The “Bisexual Bob,” Explained

Written by Ashley Locke

You likely clicked into this post wondering what the heck the Bisexual Bob haircut we speak of is.

You may be curious to see if you’re accidentally sporting the hairstyle. Maybe you identify as bisexual and are wondering if this variation of the bob is the best way to showcase your sexuality to the world.

Either way, we’re here to tell you exactly what it is and then some. From the origin of the Bisexual Bob to some present day examples, we’re breaking it all down below.

Read on for all the info you’ll need on the haircut!

What is the Bisexual Bob?

According to Byrdie, the Bisexual Bob can be defined as:

“Cropped between the chin and the shoulders, the haircut isn’t quite long or short, an incidental reflection of the way bi women aren’t fully straight or gay.”

It isn’t as blunt or pristine as the go-to bob and tends to be a bit choppier in style. However, there have been some debates about the length that constitutes a Bisexual Bob. The publication Autostraddle notes that “including ‘lobs’ (long bobs) in the definition … is perhaps a step too far, edging dangerously close to a territory in which any haircut that is not super-short or traditionally long could be named a bisexual bob.”

Before we get into the history of the Bisexual Bob, let’s first make the distinction between a bob and Bisexual Bob.

What’s the difference between a bob and the Bisexual Bob?

We can’t discuss the Bisexual Bob without talking about the original bob.

The style is synonymous with the Roaring Twenties, but its origin dates back to 1915. It was popularized by ballroom dancer Irene Castle. She had cut her hair into what would become known as the “Castle bob” all out of convenience. Irene’s need for shorter hair inspired a movement in the 1920s, creating different takes on the first form of the bob.

As writer and art historian Anne Louise Avery points out on Twitter, the bob was a haircut that granted women great freedom. She writes:

“In 1927, the opera singer Mary Garden wrote that ‘Bobbed hair is a state of mind…It typifies growth, alertness, up-to-dateness…I consider getting rid of our long hair one of the many little shackles that women have cast aside in their passage to freedom.'”
In 1927, the opera singer Mary Garden wrote that “Bobbed hair is a state of mind…It typifies growth, alertness, up-to-dateness…I consider getting rid of our long hair one of the many little shackles that women have cast aside in their passage to freedom."

— Anne Louise Avery (@AnneLouiseAvery) June 18, 2018

Not every bob is a Bisexual Bob, however. Wikipedia defines the bob as “a short to medium-length haircut, in which the hair is typically cut straight around the head at about jaw-level, often with a fringe (or ‘bangs’) at the front. The standard bob is normally cut either between or just below the tips of the ears, and well above the shoulders.”

There are some clear distinctions between the bob and Bisexual Bob, though the definitions do sound similar. Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour is the perfect example of a traditional bob.

We’ll dive into more Bisexual Bob examples in a bit, but now let’s get into the origin of the cut.

What is the origin of the Bisexual Bob?

The origin of the Bisexual Bob is somewhat up in the air. When it comes to the first person to don the ‘do, Twitter user @melreeve notes it was Joan of Arc.

Joan of Arc has the original bisexual bob

— mel (@melreeve) November 11, 2018

The first time the Bisexual Bob was every actually mentioned, however, was on Tumblr in 2015.

Three bisexual characters from different shows were shown with strikingly similar haircuts. And that haircut was quickly given a name—the Bisexual Bob.

In 2017, Urban Dictionary added the Bisexual Bob’s definition to their platform. The definition is short and sweet, calling the Bisexual Bob “the bob or ‘lob’ all bisexual girls seem to have.”

What are some examples of the Bisexual Bob?

So how has the Bisexual Bob progressed? It’s still very much alive, with fictional characters to pop stars sporting the style as a way to express their sexuality.

The original Tumblr post has given way to even more examples of the Bisexual Bob, thanks to Reddit.

Now, there are plenty of bisexual TV and movie characters sporting the style. From Eleanor Shellstrop in The Good Place to Annalise Keating in How to Get Away With Murder, characters are showcasing their sexuality through their hair.

It isn’t just fictional characters that are getting in on the Bisexual Bob—oh, no. Singers like Halsey and Brooke Candy have opted for the bisexual hairstyle.

But the looks don’t stop there. Politicians have hopped on the trend, even if they may not know it. Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema and Oregon Governor Kate Brown, both bisexual, have rocked the style.

@autostraddle re: hair, Krysten Sinema is a superb example of the bisexual bob, no?

— Sarah B (@sarahlizabur) November 13, 2018

The list goes on, but we’ll stop there for now.

Who can get the Bisexual Bob haircut?

We know the examples used have been only women. But does that mean bisexual women are the only ones who can get the haircut? Absolutely not. There are a number of bisexual men who have admitted to rocking this style at one point in time.

Even those who aren’t bisexual or belong to a different LGBTQIA+ group can get the haircut. It all depends on you.

At the end of the day, it’s a great way for bisexual individuals to subtly share their sexuality with the world. Let your pride flag fly!

We talked at length about the Bisexual Bob, but only briefly about the iconic cut its derived from. If you want to dive into its history, we’ve got you covered. HERE’S how the bob has remained a feminist symbol for over 100 years!