Elon Musk mocks British wig-wearing barristers

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By Aishah Hussain on

‘Mfs in the 1700s saw this hairstyle and were like YOOOO 🔥🔥🔥’

Elon Musk image via Wikimedia Commons/Duncan Hull

Elon Musk mocked British wig-wearing judges and barristers in a post shared on his personal Twitter account today.

The tech tycoon posted a photo (below) of a man wearing a white wig this morning along with the caption, “Mfs in the 1700s saw this hairstyle and were like YOOOO 🔥🔥🔥”. He added his own jokey caption, “Also, the British legal system in 2021”, alongside the post which has received 42,000 ‘likes’ at the time of publication.

Musk has previously come out in support of former Supreme Court justice Lord Sumption when he critiqued the UK government’s lockdown rules. “Well said, Lord Sumption, well said!”, Musk tweeted to his army of followers at the time.

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Judges adopted wigs, along with the rest of polite society, during the reign of Charles II (1660-1685). But while the rest of the world gradually dropped the fashion, the legal world kept their rugs firmly in place.

While it’s not clear what prompted Musk’s jibe, wigs have come under scrutiny over the years, with critics labelling the legal headpiece fusty and outdated. The Lord Chief Justice, Lord Burnett of Maldon, recently argued in their favour, however, saying that they help to “anonymise” judges and barristers and “takes away their personality from the function that they’re performing”. Then there are more trivial reasons: “It’s useful for covering my roots until the salon opens”, criminal barrister Joanna Hardy tweeted during the national lockdown in March.

There are signs wigs are now moving with the times. Pupil barrister Samuel March made headlines in March when he crafted what is understood to be the country’s first vegan wig using hemp in place of traditional horsehair.

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