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The Beehive is a woman's hairstyle in which long hair is piled up in a conical shape on the top of the head and slightly backwards pointing, giving some resemblance to the shape of a traditional beehive. It originated as one of a variety of elaborately teased and lacquered versions of "big hair" that developed from earlier pageboy and bouffant styles. It was developed in 1960 by Margaret Vinci Heldt of Elmhurst, Illinois, owner of the Margaret Vinci Coiffures in downtown Chicago, who won the National Coiffure Championship in 1954, and who had been asked by the editors of Modern Beauty Salon magazine to design a new hairstyle that would reflect the coming decade. She originally modeled it on a fez-like hat that she owned. In recognition of her achievement, Cosmetologists Chicago, a trade association with 60,000 members, created a scholarship in Heldt’s name for creativity in hairdressing. The beehive style was popular throughout the 1960s, particularly in the United States and other Western countries, and remains an enduring symbol of 1960s kitsch.
The beehive in the 1960s
- The popular girl group, The Ronettes, helped popularize the hairdo. "We came from Spanish Harlem", recalls the group's veteran lead singer, Veronica "Ronnie" Spector, in a Village Voice interview. " 'We had high hair anyway.' So the Ronettes made their hair still higher—'We used a lot of Aqua Net' ".
- Audrey Hepburn's character in Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) sported a large then-fashionable beehive.
- Yeoman Janice Rand, from the original 1960s Star Trek TV series, wore a complex, "futuristic" version of a beehive.
- In the Flintstones episode "Fred's New Boss" (season three), Wilma Flintstone and Betty Rubble get their hair done in gigantic, elaborate beehives at a salon, and the pair drive their car very slowly to protect their hairdos. Unfortunately, their 'dos are destroyed after a fast-moving dinosaur vehicle passes by and blows them down.
- The beehive was formed using a comb and running it back and forward down the hair to create a knotted effect which was lightly combed over to smooth down the effect. The longer the hair the higher the beehive. (see bouffant)
Later beehive usage
- The character Flo, a waitress in Martin Sorsese's 1974 film Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, played by Diane Ladd, wore her hair in a beehive; the 1976 television show based on the film, Alice carried the Flo character (now played by Polly Holliday) over from the film, and she likewise wore her hair in a beehive.
- The B-52's, a New Wave rock band took their name from the hairstyle which was worn by members Cindy Wilson and Kate Pierson. Their music company also plays on the style with the name "Boo-Fant" Records (a parody of bouffant).
- Many of entertainer Dolly Parton's hairstyles during the 1970s and 1980s (many of which were wigs) were beehive styles.
- Gary Larson's The Far Side series features women who almost exclusively wear the beehive.
- Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders portrays an archetypal waitress sporting a beehive in the music video for the group's signature song "Brass in Pocket".
- In the 1978 Richard Donner film Superman, Lois Lane (Margot Kidder) wears a beehive in the scene where she interviews Superman (Christopher Reeve), who then takes her on a romantic flight.
- From the 1980s on, Coronation Street character Bet Lynch became known for her beehive.
- The 1985 Martin Scorsese movie After Hours features a waitress named Julie who's noted for her beehive hairdo and general interest in other elements of 1960s pop culture.
- Marge Simpson's usual hairdo is an extreme, 2-foot-high (0.61 m), blue beehive.
- The hairdo and its later incarnations were featured in John Waters' 1988 cult film, Hairspray.
- Christina Applegate in her role as Kelly Bundy on the TV series Married... with Children wears her hair in a beehive after taking a job as a diner waitress on the season seven episode "Kelly Doesn't Live Here Anymore".
- British pop singer Harriet Wheeler of The Sundays is known for wearing a beehive.
- Christina Aguilera sported the look at the 2001 BET Awards.
- Patsy Stone (Joanna Lumley) from the cult British TV series Absolutely Fabulous wears her hair almost exclusively in a beehive. In the episode "Fish Farm" she is shown styling her beehive with a fork.
- R&B/jazz singer Amy Winehouse was often seen sporting her signature beehive hairdo and wigs.
- Mrs. Brinks from Angela Anaconda has a beehive wig and sometimes loses it in the show.
- Lead female characters in Saturday's Voyeur, an ongoing Utah theatrical satire, often wear a beehive, a reference to the beehive on the Utah state seal.
- Performer and lead female vocalist for the Saturday Night Live band, Christine Ohlman, has used the beehive as her main trademark, with the stage name "The Beehive Queen."
- TV personality Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi of Jersey Shore often wears a beehive, which she has referred to as a "poof".
- Video Game character Bayonetta has a beehive hairdo.
- Character Tracy Turnblad is famous for her beehive hairstyle in the film Hairspray (2007 film) and various stage productions of Hairspray (musical)
- Demi Lovato even sported a beehive in her music video for Remember December.
- Warehouse 13 Caretaker Mrs Fredric sports a beehive, in fact more than one character on the Sy-Fy show calls her "the scary lady with the beehive".
- Mannion, Annemarie (2010-12-30). "Beehive style lands Elmhurst woman a place in fashion history — Elmhurst news, photos and events —". Triblocal.com. Retrieved 2012-02-29.
- Daily Mail: Meet the woman who created a buzz by inventing Sixties hairdo, 3 January 2011
- Yaeger, Lynn (May 22, 2077). "Winehouse Rules: Amy channels Ronnie Spector's high hair and Cleopatra eyes". Village Voice. Retrieved July 27, 2011.
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