These hair stylists stand outside the malls of Xidan all winter long, waylaying unsuspecting passersby, attempting to drag them in for a cut. They insist that the potential victim’s hair looks terrible and that they can do a better job – or perhaps it is just my hairdo that is particularly dreadful. Even if it is, I’m not sure that I would trust them to make it alright.
These guys are particularly aggressive with females. They will corner unattached girls, getting really close to them, and talk to them for as long as possible, even following them. I don’t think it is mean-spirited or with definite ill-intent, but it certainly would make me uncomfortable if I were one of the targets.
I like the rock and roll look of this guy. I think it is important to realize that Stylites is a record. Much of the time this is an anthropological exercise rather than an aesthetic one. I’m not deliberately attempting to provide style inspirations or examples of refined taste. The attempt is to document the development of style and fashion on the of Beijingers – to show the style landscape, as it were. So if the people photographed are rookies in the world of style or global fashion, then that is what will be here. I’m going to be putting up a full mission statement soon, that will pick up on these ideas.
This guy was trying to help me find other people to photograph, though that might have been yet another ploy to talk to girls.