It is/It isn't about the Hair
This is my second post about Farrah Fawcett. Who woulda thunk it? I was struck by recent reports about her hair. People magazine tells us: A particularly cruel aspect of the disease is that Fawcett has now lost her iconic golden tresses. "The hair is gone," says [Ryan] O'Neal. "Her famous hair. I have it at home." This was the headline in Friday's Mirror (UK): Farrah Fawcett has lost all her hair as docs stop cancer treatment . Today's Toronto Globe & Mail tells us that one of the many Fawcett items on the market included a hairstyle-practice doll. The G & M's Lynn Crosbie writes that O'Neal is hanging on to her bag of hair. I don't know whether this is meant metaphorically.
Crosbie also reports that O'Neil said that Fawcett's curls spell out sex in the red bathing suit poster. I don't see it, though this sounds oddly familiar. This must be a common claim, not quite as cute as Al Hirschfeld's ('03-'03) practice of tucking in the name of his daughter, Nina, into every caricature.
But as I said a while back, we do measure the health of someone with cancer (or who recently had cancer) by the shape of her hair. First of all, is it there? And second of all, is it lustrous? Once the hair grows back, we assume unconsciously that the person is back on the road to health. Which may be true. But it may not. My hair is now made up of thick five-inch long curls. Which I like, and which L thinks is too much. But he doesn't understand that just a year and a half ago a friend referred to my hairstyle as resembling Gertrude Stein's. (See below.) That was during the painfully slow re-growth peach-fuzz stage, which lasted about four months.
And so we see hair as amulet--as long as my hair's shiny, the cancer won't come back; it's easy to forget that my hair was perfectly fine and full on the day the biopsy confirmed I had stage 2a cancer.