My First Unachievable Beauty StandardMadeline Holler
I did not watch Charlie’s Angels growing up. It aired pre-cable, back when TV reception came from an antenna on the roof. Plus, something about VHF and UHF. So we never got ABC all that well (though I feel like I never missed an episode of Love Boat, so maybe I just didn’t like the show. More likely, my mom thought it was sexist).
In any case, I was very familiar with Farrah Fawcett and her allure. The memory that keeps going through my mind, whenever someone squeezes a reference to her death in around the world-wide mega tribute to Michael Jackson, involves a girl I sat next to on the school bus. We were in, like, third grade? The famous poster was on every boy’s wall in America. Fawcett was already off the show, but still an ever-more-popular icon.
The bus girl, Cindy, I think, told me that if she lost 10 pounds her mom would let her feather her hair like Farrah Fawcett. I considered myself “huskier” than Cindy. It was clear I really didn’t deserve a middle part with swept back, wavy bangs.
Farrah Fawcett was the first of now countless unachievable beauty standards paraded before me and my girl contemporaries. And that’s pretty much what I remember of the young, sexy crime fighter. (For older Farrah, I think of her role in “The Apostle.”)
I caved, eventually. With the help of a perm, a curling iron and hairspray, I managed to get some feathering action going. At some point, Cindy had a decent pair of wing-bangs shellacked into place with what had to have been half a can of Aquanet. But I’ve always been chasing those 10 pounds that Cindy’s mom considered incompatible with little girl Farrah hair. You know, Cindy’s probably still chasing them, too.
Ahh, but no hard feelings, Farrah.
Still, I wonder which starlet that will be for my girls. It’s unavoidable, right?
Here’s Fawcett endorsing Lady Schick Speed Styler (OMG, I think we had one).