I've bitched about this on Twitter a couple of times, but limited characters means limited bitching. Plus, I keep seeing new instances.
The issue? Inappropriate long, loose hair.
As a frequent owner of long hair that is occasionally loose, I'm aware of when I should have my hair tied back. When cooking, for example. While walking the dog. While driving. I love my long hair, and get many compliments on it, but that doesn't mean I need to be all flowing locks all over the place.
Televisions shows and movies don't seem to understand this. If a woman is a woman, then her hair is long, and loose, and flowing! Otherwise, how will she be free? (while obviously wearing some kind of titanium bra, because boobs do not move).
In Masterchef, a "reality show" I confess to enjoying, I see this a lot (men and women). They're in kitchens, they're doing challenges, they're cooking. Their hair should be pulled back. Gordon Ramsay et. al flip their shit if they find a hair in their food. It's gross. Pull your Goddamn hair back.
If I'm watching a female do action-y things, she should pull her hair back. Or have short hair; that's a pragmatic decision. I will engage in combat today, I don't need hair in my face and mouth. I don't need a three foot long handle for my opponents. But you've probably seen, say, Elektra, or at least ads for it. Nope, loose hair. I yelled at the screen for a lot of the movie; my fiancè was not pleased with this. This was also a frequent issue on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, though I loved it dearly for several seasons. Also Firefly and Serenity.
My latest example: forensic scientists on the television show Hannibal. What's that, you're investigating a crime scene? Looking through microscopes or whatever at evidence? Pull your fucking hair back, because you risk contaminating things.
Do we cling to Victorian ideals of "a woman's crowning glory is her hair" so much that we need a woman in any and every role to have long, loose hair? This has nothing to do with strong women, or gender roles. It's common sense. Hair gets caught on things. Pulled hair is painful. Use a ponytail holder.