The Mullet I Never Had

mg599aAutumn is upon us. Chilly winds howling around my bare neck. Oh how I wish I had a mullet! A retro, 80’s throwback bi-level haircut, short on top and flowing down my neck in white trash glory.
If you have followed my blog for a long time, then you will know that i often go through periods of craving a mullet, before giving in to pressure from my peers. And you guys always send me the best Mullet Links, like Hotmullets, RateMyMullet and MulletsGalore.
When I asked my blog readers if i should get a mullet in May, 2002, Abigail from Sheffield presented a strong argument against it:

“Please please do not get a mullet. . .My thinking so far:
1) if your hair is your crowning glory (since I’m sure that verse applies to men as well as to women), then wouldn’t it be sacrilegious to mask its’ beauty with the aesthetic horror of a mullet?
2) hasn’t the post-modern hyper-ironic 80s-throwback revival already run out of steam? (c.f. the letter’s page in this month’s iD magazine). If we are to be pioneers of Kingdom culture rather than following the popular masses and apeing their “i’m so cool i can choose to have a mullet if i wish, because it’s only done in an ironic sense” fashion statements (again, see recent issues of iD magazine), shouldn’t we being doing something new rather than old hat (or should i say, hair)?”

Jessica, who was my PA at the time, said she would only work in a “Mullet Free Zone”
And so I resisted the urge and cut my hair short.

But its autumn again, and I should restate the argument:
Celts had mullets.
Prehistoric men had mullets.
The World Wide Wrestling Federation would hardly even exist if it were not for mullets.
Mordecai, the wise mentor of the biblical Esther, had a mullet, along with all Persians of high standing.
Jesus may have had a mullet. He certainly did NOT have the short back and sides haircut that belongs to the military or to little boys with bossy mothers . . . or preachers from Atlanta. And yet that little boy cut has become the standard for much of western evangelical Christiandom. Pentecostals in America are the BIG exception Thankfully, they managed to buck the trend and incorporate mullets into their ministry kit. They even have their version in the book “Mullets: Hairstyle of the Gods”
[hey – who borrowed my book and didnt give it back???????].
The Western church would be a lot healthier if it had more mullets. The greater the Mullet Factor, the greater the incarnation of the gospel among the blue collar, lower class demographic. Trading off Khaki Dockers for Mullets will be a sign of the church connecting with the poor, a missional reorientation to the Trailer Park, a focus on the FRINGE (ha ha) of society, and I will champion it with enthusiastic whistling and chewing of gum.
But i will probably not actually get a mullet, simply because I am too chicken, and the 80’s is still too close to me. And they gross out my wife.


Andrew Jones launched his first internet space in 1997 and has been teaching on related issues for the past 20 years. He travels all the time but lives between Wellington, San Francisco and a hobbit home in Prague.


  • Hey Andrew,
    In The Hague mullets are very popular. Ludger, a guy from our church, has one since he moved to our city. It looks great! I’ll mail the stuff you wrote on mullets, I think it will encourage him. Personally I really think you should have a mullet as well. Some reasons:
    – Jessica is NOT your P.A. anymore.
    – Your wife also likes to experiment with her hair (at least that’s the impression I get when I see your family pictures).
    – It will bring a whole new dynamic into the emerging church, since lots of people follow you as you follow Jesus.
    – It totally fits into the new and bold steps you and your family took lately.
    – You’ll regret it when your old if you don’t do it now (and that won’t take very long anymore 😉
    – And finally: a mullet will look great on you!
    Be bold!

  • Abigail says:

    Hi Andrew
    Cheers for the reference. I still stand by my argument, but have one point to add. There’s an article on the BBC website at the moment about whether Jesus was black or not that includes the following quote from Dr Goodacre, who helped with the “Son of God” tv programme:
    “The hair was the easiest – there’s a reference in Paul which says it’s disgraceful for a man to wear long hair, so it looks pretty sure that people of that period had to have reasonably short hair. The traditional depictions of Jesus with long flowing golden hair are probably inaccurate.”
    So, I’m not sure I agree that Jesus would have had a mullet. Anway, even if the mullet does have a long & ‘illustrious’ history, wouldn’t you rather pioneer something new rather than retro-80s-throwback-kitsch?
    How about I just buy you a nice wooly scarf?!

  • andrew says:

    hi abigail
    great article. i love that picture of a mullet t-shirt and the caption underneath that says:
    “People – even mullet-wearers – project their ideal on to Jesus”
    This is a very postmodern argument – the deconstructive suspicion of the subjective projection of mullet aesthetics onto Christological imagery. An inquiry that no doubt your masters thesis could have tackled.
    Thanks for your input, and for throwing yet another wet blanket on my hopes for a mullet. I will try again next year. You better get ready for me . . .

  • cheryl says:

    A long wooly scarf is what you need. But even with a scarf, or a mullet, your ears would still be cold.

  • Go for it brother!!! Take it from a guy who had one back in the day. I can’t do it now because the short on top part is too short (not there anymore). As a matter of fact, I went bald right after I blasphemed the mullet by cutting my off. I am cursed for life. MULLETS WILL COME BACK!!!

  • robbymac says:

    Our pastor has a mullet. It’s his signature look. I HAD a mullet “back in the day” but that was before my hairline betrayed me and I started thinking Jean-Luc Picard looked cool so there was hope for me…

  • bobbie says:

    ah you could start the new orkney mullet! btw – i think the ‘western church’ has more than enough mullets in it RIGHT NOW, thank you very much! 🙂

  • si says:

    shame you’ve left London, you could have watched mine take on the b-e-a-u-tiful shape it’s taking on!

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