Saturday, March 08, 2008

On skirts, hairstyle and stubble

We are all aware of the old theory about economic cycles in the USA and how the wearing of shorter skirts by women is an indicator of prosperity. Shorter hemlines were in fashion during the Roaring twenties and the Swinging Sixties, both periods of boom. During the great depression of the thirties, long skirts were in vogue.

Now comes a theory, based on data collected over 20 years in Japan, that show that it is the length of the hair that really matters. Japanese women start wearing their hair short when the economy is worsening and let it grow longer when times are getting better.

Indian women have had long hair all the time and only a tiny minority wears skirts. So, we may not be able to find statistics to link these with our GDP growth. Maybe, we could cull out data on the neckline of blouses of heroines of Bollywood movies over the decades, to see if there is some correlation.

So, while I have not been able to track the economic cycles in India and the relevant correlating factors and metrices, what I have done is study the indicators of Tendulkar’s batting performance. Based on the records that I have painstakingly maintained for the last twenty years or so, I find that Tendulkar scores more runs on days that he hasn’t shaved.

Of course, we have to ignore the data for the first few years of his career, as he was not old enough to shave, but when you look at photographs after 1995 or so, on days he had scored over 50 runs, you will notice the unmistakable stubble.

So, the question some of you might have is why doesn’t Tendulkar sport a beard all the time? Why does he bother to shave when he knows that it impairs his performance?

My response to that is, why don’t the American women wear short skirts all the time, or the Japanese women grow long hair, when these are clear indicators of economic prosperity? Why bother to wear long skirts or cut hair shorter when such reckless acts are known to cause a downturn?

Never forget that indicators are what economists and analysts come up with, retrospectively, to prove a point about the past. They should never ever be used as pointers to the future.


Unknown said...


you leave out one very important piece of data.

Have you noticed that Tendulkar scores above 50 only on days that I sport a stubble.. in fact the correlation of Tendulkars score to my stubble is better than his stubble.


Usha said...

You got it the other way round. In fact the days he scores over 50, he grows a beard while doing it.

Hawkeye said...


i maintain similar data on tendulkar and my data shows the opposite. Until 1999 WC - it was on days that he *did* shave that he scored a lot :-). that 111 in benoni is like a tremendous example. the moment he walked out I said 'century'

Raj said...

Sundar, if the punters know this fact, then you will be hounded.

usha, that's possible too.

hawkeye, do you think there are two Tendulkars, one with a beard and one without?

Anonymous said...

another example could be SRK.

whenever he has a big moustache -- the movie fails [ read paheli]

whenever he has a stubble [ read Chak De] -- he gets accolades for his [no] perfomance

whenever he is clean shaven with long hair-- [read OSO]--his movies get accolades, and he criticism!

and so forth.
i have a more detailed one; as it is is bound to be correct :D

Vijay Vaidyanathan said...

Excellent observation !!!! Kudos to you !!!

We need more observers and statisticians like you :)