In 1976, I, along with with the rest of the world, fell madly in love with Farrah Fawcett. I had the poster. I even had it on a t-shirt, which I wore in limited rotation with my Dolly Parton t-shirt and my Dr. Pepper t-shirt. I was so infatuated with Farrah, actually, that not long after, my doting grandmother bought me the Farrah doll by Mego. Everyone got a big laugh out of that, and my father grudgingly permitted it, because it appeared to be a gag gift, and my devotion to her seemed in line with a healthy hetero interest in hot chicks. Never mind that I was barely past toddler age. It was still a few months before Star Wars would hit the scene and change my life forever, but I had my Farrah doll and my Steve Austin doll, which was perfect, because they were married after all. It was probably the first time I transferred all the fanaticism and devotion I felt for something or someone to a representative collectible. It wouldn’t be the last time, obviously.
I revered Farrah and blushed when my older sister would tease me about her. I was too young to understand the intricate plotlines of Charlie’s Angels, but I loved her nonetheless. It didn’t take my father long to realize that I devoted an inordinate amount of playtime to the adventures of my gag gift, and I came dangerously close to losing Farrah to the garbage can. Thankfully, my mother intervened and promised my father that the doll would forever more belong to my sister, not to me. My sister had little or no interest in dolls, so she just shrugged and tossed Farrah into the closet. And thus began my elaborate and dangerous schemes to sneak into my sister’s room, liberate Farrah, then sneak her back before anyone would notice her missing or in my possession. This went on for ages, until one day, out of boredom or spite, my sister cut Farrah’s famous hair off, leaving her with a poorly executed frosted mullet. Steve Austin and I were devastated, but we carried on, as if nothing had happened. Eventually, I grew more bold, found better places to hide Farrah and mastered the art of deceit that all little gay boys and girls must learn in order to survive. Farah was safe. Farah was hidden. And Farrah was mine.
When I read the news of Farrah’s passing today, that little boy who worked so hard to keep a Farrah doll in his grasp suddenly reappeared and felt a very old, long forgotten kind of heartbreak. To me, she will always be beautiful, always be smiling. And nothing can ever change that. Not time, not age, not cancer. And certainly not a botched haircut using safety scissors.