British model Twiggy at Heathrow Airport | Graphic credit: Josh Sokol

The pixie cut, or “the great chop” as it’s know colloquially, has been a staple in beauty and style since the dawn of the 20th century. But what makes this hairstyle so timeless, chic and powerful?

For the most part, it’s pretty effortless. Depending on how much work you put into it, a pixie cut can be as simple as rolling out of bed in the morning and giving your head a quick shimmy for texture and volume. But if you want to put in more effort, you could go the route of someone like Zoë Kravitz, whose pixie was laid down, which artfully framed her sculpted face, giving room for her garment to shine.

Zoë Kravitz attends the 77th Annual Golden Globe Awards  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

Either way, the pixie has stuck around. The most recent celeb to rock this look is Emily In Paris star Lily Collins, who debuted the great chop (which is most likely a wig) for her cover of Elle magazine. Collins and her stylist went the full Twiggy mile for this look, pairing the pixie with big, bold eyes with separated lashes and a front-facing flash of the camera.

But the pixie isn’t always about being chic and fashionable, sometimes it can be a political statement against patriarchal beauty standards set on women’s image.

Annie Lennox performs onstage circa 1985. (Photo by Lester Cohen) (Photo by Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

Take for instance someone like Annie Lenox. Her short hair and general stage presence has long been coveted by alternative audiences, specifically the LGBTQ+ community. Having someone in the mainstream, like Lenox, who presented against the beauty norms of the 1970s and 80s, while brandishing a suit on stage and generally having an androgynous stage presence, Lenox’s appeal defied the male gaze, a radical choice for the time.

Other celebrities, like Halle Berry, have kept the short hair as a statement of style and beauty, but with an undertone that seems like a personal and curated decision to defy the standards of long hair that have been encouraged by society for so long. The chop, whether practical, stylish or part of a statement, exists to be subversive and make people question what we consider “feminine hair” or “masculine hair.”

Halle Berry attends the 20th annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk For Women (Photo by Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic)

So whether or not the pixie is for you (and we encourage you to keep an open mind), it is a timeless and radical hairstyle that is sure to stay around and turn heads. It has stayed relevant for a reason, and we’re always here for it.