I just watched an interview with Ryan O’Neal on The Today Show regarding Farrah Fawcett and her medical condition. From the way it sounds, she may not be with us that much longer. This Friday night NBC is showing a documentary called, I believe, “Farrah’s Story” airing at 9:00/8:00 central.
And how does this rate as blogworthy for me? I was far more attracted to Kate Jackson. And I’m not one to be drawn to mere beauty (i.e., regarding the Miss California flap, my primary response is “Who cares? She’s a beauty queen, for god’s sake.”) And yet, that’s what Farrah was for all of us, sans crown.
I was a child of the ’70s. Anyone of my generation who simply hears the words “Farrah’s Red Swimsuit Poster” can immediately conjure up the image. She captured our imaginations (and our eyes!) with her unashamed sensuality. We had pin-up girls in the ’40s and ’50s, but after the era of Betty Grable we entered into the girl-next-door period of the ’60s. Suddenly female stars had to be wholesome and cute – not pretty. Think Mary Tyler Moore and Marlo Thomas. What Farrah did was far more than look beautiful and pose. To steal words from Justin Timberlake, she brought sexy back. Regardless of my personal disdain for focusing solely on superficial beauty, Farrah Fawcett is an American icon who helped shape and define a generation more than we probably acknowledge.
And then I watch this interview with Ryan O’Neal and I learn from him what I have known to be true about all women. . . that she is so much more than her trend-setting hairstyle and crystalline eyes. She is strong and determined and the rock of her family. She is capable and nurturing and real.
I skipped the Miss USA pageant, but I’ll be watching “Farrah’s Story” on Friday night. And I’ll probably cry. Regardless of whether Farrah lasts six weeks or six years or beyond, when she goes, along with her will go a part of my generation.