Especially if you're a child of the 70s...
(As a college girl), I was captivated by Farrah Fawcett--the long-limbed, athletic, tanned figure, the dazzling mega-watt smile, but most of all THE HAIR...the gorgeous, thick, out-of-control mane of blonde highlights
With all the hoopla surrounding the death of Michael Jackson, the death of Farrah Fawcett on the very same day has been greatly overshadowed.
But although Jackson was a pop icon on a grander scale, Farrah Fawcett was no slouch when it came to being an icon for her generation. You KNOW that, if--like me--you grew up in the 1970s.
If you're a woman, chances are you tried to coax your hair into the famous Farrah Flip-Back. I know I did! In fact, if you looked at the pages of my 1978 college yearbook, you'll notice that probably a good 75 per cent of the girls were doing the same thing.
If you were a guy, you no doubt vividly remember the iconic Farrah Fawcett poster (some of which I've cropped here in the interest of family friendliness.)
I made sure I was watching "Charlie's Angels" each week (those were the days when if you didn't catch it the first time, there was no TiVo to allow you to view it at your convenience) and I was shocked when she walked away from the series after only one highly-successful year. Let's face it, Cheryl Ladd was a doll, but she was no Farrah.
Am I saying I admired Farrah Fawcett for her morals or wished to emulate her life? No.
In fact, I don't understand why she and Ryan O'Neal couldn't have legitimized their union, especially when their son came along. I certainly don't applaud her appearing in Playboy--although, doing so at the age of 50, you've gotta give her her props. I mean, come on...50!
I also really question her use of plastic surgery. I blogged about that four years ago:
"...I'll try not to be unkind here, but I no longer envy Farrah her looks. The poor thing is a prime example of plastic surgery run amok. Her once-lovely face is almost unrecognizable--and I have to say, why? Surely the normal aging process would have been kinder to Farrah than the cosmetic surgery. (Yes, she still does have a terrific figure, I'll give her that.)"
However, Farrah Fawcett did show real courage in her fight against cancer, even allowing herself to be video-taped in graphic depictions of the ravages of the disease.
And, as I also blogged about in the afore-mentioned post, she appeared to have a beautiful relationship with her parents. I wrote this after watching an episode of her reality show, Chasing Farrah:
The show last night focused on her parents, Jim and Pauline. They allowed the cameras into their Houston home, and they were the most charming thing about the show last night.
First of all, Jim reminded me of so many Texas men that I've known all my life (including even a little bit of my dad), that it made me a little sad and nostalgic right off the bat. Farrah's relationship with him is very sweet. Although she's in her late 50's, she is still Daddy's little girl, which was just the case with me and my own father, who passed away in 2004.
Farrah's mother, Pauline, was lovely. It was obvious that little or no plastic surgery had been done on her--although she was quite old, there was none of that pinched and cookie-cutter look to her face. Yet she was a very attractive lady. I could also relate to Farrah's relationship with her mom. I adore my own mother, and it was obvious Farrah was crazy about hers.
At one point, Farrah got emotional when she was talking to the camera about her love for her parents and her concern about the fact that they were growing old, and she might have to face life without them someday.
At the end of the show, a taped phone message could be heard. It was Farrah's dad, obviously calling from his wife's hospital room, telling Farrah she needed to get there as soon as she could.
The show closed with an "in loving memory" note, and the birth and death dates of Pauline Alice Fawcett.
I hope Farrah made peace with her Maker before she passed into the next world. But this is certain: those of us who grew up with Farrah Fawcett won't be forgetting her.