Friday, June 26, 2009

Were You a Farrah Girl?

Farrah Fawcett, the actress who starred as female detective Jill Monroe on the hit TV show, Charlie’s Angels, had a significant impact on my life and the lives of all women everywhere.

It was the hair – the iconic Farrah Fawcett feathered hairdo.

Farrah’s hair had such a huge impact on women, that while doing research for what I thought would be a quirky, but original and entertaining little blog, I discovered that I’d been beaten to the punch! In fact, 5712 blogs showed up this morning containing the word string, “farrah fawcett hair,” even one on ABC!

No television star since, not even Jennifer Aniston of Friends, has had such an effect on young women changing their looks. After Charlie’s Angels debuted in 1976, women everywhere began to grow their hair long, bleach it blond, cut it at an angle, and curl it back from their faces. I have photos of my older sisters attempting the look. While too young to see the show when it originally aired during prime time on ABC, I watched reruns after school and begged my parents for the look-alike Barbee doll. A few years later in the 1980s, a well-meaning mother of one of my friends, also a beautician, cut and attempted to style my long hair like Farrah’s. It was a disaster because my hair curled the wrong way (in, instead of out). I was too young to get a perm, so I ended up pinning it back with hair clips until it grew back out.

Farrah Fawcett made a huge imprint on American culture by breaking the stereotype, that yes, a beautiful woman can be intelligent, strong, and serious. Her 1984 made-for-TV movie, “The Burning Bed,” had a significant impact on how I would later view relationships with men. A list of her many television appearances can be found on

I haven’t yet seen her latest works, “A Wing and a Prayer” on seeking cancer treatments, and “Farrah’s Story,” on her unfortunate relapse and acceptance of her disease. A wonderful description by Michael Ventre is posted on I admire Fawcett’s courage for her willingness to go public during such a traumatic experience. It will be difficult to watch the film since I know the ending.

Sadly, Fawcett lost her battle with cancer yesterday.

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