Letting our hair down

Librarian or not, you’ve probably heard (or voiced?) something similar to the following:

“Glasses can make ladies sexy as well, but only as they are taken off, followed by a slow-motion shake of the head to let her hair down out of that librarian bun.”

~ Stephen Colbert, “Men With Glasses,” People Nov. 27, 2006: 133.

The naughty, or sexy female librarian, is a pretty common role for reel librarians — and I would venture a common fantasy also — as illustrated by this Naughty Librarian character in Tomcats (2001):

At work

At play

Mindy Kaling wrote an interesting article, “Flick Chicks: A Guide to Women  in the Movies” in a recent issue of New Yorker magazine (Oct. 3, 2011, p. 36). Although the article focuses on female roles in romantic comedies and doesn’t mention librarians at all, this quote caught my eye:

“And since when does holding a job necessitate that a woman pull her hair back in a severe, tight bun? Do screenwriters think that loose hair makes it hard to concentrate?”

A couple of intriguing rhetorical questions. Discuss!

Yes, pulling the hair back tightly is a convenient, simple way to visually demonstrate seriousness. And the image of a woman then shaking her hair loose — symbolizing the loosening of her libido, perhaps? —  adds to the fantasy. Whether you love it, hate it, or feel indifferent, the Naughty Librarian is here to stay (and play).