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Feb 09 2013

Anne of Titty Gables

Ok seriously now, I’ve been seeing outraged tweets about Anne of Green Gables with blonde?!!%* hair for a couple of days so I finally decided wtf and looked into it. I mean wtf, people – blonde hair? Hello? Her first conversation with Matthew, with her dreamy hope that her hair can be considered “auburn”? Her explosion of fury at Mrs Rachel Lynde for calling her homely and saying her hair was red as carrots? Her war with Gilbert after he called her Carrots? It’s half the damn book!

I waggishly suggested that it had also been retitled Anne of Coney Island, but now that I’ve looked into it, the time for waggishness is over.

Behold the new Anne.

Anne of Green Gables

Uh…different book, folks. I don’t know what book, but sure as hell not Anne of Green Gables.

 

26 comments

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  1. 1
    Kelseigh

    Okay, as a born Maritimer, this is friggin’ offensive as hell. Certainly it’s an insult to those of us who grew up with the stories, and the author as well. Pretty much misses the whole point of the character.

    I dunno who that girl in the pic is, but sure ain’t Anne.

  2. 2
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    You know, I hear a lot about how there’s prejudice against those with red hair. There was a time when I never would have believed it. But then I actually started meeting and hanging out with people who naturally have red hair, and wow… it’s real. I’ve seen it first-hand.

    This appears to be another facet of that. I guarantee you I can figure out the mindset of the idiots behind this:

    You know, nobody likes red heads. All the [pornstars/models/societal ideals of the perfect woman] are blonde. Let’s make her blonde.

    I’d be willing to bet money that their thought-process was something like that… I’d be willing to bet a lot, in fact.

    Anne of Green Gables has red hair. Period. Don’t fucking change that.

  3. 3
    Ophelia Benson

    She has red hair and she’s not a pouty poochy seductive type who lounges around with her hand in her hair posing for an ad for the local bordello.

  4. 4
    NateHevens, resident SOOPER-GENIUS... apparently...

    She has red hair and she’s not a pouty poochy seductive type who lounges around with her hand in her hair posing for an ad for the local bordello.

    Also, in the late 1800s, they don’t wear plaid shirts.

    So… yeah. All of that.

  5. 5
    Maureen Brian

    It’s heresy! Someone should be shot.

  6. 6
    chrislawson

    See also: almost everyone ever cast in a movie as Elizabeth Bennett (who as written is pretty but not as stunning as her older sister) or Jane Eyre (who is explicitly described as unattractive to the point of being “like a toad” in the book). It even affects men, although not to the same extent, as witnessed by the casting of a handsome, clean-shaven Johnny Depp as the schlubbish, middle-aged, mutton-chopped Abberline in From Hell.

  7. 7
    chrislawson

    I’ve gotta say I’m rather disappointed by the original story linked and its comments. While I agree that the picture is inappropriately blondified, prettified, and sexualised, a lot of people seem to think this makes the cover model like “a whore”. For ghod’s sake, she’s just pouting! I do get sick of the slightly sexual behaviour = prostitute meme.

  8. 8
    Ophelia Benson

    Hmmmmmmmm

    It’s not exactly “sexual behavior” though. She’s not engaging in sex. It’s more like “seductive behavior.” That is sexual, of course, but not straightforwardly – it’s a step back. Meta-sexual, as it were.

    And it’s so un-Anne, and that’s why it’s so annoying.

    For one thing it’s male fantasy of what female “sexual behavior” is – it’s a woman saying “come and ravish me, big boy” without saying it aloud. It’s beseeching and manipulative. Anne is a person who has her own interests, and who is the very opposite of manipulative. She’s an agent, not a seducer or a poser waiting around for someone to think she’s hawt.

    Would a straight man pose like that? Apart from maybe for an underwear ad?

    So I don’t think it’s “sex-negative” to consider that pose an insult to Anne and to people who like the book. It’s the right age for Anne in the later books, but it’s not the right Anne for Anne.

  9. 9
    Ophelia Benson

    Plus you can take the criticism off the model, and put it on the people directing the shoot. They told her to look like that. She could have been feeding the chickens, instead, but no. It’s not her sexuality, it’s the producers’ idea of the market’s idea of the readers’ sexuality.

    Because horny dudebros want to read Anne of Green Gables.

    Godalmighty what can they have been thinking?!

  10. 10
    Lyanna

    Yeah, it’s not the hair by itself, it’s the diminishing of an iconic female character who is a subject, an actor, someone whose point of view dominates the book and is shared by the reader, someone who has her own gaze, into someone who is clearly an object for the straight male gaze.

    The real Anne isn’t there to be looked at. She’s there to dream and rage and storm and self-dramatize and act.

  11. 11
    MEFoley

    Would a straight guy pose like that? See http://www.jimchines.com/2012/01/striking-a-pose/

  12. 12
    leftwingfox

    I know there’s prejudice against redheads, but it seems like in recent years, hating “gingers” has become a form of hipster racism. I keep stumbling across rants online that are positively vitriolic, and make me wonder if they even know that their targets actually exist outside South Park.

  13. 13
    F [is for failure to emerge]

    Help me out here please.

    This is about the image used on a cover of a book. Do I have that correct?

    These printings are “self-published” on CreateSpace/Amazon? This must be a new definition of self-publishing, I think, if I an getting this right.

  14. 14
    Ophelia Benson

    That’s it! The gaze. I should have said the gaze. Only I had too much fun making jokes about it for The Dictionary of Fashionable Nonsense, so I never think to use it for reals. But that is exactly what I was trying to say.

  15. 15
    Ophelia Benson

    Hahahahaha – thanks MaryEllen. I’d forgotten those! Hilarious – and pointed.

  16. 16
    Richard Smith

    Why does everything get blamed on teh gaze?

  17. 17
    The Mellow Monkey: Non-Hypothetical

    I know there’s prejudice against redheads, but it seems like in recent years, hating “gingers” has become a form of hipster racism. I keep stumbling across rants online that are positively vitriolic, and make me wonder if they even know that their targets actually exist outside South Park.

    They know. If redheads put pictures of themselves anywhere publicly accessible on the internet, the “hilarious” jokes usually start immediately.

  18. 18
    Argle Bargle

    Anne also had freckles.

  19. 19
    athyco

    I want Anne (red-headed, of course) holding the dress with puffed sleeves smiling with tear-bright eyes at Matthew across the breakfast table.

  20. 20
    Ophelia Benson

    I might vote for Anne spooning Ipecac into the croupy baby, or maybe the moment where she tells the doctor what a pleasant relief it was when the baby finally coughed and was able to breathe freely again.

  21. 21
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I am experiencing serious Maritimer rage at this.

  22. 22
    athyco

    Glaring down at Gilbert Blythe after she’s cracked her slate over his head. :)

  23. 23
    Ysidro

    Wait, the anti-ginger thing is real? WTF?

  24. 24
    Tessa

    I’m really confused by this. Anne of Green Gables is public domain. And I think every publisher has a printing of it. And this one was put out by someone using CreateSpace which is a self-publishing publisher. So someone used their own money to print copies of a book that there are already copies of everywhere, but with a very inaccurate cover?

    Is the text changed at all like they did in those goofy classic atrocities Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Little Vampire Women?

  25. 25
    bad Jim

    Just because Yeats is always appropriate:

    ‘Never shall a young man,
    Thrown into despair
    By those great honey-coloured
    Ramparts at your ear,
    Love you for yourself alone
    And not your yellow hair.’

    ‘But I can get a hair-dye
    And set such colour there,
    Brown, or black, or carrot,
    That young men in despair
    May love me for myself alone
    And not my yellow hair.’

    ‘I heard an old religious man
    But yesternight declare
    That he had found a text to prove
    That only God, my dear,
    Could love you for yourself alone
    And not your yellow hair.’

    Young women are counseled to make themselves “attractive” as thought it was synonymous with “pretty” or “acceptable”, but if you want to get all etymological it means something slightly more active, like evoking desire: “I want you to want me” or “Come hither”. It’s probably never the way things actually work — people tend to be the way they are and hope someone likes them — but it’s such a commonplace that it tends to escape notice.

  26. 26
    Sastra

    The gaze doesn’t bother me as much as the hair. I could imagine the look as strong — or perhaps dreamy — if I hadn’t been shocked by the absurd change in hair-color. As you point out, the red hair regularly figures in the plot. It’s a major issue which motivates the action. Wtf?

    I’m also disconcerted by the modern clothing. For me, half the charm of the books was that I entered another era when I read them. Might as well put Jo March in blue jeans.

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