Some children have mullets. Whether they decided to grow one themselves or their parents foisted one upon them, it’s not for us to say.
Some people like to judge mullets. They’ll contemplate a line-up of people with the retro hairdo and spend a bit of time ranking them.
At the collision point between the kids with mullets and the judges of mullets, you can find the USA Kids Mullet Championships: a celebration of youngsters whose hair styles suggest not only business at the front, but also party at the back.
This year’s competition took place online, and crowned its champion last Friday.
Coming out on top was Rory Ehrlich of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, who has given his mullet the name ‘Cheddar Wiz’.
It is a classic of the genre – spiky hair on top, close cropped sides and long, long locks that reach down to his shoulder blades at the back. Rory’s genuine grin in the official pictures betray his true feelings: this kid really, really loves his haircut.
‘You can find his mullet rounding 3rd base with all that shiny “cheddar” blowing in the wind,’ the official championship website says, confusingly.
‘When his mullet is not on the field, it’s out doing farm chores with his cows. Usually paired with homemade jorts, a Philadelphia sports jersey, and a Whiz Wit.’
For those not acquainted with Pennsylvania culture, a ‘Whiz Wit’ is one of the most popular ways of serving the famous Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. The ‘Whiz’ refers to the questionable dairy liquid topping Cheez Whiz, which also inspired the name of Rory’s hairdo.
His winning mullet beat out competition from across the United States, gathering a truly stunning 16,723 online votes. Joining him in the top three were Hawaii’s Ezekiel Arita and his ‘Mr. Aloha Mullet’, and Kamden Cunningham, also from Pennsylvania, who dubbed his wavy creation ‘The Kammander’.
Despite being heavily linked with the eighties, the mullet did not get its name until 1994, when the Beastie Boys song Mullet Head referenced ‘a hairstyle that’s a way of life’.
You might expect the USA Mullet Championships to date back at least that far, but you would be wrong. This year’s event is only the fourth, after things were kicked off in 2020 by Michigan apparel and footwear store Bridge Street Exchange.
It’s all part of an astonishing comeback for the once-maligned haircut. They are now so trendy, man-of-the-moment Paul Mescal sported one (albeit a rather lacklustre example) at this year’s BAFTA, Oscar and Olivier Awards ceremonies.
Speaking to GQ for an article titled ‘Why everyone’s horny for the mullet again’, London barber Natalie Angold said she had shaved more mullets in the past two years than she ever has before in her fifteen-year career.
She told the magazine: ‘Guys are allowed to sort of circumvent the rules and dress more on their own terms. I think that’s why the mullet has just become so, so popular.’
In 2020, celebrity stylist Gustav Fouche told Metro: ‘Mullets are an interesting one, because actually anyone can rock a mullet.
‘I personally think you either need to have a bit of a curl in your hair for one to work really well or if you have that quirky edge to your style where you could rock a longer mullet that’s naturally straight in texture.
‘But there are many variations and depending on what you are like there will be a variation that will suit most people.’
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