Who is Valentina Petrenko? She is a Russian senator. She represents the Republic of Khakassia. She is the chair of Russia’s Committee on Social Policy. And she is the owner of the most fascinating hair international politics has to offer.
Every few months, Twitter rediscovers Petrenko’s coiffed, vaguely Simpsons-esque hairstyle. And every few months, we ask these questions: Is it a wig? How does it stay up like that? And why does she style it this way?
No, Petrenko’s hair is not a wig — at least that’s what she maintains. In fact, in a 2015 interview with the Russian radio station Echo of Moscow, she seemed annoyed that people kept asking. “I have curly hair,” she said. “I just lift it upwards with several hairpins, that’s all.”
As for why she’s worn such a severe, geometric style for so many years, it probably has to do with how she’s perceived as a woman in politics. “By constructing back-combed masterpieces on their heads and by wearing square suits, [political] women tend to look less feminine, or maybe less vulnerable,” Russian ballerina Anastasia Volochkova told The Daily Beast in 2012. (Petrenko is far from the only Russian politician to embrace the coif.)
And because she keeps the ‘do up (literally and figuratively), the internet keeps noticing.
So if you have any Petrenko memes you’d like to contribute on Twitter, we’d advise posting them soon. In a world where almost nothing is fun anymore, this seems like too good an opportunity to pass up.
Just be sure to respect the coiffure.