Thursday, June 25, 2009

Farrah Fawcett 1947 - 2009

For better or for worse, this is the photograph of Farrah Fawcett that will always be burned into my mind:

I first saw this image in Tony's room in Saturday Night Fever. It must've been 1979 or 1980. I was 11 or 12. For me that poster was like pollen to a bee. I got the poster, put it up in my room and I buzzed around it. I got to know it better than any other photograph I'd ever seen. I knew it better than any family portrait or presidential visage or even my own face.

Whoever had made the thing had known exactly what they were doing. They'd designed a heat-seeking marketing meme that would lodge forever in the head of any pre-pubescent boy who saw it. Thirty years later it's still lodged in there. It's the first thing I thought of when I learned today of her death.

I'm sorry. I know it's kind of a twisted image, not exactly a high point for feminism. I know there was much more to Fawcett's life and accomplishments than this snapshot. I sort of wish I'd never seen it. But I did, and for about two solid years that was the most important photograph in my life.

1 comment:

Gordon Stettinius said...

Yup. Everything you said... And I'll raise you a contemporaneous Cheryl Tiegs image.