Jellyfish, the mesmerizing yet dangerous marine animal, has become the unlikely mascot of a burgeoning beauty phenomenon: the "jellyfish haircut," a style popularized on TikTok and recently sported by Nicole Kidman in her internet-breaking Perfect magazine spread.
The cut is essentially a short bob with long layers underneath. The rounded, mushroom-like top resembles the head of the jellyfish, while the lengthier lower section brings to mind the creature's flowing tentacles.
Kidman's dual-length cut, executed by Evanie Frausto, has been classified by some as jellyfish-worthy, but it bears stronger resemblance to the hime haircut, a style that began trending on TikTok in May.
Recently sported by the Haim sisters and Lisa from BLACKPINK, hime hair reportedly originated during the Heian period in Japan. The cut frames the face with short, blunt sections at the front, typically cut to cheekbone or jaw-length, offset by longer hair at the back. Unlike the jellyfish's 360-degree bob, the shorter sections of a hime cut remain at the front of the head, resulting a more two-dimensional look.
The advent of the jellyfish and the comeback of the hime are natural evolutions of the mullet, the once démodé style that began resurging in popularity last year. Since TikTok's "one minute mullet" challenge took off in 2021, creators have put their own twists on the shaggy style, resulting in infinite rebrands: e.g. the wolf cut or the octopus haircut, both modified versions of the mullet.
From the jellyfish to the octopus, these striking hairstyles provide the perfect companion to TikTok's "weird girl aesthetic," a look embodied by Bella Hadid's mismatched accessories, clashing prints, and other anti-fashion touches. The mullet is similarly subversive for its androgynous look and ties to both punk and queer culture.
It seems both beauty and style are sticking a middle finger to mainstream respectability — while the traditional mullet once signaled "business in the front, party in the back," TikTok's jellyfish cut and weird girl fashion forget the business and embrace the party.