Dear Canada, please stop with the ballerina buns

This isn’t really a travel post. This isn’t even really a post about anything other than my frustration over something so horrific, it only deserves to be written about.

I noticed an alarming trend while driving across Canada. Everywhere I went, I was jarred by the sight of the Ballerina Bun. Whether I was sitting for a beer at a pub or browsing a sale rack at a clothing store, there were times when I caught sight of the Bun creeping into my peripheral vision like a predator out for the kill. It just lurked there all ominous and foreboding, while I froze poised to run for the door the minute it advanced in my direction.

Girls everywhere with a tiny bun piled haphazardly smack-dab in the centre of the top of their heads, like a Teletubbie. I call it the Ballerina Bun, except there’s nothing classic or elegant about it. As my friend Leila pointed out, this is often complimented by huge, face-covering sunglasses, a long blazer, and high boots. Brown ones, usually. I’m not sure whether it’s supposed to be indie or pop or chic, but it’s giving me a stomach ulcer like those goddamned Bench jackets that took over St. John’s a few years ago.

Duckface Ballerina Bun.

Out of every city we visited, Montreal, Ottawa and especially Winnipeg seemed most fond of the Ballerina Bun. My killer fashion senses tell me that this bun is the new replacement for the Messy Bun, typically worn by blondes and entirely misleading because they generally require a great deal of effort and hairspray. That roll-out-of-bed-and-do-the-walk-of-shame hooker look.

Alas, these trends spread like wildlife and there’s nothing to slow them down. I demonstrated the look for some friends during our cabin weekend in Northern Bay Sands, and before I knew it, we were all rocking the Ballerina Bun. I think it looks good on us, just the same.

I told them to "look pretentious."

And true to the nature of trends, I checked my Facebook stream this morning to see a wall post left by my friend Roberta: “You’ve created a monster – I’m totally rocking that bun all the time now.”

I can’t be held accountable for such things.

  • Katrina Mauro

    I don’t know about Canada…but that do is not at all new in New York. It’s a catholic school girl look…I’m not sure I know anyone who didn’t wear that bun at some point in high school – though it hasn’t transferred to adulthood. Thank God for that.

  • Nancy

    My hair is too thin for that bun :(

    Also, : “spread like wildlife” made me giggle!

  • Seattle Dredge

    I didn’t know this was a Canada-thing.. I hate it, nonetheless. If I’m feeling lazy it might result in a messy bun, but never on the top of my head, and usually not in public..


  • Robyn

    Being from Winnipeg I hang my head in shame. I agree with you. The ballerina bun thing is stupid. Fucking hipster kids…

  • SpilledInkGuy

    I’m not going to lie.
    I immediately went into the bathroom to try this.
    It took forever to find a rubber band.
    And not nearly as long to discover my hair is far too short to support a rubber band, which kept shooting off into space. Which amused me far too much. Repeatedly. Allegedly. :)

  • Susan

    I love SpilledInkGuy.

  • Kate

    I am SO OFFENDED by this post. I happen to rock a “ballerina buns” except I call it a knot and it sits on the crown of my head (which is how it’s done correctly). And why exactly is it that you only want Canada to stop, do you not care about your faithful readers in the states? Very countryist and bighairist if you ask me.

    Just kidding…it was funny. I totally rock one though! ;) For reals!

  • Roberta

    In my defense, after reading your post I realize mine is more of a messy bun. And since I don’t own hairspray, it is actually just messy…and not even on top of my head.

  • Nina

    Most of you are probably too young to realize that it’s a throw back to the 80s!! Pants up to the waist, big glasses and the bun on top of the head!! Anyway, I’m in Turkey right now and I’m seeing them EVERYWHERE!! Lots of European girls are doing it so it’s not just a Canadian thing!!

  • Teacher Girl

    No ballerina teacher would ever support such a bun! Lol, why can’t they do them in the proper place in the middle of the back of their heads or rock a low bun at the nape of the neck? Such a confusing trend!

  • maggie

    the messy bun is my go to work hair style. and involves nothing but an elastic. no hairspray whatsoever. but it’s the only way to really keep all of my hair under the surgery cap :P
    but don’t worry, i won’t graduate to this ‘ballerina bun’ version…. first off, i think it would require me hanging my head upside down (to much work), and i have a feeling it would defeat the purpose of trying to contain my hair under the cap but forcing the cap up off the rest of my head. .
    (i also never noticed this trend at all until you pointed it out. . . apparently i’ve stuck to nontrendy parts of canada this year?)

  • Candice

    Hahaha, I guess we’re just behind. Oh the insanity.

  • Candice

    Consider yourself lucky!

  • Candice

    Apparently it’s not a Canadian thing! But damn, it’s rampant here.

  • Candice


  • Candice

    I cannot wait for the day I see a man wearing one of those.

  • Candice

    Hahaha, I’m all for buns! Just not the troll ones. Or Teletubbies, whatevs.

  • Candice

    I totally love the messy bun, it’s my favourite.

  • Candice

    Hahaha, awesome! Ah, the high-waisted pants. Dear god.

  • Candice

    Now it’s gonna plague us FOREVER.

  • SpilledInkGuy

    Aw, shucks!
    I don’t know if I should be totally flattered or if you’re just trying to sell me rubber bands!
    (psst… I’ll take 2 more cases…)

  • Sarah

    It’s an epidemic…affecting fashion-conscious girls across the country.

    Perhaps an awareness or advocacy group is in order?

    You know, something like “Ponytails for the banishment of ballerina buns.”

    I don’t know, I’m still working on the name, but the idea is there!

  • Sabina

    Oh, yeah, I remember Britney Spears used to wear that on her head. I actually think it’s kind of cute and ugly at the same time. The facial expressions, though, wow, not very ballerina-ish.

  • Lisa @chickybus

    This is hilarious! I love the photos, especially the group shot. I’m not a fan of buns because they’re usually seem too neat or too sloppy somehow. :)

  • Annie

    It’s in Australia!!!!

    When I first started meeting Aussie girls that are my housemates this week, I thought it was funny that they all decided to do their hair the same for bed… and then it never changed…

    It doesn’t look good, I mean it doesn’t look put together. Do you think they know that?

  • Candice

    Man, I don’t know! But they LOVE it! It’s always super skinny girls too. Perhaps it highlights their cheek bones.

  • Island Girl

    I was just in New York and my Brazillian friend there was also ranting about the pretentious, ridiculous hipster bun. I came across your post in the most meandering way, and enjoyed it.
    It’s definitely a hipster trend in North America and northern Europe. Lykke Li can get away with it but it’s getting over-done now. Makes me giggle all the time — and when I saw your group bun-shot, I was in stitches.

    P.S. Agreed. Those Bench jackets make me nauseaus – way to try to look like you’re all brand and price tag and exclusive, but end up looking like a bunch of mindless, styleless)dopes, St. John’s shoppers!

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