Errant Euros, Yen, Deutsche Marks, Kronor, and New Zealand dollars lie dormant in my desk drawer, cherished not for their monetary value but for the designs and illustrations they bear and the memories they conjure. Collectively, they function as featherweight souvenirs, reminders of the vastness of the world with its many systems, histories, and people.
And yet I’ve always been struck more by the sameness of banknotes than by their differences. Countries (and cultures) so otherwise diverse from one another have settled on designs that are relatively similar in size and shape, typically bearing the portrait of a figure of some political, historical, or cultural import, and almost always men.
Hair Supply subjects these figures to au courant makeovers, borrowing from precedent established by popular reality shows in the vein of Extreme Makeover, Queer Eye, and The Swan. We can’t help but love a metamorphosis, it seems. As we do with their reluctant reality television counterparts, we gawk and marvel at each transformation, assuring the Queen that she looks more confident with her new mint lob.