Farrah Fawcett a spiritual role model? She was for me

After Charlie’s Angels ended, Farrah embraced the divine

farrahhairsmallGUEST COLUMN: DR. JEANINE AUSTIN — Farrah Fawcett was a huge beauty icon for all of us who came of age in the ’70s. I didn’t know any 13-year-old girls that didn’t, in some way, try to copy the Farrah feathered hair style. In earnest, I took a photo of Farrah to my hairstylist who offered to create a variation of the Farrah hairstyle for me. I was completely deflated at the thought that my hair could not be made to resemble Farrah’s exactly.

I felt burdened by the injustice of it. I didn’t have blond hair, thick hair or wavy hair, which made my morning efforts with the curling iron laborious. I admit that I stayed home from school on several occasions simply because I couldn’t get the Farrah feathered hair down.

At my school, when having a particularly good hair day it was customary to compliment your friend by approaching her with a simple, “Farrah!” In the late 70s at my junior high school a loftier compliment would be hard to think of.

The flip-do: a mane attraction

charlies_angelsFarrah impacted our idea of beauty in the ’70s as those before us had thought of Marilyn Monroe in the ’50s and ’60s. What was it that we were all were so captivated by and made us so covetous? Arguably, there were other actresses and personalities more physically beautiful. Feature for feature, fellow Charlie’s Angel Jaclyn Smith was perhaps prettier, but she didn’t enliven our spirits or spark our imagination like the big grinned beauty sitting in front of the striped Mexican blanket.

For me at least, it was in part the indomitable spirit that jumped off the television screen. During her one season of Charlie’s Angels, Farrah’s character, Jill Monroe, reached out to us with her blinding smile, bouncing mane of hair and her tanned, carefree and fit California girl (although a Texan) good looks.

Farrah found her deeper angel in serious film

As time went on it wasn’t just the Charlie’s Angel’s Farrah with her overt sensuality (and perfect hair) that caught my attention. Two of Farrah’s movies touched me deeply: Extremities and The Burning Bed. Extremities helped me deal with some of my own personal traumas by providing a context to help me grapple with feelings of victimization and retribution.

The Burning Bed touched me specifically because it spoke to the plight of so many disempowered women who have to make impossible choices. The stories that she choose to tell were deeply thought provoking and moving. Farrah was always appreciated as beautiful, but following her performance in these movies there was a deeper appreciation for her as a talented and intelligent actress as well.

Farrah’s Story showed the actress a-glow with an inner beauty

people-coverThe recent NBC documentary, Farrah’s Story, chronicling Farrah’s cancer challenges showed Farrah at her most beautiful. At 60-plus, she was truly more radiant and luminous than ever. Whether she was having a snowball fight with Alana Stewart at a cancer treatment center in Germany, having a final Christmas celebration with Marianne Williamson or even shaving off her beautiful trademark locks, she glowed just as she did in the 1970s.

As I always suspected, her beauty was really about the radiant energy she projected outward and had much less to do with standards of beauty.  She taught me, and many others, that truly mesmerizing beauty comes from within.

As in the spiritual text A Course in Miracles, a walk with the Divine is shown to have nothing to do with the forms of the world.  True beauty comes from embracing the Divine.   It was Farrah’s authentic and seemingly natural embrace of life and love that made her irresistible to all of us.

Most of us were shaken up on Thursday June 25th, 2009 when Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson passed away. Many of us felt we had lost some important reference points, two people who had awakened something and inspired something in ourselves. Our histories seemed entangled. Somehow these iconic figures became a part of our personal narrative. Like anyone we know well, we knew they weren’t perfect people, and didn’t have perfect lives.

What many of us will choose to focus on is what they added to our lives. Perhaps this is an opportunity to really appreciate all those around us who offer something to smile about.

jeanine-austinsmallJeanine Austin has a master’s degree in clinical social work and a doctorate in life-coaching.

Read Dr. Jeanine’s previous articles for Soul’s Code: How I deal with the pain of separation and saying goodbye, and How to shake free of bitterness and *stuck* emotions.

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3 Responses to “Farrah Fawcett a spiritual role model? She was for me”

  1. My Thoughts concerning Farrah Fawcet…

    Farrah always seemed to be the innocent child that needed protecting. Both from herself and the world. There was also a sadness in her eye’s that reflected the scared little girl. Always in need of something that she was not getting. She reminded me of a small little girl; shy, afraid, insecure, needy and who always needed a Daddy Image in her life. After her divorce from Ryan she just was not the same. I am happy to read that she and Ryan were planning to get married, again. They just seem to be the perfect match.

    Farrah was a good ole Catholic Girl and Hollywood could not take that part of her!

    Her roles she played had a tremendous impact!

    I am sorry Michael’s death up-staged her own death. I Know that may sound harsh, however, much more should have been devoted to Farrah’s life, as well.

    Farrah was loved. Farrah had success. Farrah had the beauty and smile of an angel, but in her eye’s it always seemed as though something BIG was missing from her life. She Had it All…and did not want to Let Go…

  2. Whatever Farrah’s physical appeal was on the planet is a manifestation of what resided on the internal. Her essence commanded beauty, and brought light to many people’s lives. Often many souls can only experience beauty on the physical level. She served an important role. Then, as she evolved, she began to demonstrate such courage of spirit as she undertook powerful roles illustrating injustice, and victim positions, and turning them around to show what power really looks like. What a light in this world. I’m sure she is shining even more brightly now that she is no longer enslaved to the body.

    Thank you Farrah for all you gave us.

    Love and light,


  3. FF’s life shows that in the end of life disease does not discriminate and it can happen to anyone. On a spiritual level…….Live a full life, if you’re lucky enough you can live your dream and when death knocks on your door, stay strong, be positive and fight it til the end.