Unlike most of the moms I know, I just watched Bad Moms for the first time today. I have wanted to see it since it came out, but the thing about marketing movies to moms is that moms often have a hard time getting out to go see them in the theater. So, as part of our extremely low-key New Year’s celebration, my husband and I dropped our boys off with my parents (thanks, Mom and Dad), went to go see Rogue One in the theater (which should be a separate post, after I fully process my feelings about it), and stopped to pick up snacks and Bad Moms on the way home because we went to the cheap theater for our Star Wars fix and we wanted to kick 2017 off with some humor because God only knows we needed it. Bad Moms did not disappoint.
Now, I love me some Kristen Bell. I loved her in Veronica Mars, which I only discovered years after the show stopped airing when I mainlined the dvds while my firstborn was still young enough that I could sit around and watch “grown-up” television while he played on the floor (when I wasn’t working). I loved her in Frozen. I love that she’s real about her marriage and the struggles of motherhood, and I freaking adored her in Bad Moms. Her character is basically me, but with a really shitty husband. Kiki is neurotic. She loves her kids, but they are driving her nuts. She’s reserved. Until she bonds with someone who gets her, however, and maybe gets a couple drinks in her – then she jumps into excited squirrel mode. I have been compared to squirrels since I was in second grade. Squirrels are my spirit animal, and they are Kiki’s as well.
The most random but refreshing thing I picked up on in Bad Moms, from the first frame Kristen Bell appears in, is that her hair was not styled. Or, rather, it was styled to look like she had simply stepped out of the shower and maybe run a comb through to part it. She also wore makeup to make it look like she wasn’t wearing makeup. She’s Kristen Bell, so she still looks gorgeous, obviously, but the fact that her hair hung in limp, slightly wavy clumps spoke to me in ways no actress’s hairstyle has ever spoken to me before. This was REAL. Kiki, her character in Bad Moms, has four young children. The youngest two are twins who still ride in a double stroller. Moms with small children do not blow out their hair every day, unless they have stay-at-home spouses, nannies, or are characters in Hollywood movies or television shows. This is a reality I have understood since my first week home from the hospital with my first child. Five years later, I’ve had a total of maybe ten haircuts since then and have worn my hair in a ponytail approximately 70% of the time. “Styling” my hair mostly consists of washing it (which happens twice a week in a good week) and allowing it to dry completely before putting it in a ponytail so I don’t have a rubber band indentation around the back of it until I wash it again. If I’m feeling fancy, I blow dry it in between answering questions and pouring milk and try to see how many days I can leave it down while doing nothing to it before it starts to look like hell. I think my record is four days. However, my definition of “looking like hell” has probably shifted in the last five years, too.
What impressed me even more than this realistic hairstyle on Bell is the fact that it remained consistent. I think she styled her hair the night that she and her posse (consisting of Mila Kunis as Amy and Kathryn Hahn as Karla) set out to get the recently-separated Amy laid. Aside from that, Kiki’s hair is only styled again at the very end of the movie when Kiki’s husband has become aware that, yes, he needs to pull his weight as a parent. Clearly, he has helped her get the older kids off to school this morning, so *surprise* Kiki has blow-dryed her hair, and it looks even more fabulous.
I know this is a silly thing, but it’s incredible how such a small gesture in a movie about taking the pressure off of moms to be perfect can go so far to driving the point home. I feel better about myself when my hair is at least a little styled, but I also know better than to put too much importance on such a trivial thing. Many days, the ten minutes I would spend with a blow dryer can be spent on more important things, so that’s that. And this is the first Hollywood movie I’ve seen that actually gets that and practices what it’s (hilariously) preaching.