Last winter I made the terrible mistake of dying my hair red. I’ve been a lifelong brunette -except for that short period in high school where I went a stunning shade of pink- and I thought somehow that red would boost my personality in some way. I was so off base.
I recently read an interview in Vanity Fair with one of my favorite actresses right now, Lizzy Caplan, in which she said that she was excited that actresses like her now “get to be the girl” as opposed to the best friend role. Caplan, a pale brunette, is stunningly gorgeous, but you may remember her as the dark and crazy mess that was Janis Ian in Mean Girls. It got me thinking about television and movies today, and about how brunettes have- in their own way- taken over a role that in the past they never really played. And as a brunette who has now come to completely adore my hair color, I’m all for it.
There’s something to be said about brunettes taking charge of the television industry right now, because in a way it opens up the door for all women to take a new lead in media. Lizzy, Tina Fey, Zooey Deschanel, Mindy Kaling, Aubrey Plaza, Kat Dennings, Krysten Ritter. All unusual suspects in Hollywood that have managed to make a name for themselves as strong, independent, funny, smart, unique and sexy leading ladies. And they’ve used their talents to draw their crowd as opposed to a stereotypical idea of what is supposed to be beautiful in Hollywood.
These women have created a new persona and pushed the limit on what all women actresses can do on TV. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey are proving that you can be strong, funny and powerful without a man influencing every aspect of your life; Kat Dennings and Krysten Ritter prove that women can be snarky and sexy without being labeled bitchy and slutty; and Zooey Deschanel is stepping up and showing women that it’s okay to be girly and cute, because being a woman doesn’t make you any less of a leader or any less in control of your destiny.
Gone are the days of the “quirky best friend” for every woman that isn’t a cardboard cutout of the typical tall blonde bombshell. And gone are the days of every tall, blonde bombshell being labeled as the “ditsy sex object.” Women are proving their chops in new ways. I think that, despite hair color, women have been restricted by their sex in the media, and that is changing. There hasn’t been a better time to be a funny woman in Hollywood then there is now, and I love that I’m on board for the ride.