Once upon a time, there was a lot of pressure on metalhead to look the part. Teased hair, leather jackets, denim vests (with back patches, of course), and merch out the wazoo were nearly ubiquitous.

hair-metal-fashionI refuse to believe that everyone in the ’80s didn’t look like this all the time. (Photo credit: edgebeat.com)

That was the ’80s though, and these days you can’t find a leather jacket for less than the cost of a used car. Some of the more affluent folks have shown off their metal status in other ways — piercings, corporate-unfriendly stretched lobes, tattoos, asymmetrical haircuts, etc. — but it seems, at least among adults, that metal-themed ostentation has died down significantly.

metalheadwomenObviously not entirely. (Photo credit: marinavampire.tumblr.com)

Why, then, are pockets of us still so concerned with how we look?

I have gotten the side-eye for going to a metal hangout wearing insufficiently “metal” clothes, and I’ve seen other plain-clothes patrons get the same treatment. On one occasion, I went to Duff’s after a job interview and was playfully ribbed by friends who were also dressed plainly. (I fully acknowledge that our collective plainness made their jokes funnier.) Why should I dress up just to show my face in a metal venue though? Isn’t my presence “cred” enough? (Don’t answer that.)

There’s a pin on my purse that reads, “This is what a feminist looks like.” It’s been on my purse as I had long flowing hair, earrings, and fancy dresses — it’s been there as I had a minifro, a baggy King Giant t-shirt, ratty jeans, and skate shoes. The message is clear though — feminists come in all shapes, sizes, colors, genders, and presentations. Metalheads do too though, so why are we still hung up on image?

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