Brad dresses for success

Copying his girlfriends' personal styles doesn't make Brad a girly man. It makes him a Bradsheet man.

By Page Rockwell
March 31, 2006 1:01PM (UTC)
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No discussion of Brad issues is complete without this comprehensive hair-ography from emerging gossip site TMZ. Titled "How Brad Morphs Into His Lovers," the TMZ piece chronicles Brad's style transformations from Juliette Lewis-era serial-killer chic into the Gwyneth period, when he and G actually got the exact same haircut. From there, we mosey through the Jennifer Aniston golden-highlights years, and finally we come to the current era of Angelina-inspired neutral tones, motorcycle jackets and dark locks. This spectrum of aesthetic choices has much to teach us about Brad's very essence, TMZ notes. The site quotes psychotherapist Candice Slobin saying, "There's some essential element of his own self-identity that may be missing. He's absorbing something into his own identity that has not developed on its own."

While some "transformations" seem a little overhyped -- sure, it's hokey to dress in complementary, Will-and-Jada-style outfits for a red carpet appearance, but that doesn't necessarily equate to morphing into one's lover -- at the end of the accompanying slide show I had to concede that, at the very least, Brad has spent an unseemly amount of time with his colorist. And, OK, his style pendulum does seem to swing according to his dates' dress choices.


But why does that automatically signal a Brad-dentity crisis? Actors are accustomed to changing costumes for their parts, but we don't consequently assume they all have issues. (We only think most of them have issues!) Maybe Brad's chameleon tendencies indicate that each of these relationships was always going to be temporary -- he was just trying them on, as it were.

Better still, maybe this trend simply indicates that Brad is able to accept a dominant woman. He can take her lead sartorially, and he's man enough to get in touch with his feminine side via some lemony highlights. Why is that such a problem? If a woman swaps her business suit for a cocktail dress in order to attend her husband's office Christmas party, people don't suggest that her "self-identity" is missing. And in an industry where couples are famed for divorcing as soon as the woman's success outstrips the man's (you hang in there, Reese Witherspoon!!), isn't it refreshing to see a man who's unafraid of female power?

In conclusion: You go, Brad. Bradsheet loves a man who's not afraid to say, "Yes, ma'am."

Page Rockwell

Page Rockwell is Salon's editorial project manager.

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