Why Halle Berry's Oscars Look Is Being Ripped To Shreds

Oscar-winner Halle Berry has always shown her comfortability taking risks, not just in her career or standing up for her personal life, but also as a style icon and sartorial trailblazer, especially when it came to appearances at the Academy Awards. In 2002, the year she became the first Black woman to win Best Actress for "Monster's Ball," Berry made headlines for a second reason — she arrived in what many consider her edgiest gown choice to date. As CR Fashion Book wrote, "The dress was an immediate wow moment" long before Berry scooped up her gold. 

Rocking a see-through top with strategically embroidered flower designs and a dramatic burgundy skirt, "Halle Berry... managed to really put the name Elie Saab on the international market," designer Elie Saab himself said (per CR). "[She's] the reason my brand took off." It takes true power to take a brand global simply by wearing it once! 

At the 2011 Oscars, per HuffPost, Berry once again set hearts aflutter by pouring herself into a figure-hugging, flesh-hued, and embroidered tulle Marchesa gown. The publication mused that Berry's choice of evening wear "not only looked gorgeous but actually enjoyable to wear." It is notable that both these Best Dressed occasions featured a pixie haircut-Berry, a version of her hair with which she generally seems content wearing. At the 2021 Oscars, however, Berry decided to shock onlookers and fashion critics alike in an entirely different way than with her choice of frock. 

Halle Berry debuted a controversial bob haircut at the 2021 Oscars

In a strapless lilac gown adorned with ultra-feminine details like a large center bow and a flowy tail, Halle Berry looked her usual classy sex-symbol self on the 2021 Oscars red carpet... until one noticed her fresh haircut. Wearing her highlighted locks in a bob that cut off just below her razor-sharp cheekbones, Berry also showcased short and deliberately uneven bangs. The new look is specifically startling given that Berry had been cited in December 2020 as an example of long, eye-sweeping curtain bangs done well, as Oprah Daily reported.

Twitter seemed to side with Oprah Daily that Berry should have adhered to her longer, more versatile bangs. "Why is Halle Berry rocking Josh Harnett's hair from the 2000's?" snarkily tweeted Netflix social media team member Jarett Wieselman. Perhaps more threatening, however, was another Twitter user's proclamation that "I will destroy halle berry's bob," to which another jokingly replied, "damn, how much more damage can it take?"

Perhaps, this is a rare miss for the decorated style maven, but her taste in wardrobe at least seemed to remain tried and true. Although yet another voice in the Twitter choir chimed in that the "hair is nooooooo," the agreement was that "the dress is fabulous." Hey, hair can always grow back. 

Halle Berry hinted at the haircut with a mysterious Twitter pic

Halle Berry teased fans about her hair hours before hitting the Oscars red carpet. The "Monster's Ball" actor shared a picture on her Twitter on April 25 that showed some of her honey brown locks cut off and lying on the floor, hinting that she was trying out a very different look.

"Retro Halle back in business," one Twitter user commented, while others tried to guess the hairstyle that she would be unveiling. "Oh yea we getting short hair Halle back? Lets goooooo," another fan tweeted, sharing pictures of Berry's classic pixie cuts from the '90s.

The actor, who has been known for her chic hairstyles in the past, previously told InStyle that she felt like her "best self" when she had her first dramatically short haircut. "I had no hair to hide behind, it was just all me, take it or leave it, love it or hate it," Berry added (via US Weekly), admitting that she had "an affinity for short hair."

Halle Berry credits a short haircut with her big break

Halle Berry also claimed that her first short haircut was the reason for her acting success. The "John Wick" star told InStyle that she landed the part of Emily Franklin on the '80s sitcom "Living Dolls" after the change. "I think that was because the directors and producers actually saw me," Berry explained (via US Weekly). "Before that, I had long hair like every other girl like me. When I got this haircut, I felt like my best self."

She revealed to the Huffington Post in 2014 that even though her manager hated the new look at first, it filled her with confidence. "Growing up as a Black woman, I felt that if I didn't have long hair, I wasn't going to be beautiful. I always thought that," Berry recalled, describing cutting her hair as a "freeing" experience. "Someone saying you're beautiful and the fact that you have no hair makes you even more beautiful, said to me it's not about my hair. It's about something else we emanate. I've lived with that my whole life," the actor shared.

Only time will tell if she keeps the head-turning coiffure, but Berry has proven time and time again that she loves to make people talk with a shocking new look.