classified “cute” as in “oh, poor thing” kind of cute. It’s tragic really. I wanted so badly to be Rainbow Brite for Halloween one year, but the whole ponytail thing just looked stupid. My dad made me be ET instead. Not bitter about that at all………

  5. Kaley [Y Mucho Más] Says:

    Yes, as some of my friends in Basque country have noted, they have a hairstyle alllll their own. Basque bangs, anyone?

    Also, love the hairstyles! Hilarious and oh so true.

  6. Erin Says:

    Do I know the Basque bangs? Are they the oddly blunt cut bangs? Occasionally cut at an angle?? Cuéntame!

  7. Shana Says:

    This is easily my favorite blog post about Spain ever.

  8. Erin Says:

    Haha! I’m glad that others find as much pleasure in mullet spectating as I do! My dad, on the other hand, wasn’t so amused by the blog…….anyone want to guess which parent insisted on me having a mullet (and is actually responsible for doing the haircutting)?

  9. Sabrina Says:

    They’re all in one city? This is Mullet Central! Too funny 🙂 I think the worst are mullets for women – I’ve seen quite a few here in Texas and they all seem to be cop ladies…. Yikes!

  10. Erin Says:

    You know what this means, right? You need to do a post on the lady mullets of Texas! I realize this could be a bit tricky with the cops being the ones sporting said lady mullets, but still, you should give it a go!!!!

  11. Sabrina Says:

    Lady mullets of Texas… not a bad post title. Mind if I steal it? I promise to give you credit 🙂 But now the real problem… how am I gonna take sneaky pictures of the lady cops with mullets without them noticing it and me (a) getting deported for making fun of weird hair-dos, (b) getting a ticket for being mean to the police, or (c) shot – this is Texas after all 😉

  12. Erin Says:

    Please, pretty please steal!!!!!!! Make it happen!!! Just do as my friend did (the one who took these pictures for me after I stalked mullets in the streets for months with virtually no decent shots): Go to an event where they all gather. Then taking pictures seems journalistic! Plus, since they are more sedentary, it’s easier to capture the profile shots, which is of course critical.

  13. Chris D Says:

    What fun! The other things I’ve noticed in Madrid are:
    Bright orange/glow in the dark hair (I believe it’s done by using henna).
    The funny thing is when you get up close or turn around it’s on older women!!!!!
    The other thing-not so funny-is older women w/very thin hair or bald spots.

  14. OnoSendai Says:

    Well, in Spain this kind of haircut is usual between the people involved in the “Okupa” urban tribes and similars (social and the anti-globalization movements)

    Greetings from Barcelona

  15. Erin Says:

    And how exactly did I not know about this Okupa movement??! These are mascots for mullets! Thanks for bringing this to my attention!

  16. Madaboutravel Says:

    Erin, you cracked me up! As a spaniard I have always wondered why mullets are so popular in the country. Really, why??? 😉

  17. Michi Says:

    I love that you’ve been collecting pictures of mullets!! Hahahaha, I’m going to show D-Man right now. Mullet fever has been receding a bit lately (or maybe I haven’t been going out as much). My Spanish hubby definitely sported a red-dyed mullet up until about 2 weeks before I met him. And thank God for that, he wouldn’t have had a chance.

  18. The ArtichokeAdventures Says:

    Mullets have been a subject of conversion in my family for many years.Who invented the mullet? And why di d it flourish in the 1980s and then reappear repeatedly since then.It is true you can see mullets amongst the okupas in Spain and in the Basque country there are perhaps more than other places but they can be seen all over. In the UK the football player in the 80s, Waddle,had a classic mullet…who would have thought it is still “fashion”. I am thinking aboutmaking the jump! Well being almost bald it would suit!

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