Thank you, Kate Gosselin.
Thank you for enduring 20 hours' worth of salon treatment.
Thank you for having the stamina, fortitude and dexterity to thumb through 20 hours' worth of magazines (even if, no doubt, the articles were all about you and your family).
Thank you for morphing into Nancy O'Dell meets Britney Spears for girl talk and drinks at the Islands in Cougar Town.
Thank you, yes, thank you, for getting hair extensions.
Mark this day: The Great Recession is going down like Jon Gosselin!
Now, we're not economists, but we know hair, which, sadly, is not the same as knowing what to do with hair, but still… We know women wear their hair short during lean times. We know Britney Spears pulled a baldie in February 2007, and—bam!—the economy tanked months later. We know the spiky-haired Gosselin rose to fame during the worst global economy since World War II.
In other words, short hair is an evil voodoo doll that got you laid off from your last job; long hair is Timothy Geitner's dream girl who invites us all to spend luxurious, Kardashian days by the pool.
Or, in other other words, if the tress-tracked Gosselin's new, longer hair can inspire as many imitators as her old, shorter hair did, then, baby, gas up the Hummer—America's back!
Laughing? Leo Benjamin Jr. is the owner of South Florida's Adrian's Hair Center, and when we asked him what he thought when he saw Gosselin and her new look on the cover of People, he laughed, too.
"I got excited," he said. "I got very excited…When celebrities are doing this, that's when we get our influx."
According to Benjamin, an eight-hour extension session can run $1,200-$1,700. (He'd never heard of a 20-hour marathon, by the by, but guessed that, price tag-wise, it "must be a lot.") At the same time, he said, it doesn't matter how much extensions cost; women love them, and will sit for them—"if they have the income to do it."
And, perhaps most important, the motivation to do it.
Which brings us back to where we began: thanking Kate Gosselin.
Thank you for giving Halloween fright-wig makers fresh material. Thank you for coming up with a new way to sell magazines. Thank you, yes, thank you, for all that your funny-looking scarecrow 'do undoubtedly will do to spur commerce, inspire spending and lead us, long strand by long strand, out of the financial abyss.
We're so glad you didn't do it because you thought it looked good.
Kate Gosselin did it. Check out more altered celebrity heads in our Wigged Out gallery.