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Interpreting Kanye West's blond look, Entertainment News & Top Stories

Time:2016-12-19 10:25Shoes websites Click:

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NEW YORK • Kanye West, the rapper, fashion designer, showman and Twitter ranter has maintained a low profile since cancelling his Saint Pablo tour and being hospitalised in the middle of last month amid rumours of severe exhaustion.

But he recently reappeared in the public eye, showing up at an exhibition of furniture designed by fashion designer Rick Owens at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles on Dec 8, and at Trump Tower last Tuesday morning, to meet President-elect Donald Trump.

In both cases, the rapper looked like his normal self, wearing white lace-up sneakers, a sweatshirt and his usual half-grimace. One seemingly small change: He was blond.

Speculation about the new look has already spawned a hashtag: #blondye (Ye is West's nickname).

The most popular theory by far centred on West's recent emotional turmoil.

"Whenever someone comes in and suddenly wants a major colour change out of nowhere, it usually means something is up," said colourist Laurie Daniel of the Marie Robinson Salon in New York. "A divorce, a break-up, a crisis of some sort."

Cases in point: actress Lindsay Lohan's conversion to a brunette in early 2008, after a year of arrests and stints in rehabilitation; pop star Britney Spears' bald head, amid her divorce from former dancer Kevin Federline in 2007 and a custody battle; and singer Gwen Stefani's blue-black bob, which came a month after the announcement of her divorce from rocker Gavin Rossdale, her husband of 13 years.

Dr Donna Rockwell, a clinical psychologist who has done research into fame and celebrity, took a more positive view of West's light locks. She noted that hair, as a physical feature, has a special role that can be traced back as far as biblical times.

"You have Samson," she said. "He was this big, burly fellow, but his strength was in his hair. He lost his power when his hair got cut. Hair is how we define our strength, prowess and identity."

She concluded that for West, as with other celebrities, a hair transformation tells the public that despite the scrutiny and the competing narratives being told by onlookers, he is still in charge of his own life.

"It's a way of taking control back," she said.

Other hypotheses included the suggestion that he is taking a cue from his wife - reality-television star Kim Kardashian West regularly changes from brunette to blonde - or showing support for musician Frank Ocean, whose album Blonde was not nominated for any Grammys. West was a writer of one of the songs on the album, according to liner notes.

In October, West threatened that he would not show up at the Grammy Awards if Blonde was not nominated. (Granted, neither Ocean nor his label submitted the album for consideration.) Perhaps he decided to take a stance now that the lists of nominees have officially been released.

Of course, it is possible everyone is overthinking the matter and West just felt like changing things up. That was the view musician Pharrell took during an interview on the radio station Hot 97 last week.

"I think he's an artist," he said. "I think as people we have to be able to express ourselves. No matter where we are or what we are doing."

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