Monday, September 3, 2012

The Curly Chain

I'm a fan of How I Met Your Mother. If you haven't ever watched it, shame on you. Anyway, one of the characters on this show, Barney Stinson, comes up with all of these funky, yet always somehow slightly true, ways of judging people/solutions to work and relationship problems/dating rules. For instance, he has a scale called the "Crazy/Hot" scale where a girl can only be so crazy if she is only so hot (observe here).

As I was writing my post the other day about how curly haired people are portrayed in the media, it got me to thinking. Is there a way that these characters could be ordered to create my own Barney Stinson inspired scale of sorts. Yes.

So here it is, the Curly Chain! On one end of the scale, you have the beautiful, curly haired people and as you move down the chain, you slowly get characters that are more frizzy or more crazy/geeky/nerdy or sometimes all of the above. Now, even though the media tends to exaggerate things, I think that just like Barney's creations, there can be some slight truth to the Curly Chain. Forgive the length of this post, but I promise it will be a fun ride!

The Curly-Beauties:

1. Rose Dawson/Marianne Dashwood

At the top, we have these two Kate Winslet characters circa 1990's. Now, both of these girls have certain crazy qualities (Who wants to jump off a ship when it's completely safe, and then jump back on it when it's sinking? And who will get deathly ill just because of heartbreak?) But, these qualities are circumstantial and based on the periods they lived in. It's quite understandable why Rose, feeling the weight of her family's downfall on her shoulders, might try to jump off the Titanic. And knowing the character of Marianne Dashwood and her complete belief in true love, it makes sense why she would stand on a hill during a rainstorm after her heart was ripped apart (stupid Willoughby!). But we also have to take into account their beautiful curls. Even in the midst of almost jumping off the ship, Rose's hair is perfectly curled and not at all frizzy. And even though she is losing the love of her life, Marianne's hair is always tightly curled. That's why they are at the top of the chain.

2. Christine Daae

Again, look at those perfect curls. Not fair! Christine from Phantom of the Opera is another example of a slightly crazy curly girl, but her crazy is just a little more than those previous. Who doesn't realize that some sociopath is singing to you and kidnapping you? I don't care how sexy his voice may be, it isn't worth it girlfriend! A stalker is a stalker. But, you also have to give her credit for showing sympathy and kindness to the Phantom, despite his appearance. That, along with her beautiful curls keep her close to the top.

3. Andie Anderson/Benjamin Berry

I'm cheating a bit with this one, having two together, but I can explain why. Throughout this movie, Andie is driving Ben nuts, but he in turn is playing her. What I think is interesting--and I guess you have to be curly-haired obsessed to notice this--is whenever Andie and Ben are the closest they have ever been, they both are sporting curly hair. Usually, Andie/Kate Hudson has straight hair throughout the movie, but in these instances, she's got her natural curls going. Coincidence? Maybe. But despite their cute curly hair-dos, their actions through the rest of the movie do make themselves and each other crazy.

4. Patrick Verona--10 Things I Hate About You

Oh, that smile! :D Now, even though Patrick/Heath is such a hunk here, what moves him lower down the chain is his outcast status. He is surrounded by a cloud of rumors and has next to zero friends. But that doesn't stop him from charming the heart of the teenage shrew Kat (and of course every woman watching the film). Remember, it isn't just the crazy neuroses that move someone down the scale. Otherwise, he would be #1, no argument.

5. River Song--Doctor Who

Yep, I'm a Who fan. Although I prefer the 10th Doctor's adventures, this woman kicks some intergalactic butt with the 11th Doctor, and has perfect curly hair while doing so. What makes her further down the chain is the fact that she's a convict. And that she's bossy and trigger happy. And because of a couple of things that she did at the end of last season which I'm not going to say (Spoilers!). If her curls weren't so perfect, she would be at the other end of the scale.

6. Janie--Girls Just Want To Have Fun

Who doesn't love a good 80's dance flick? I always love asking people about this movie and seeing who actually knows what I'm talking about. Anyway, in this movie, Janie/Sarah Jessica usually has straightened/fried hair. It's bad. It does not look healthy and it does not suit her well. What makes me happy is at the end of the movie, when she's declaring her independence, dancing her heart out with her honey, she suddenly has a new do, curls. Yes! Score for all those curly haired girls with big dance dreams. What moves her down the chain? Her geekiness about dance/gymnastics and her Catholic school uniform.

The In-Betweens:

 7. Pam Beesly--The Office

This girl has also had some hairstyle changes through the show, but who can forget her humble, frizzy-haired beginnings? It just makes her character even that more likeable. You may think that I'm crazy for putting her this low on the list, but you have to remember that Pam is a big dork. Even Jim admits it. But, she's also adorable while being dorky, and that's why she's higher up than some of those below her. And the fact that she learns how to tame those curls, once she gets a confidence boost and a new man.

8.Grace Adler--Will and Grace

Like Pam above her, Grace starts off more curly haired than she does by the end of the series. But look at those red curls! Aren't they fabulous. Now, Grace is also a big dork and can be pretty crazy at times. Especially when she tries to sing. But she's also a successful business owner and has a quirky sense of humor.

9. Elaine Benis--Seinfeld

Oh, Elaine. Her unforgettable spunk. Her zany facial expressions. But she's also a bit neurotic at times. But she's got some great curls as well. And who could forget this memorable television moment.

Yadda, yadda, yadda, these dance moves are basically what move her lower down the chain.

10. Monica Gellar--Friends

One would never know that Monica has curly hair until this trip to the Bahamas. Side story, my family secretly wants me to go to the Caribbean so that this same thing will happen. Could you imagine? Back to Monica, this woman certainly has her own quirks and idiosyncracies. The OCD cleaning, the man struggles (until Chandler that is), her fat past. They just keep piling and piling up. But because of this one-time peek of her curls, this is what keeps her out of the crazy/nerdy/geeky part of the chain.

The Quirky Curlies:

11. Regina "Skeeter" Phelan 

So, book Skeeter and movie Skeeter are slightly different. When you read "The Help" you get the sense that Skeeter's curly hair is completely uncontrollable. That's why I put her lower on the list here. But when you see this picture, you don't get that sense at all. Her hair still looks great. What also puts her lower is her social outcast status that happens as she continues on with her writing. And the fact that she is so focused on that writing that it drives the majority of her decisions. That's dedication, but it's also nerdy. I can say this because I am the same way.

12. Mia Thermopolis--The Princess Diaries

Again, the differences between book and movie help in the judging here. Book Mia has triangle hair and movie Mia has frizzy curls. Put them together and you get a typical, bad-haircut, curly haired girl. Mia is also crazy. She's a hypochondriac, she's can't speak in public without barfing, she's nerdy, and she has a fat cat. What puts her higher in the quirky bunch is the fact that she's a princess. Because that's just awesome.

13. Ms. Frizzle--The Magic School Bus

Seat belts, everyone! The only cartoon character to make the list, and of course it's the eccentric teacher that I would love to emulate. She has her curly hair in a bun most of the time, but she can't hide the fact that she's a curly girl. It's even in her name, FRIZZle. Despite her crazy catchphrases, wild printed dresses and matching earrings, pet lizard and crazy adventures, it's her choice of wheels that keeps her higher in this section. A school bus that can fly into space, shrink to the size of a bug and enter the human body is pretty freakin' cool. 

14. Ronald Miller--Can't Buy Me Love

Before his McDreamy days, Patrick Dempsey was playing this awkward, curly haired geek who pays a pretty girl to make him popular. And the first thing she does is slick some mousse through his hair. And it works. But then he turns into a jerk. Still, he can't completely hide his geekiness, and by the end of the movie he's back to riding his lawn mower, but at least with Cindy Mancini riding with him. If it were anyone but Patrick Dempsey playing Ronnie, he would be the very bottom of this list. But I do have a soft spot for McDreamy.

15. Chunk--The Goonies

This poor kid. Not only does he have curly hair and buck teeth, but he's chubby and his friends take advantage of that. Many times actually. But I can't help but love him. Beneath his clumsiness, cowardice and chub, he's a sweetie. He's still pretty low on the list, because he just has too much going against him.

16. Hermione Granger--Harry Potter

I seem to be making a lot of book/movie comparisons, but this one takes the cake. The first words written about Hermione Granger in The Sorcerer's Stone is her frizzy brown hair. In fact, it's her main characteristic besides her buck teeth, which he ends up getting magically shrunk (why isn't this world real?). Growing up, I identified with Hermione. I was frizzy haired and had buck teeth. I was a book nerd and a teacher's pet. I was bossy and stubborn (still am). I was fixated on school and only had a few close friends (still mostly true). Although they got her other geeky/crazy qualities right, I feel like the movie just didn't do Hermione's hair justice. At least until the sixth movie and we got this lovely moment.

Finally, we saw Hermione's frizzy curls! It was truly a happy day in my life because I got to see the Hermione I had so identified with actually come across perfectly. Even though she is essential to helping Harry defeat He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, she is still the same geek every step of the way. And that's why I love her.

So there you have it folks. The Curly Chain is complete. I think Barney Stinson would be proud. What do you think? Do you think it's accurate or do you think I'm completely off? Even if you don't have curly hair, where would you place yourself on the chain?