Joe Dirt. Kenny Powers. Billy Ray Cyrus. These heavyweights of the most ‘Merican hairdo of all time, the noble mullet, now have a new prizefighter in their midst: 8-year-old Celeste resident Jaxson “Hot Rod” Crossland.
Crossland recently won first place in the inaugural 2020 Kids Mullet Championships after children across the country submitted photos to the contest. When he was crowned the winner, Crossland says his family was beyond excited. His friends were, too, depending on who you ask.
“My friends think that – they’re probably jealous, but, sometimes they’re not,” Crossland says.
The Michigan-based USA Mullet Championships competition attracted more than 20,000 votes and 50,000 social media reactions, President Kevin Begola said in a news release. This has been a difficult year, and Begola thinks the kids’ mullet contest was exactly what everyone needed to raise their spirits.
With the title came $500, which Crossland says he used to buy boxing gloves and a punching bag along with two months’ worth of boxing lessons. He tells the Observer he wants to be a bull rider or a YouTuber when he grows up.
Crossland’s mom, Zoie Shepard, says her son’s newfound fame has led to him being recognized by strangers whenever they’re in public. In fact, an old man snuck him $20 when they were out to dinner earlier this month.
Of course, Shepard says there have been some haters on social media, but for the most part, Crossland is welcomed with kindness wherever he goes.
One news interview featuring her son attracted 2.4 million views, she says.
“We’re just sitting at home in our little small town, and we know like 800 people in our area. Like, 2.4 million? This is insane,” Shepard says. “Dang, over a mullet."
It isn't just any mullet, though. A special breed, Crossland's hair boasts curly locks that drape past his shoulder blades in the back, along with short sides and straight, asymmetrical bangs. The third-grade Celeste Elementary student’s mullet started growing in when he was 2, Shepard says, and it's now part of his personality.
Even high school kids will approach Crossland at football and basketball games to tell him how cool his ‘do is, she adds.
When he’s older, Crossland says he’ll get half a dozen four-wheel-drive trucks: three for his dad and three for himself. He’ll also snag a Ferrari, a Porsche and a McLaren — all in silver — in addition to a sea-green Lamborghini with blue under-glow lights. Plus, Crossland is working toward owning “three or four” mansions in New York City, California or Mexico.
But first things first: Crossland must defend his title in next year’s Kids Mullet Championships. Win or lose, Shepard and family are proud and will be there to support him no matter what.
“In his mind, he is going to the highest of highs,” Shepard says with a laugh. “We’re just going to let him go as far as he can.”
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.