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Wednesday, August 12, 2015

D.C.’s Mayor Bowser debuts new ‘do

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August 12:

After years of sporting the safest “I’m in public office!” hair possible, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser debuted a new look on Wednesday during a news conference on Washington’s commitment to wind power. And as the wind whipped across the rooftop of the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center, we couldn’t help but notice the mayor’s newly curly locks.

This is a big change for Bowser, 45, who’s been a staunch supporter the Washington power look since her days on the city council. Conservative chic is the mayor’s uniform of choice: two-piece skirt suits, safe colors, sensible shoes, perhaps a string of pearls or a brooch. All topped off with a short pageboy cut that’s rarely anything but bone straight. The look is conventional, consistent and, most of all, controlled.

(Andrew Harnik for The Washington Post)

But at Wednesday’s conference, Bowser’s newly loose curls arranged in a stylish, short bob telegraphed a much different message– on trend, youthful and loosened up. Is this a different Bowser we’re seeing?

“A woman with her level of exposure sends a message whether she intends to or not,” said Ashleigh Taylor, the owner of Taylor and York salon in Shaw. “I think this new look is fresh and freeing,” continued Taylor, who does not work on Bowser’s hair.

The mayor’s office declined to comment on the boss’s new ’do. But her communications team might want to get used to fielding questions on Bowser’s hair if the refreshing changes continue.

Remember when first lady Michelle Obama got bangs just days before her husband’s second inauguration? She couldn’t dodge the questions about her hair — mid-life crisis, maybe? — until finally growing the cut out less than a year after its debut. There were odes, tweets and in memoriams.

And let’s not forget the amount of hand-wringing that went on over President Obama’s gray hair. Was the job getting to him?

In the end, Bowser’s style switch up could all be in the name of shining extra light on the issues. The first lady hinted to as much when it came to her bang phase.

“We take our bangs and we stand in front of important things that the world needs to see,” Obama said at a summit of African leaders’ wives in Tanzania in 2013, “And eventually people stop looking at the bangs and they start looking at what we’re standing in front of. . . ” According to the mayor’s office, the new energy initiative is supposed to save the District $45 million over the next 20 years. So there.


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