I'm Basing My Next Hair Color On Celebrities I've Been Told I Look Like

I’m going blonde. Winona, take the wheel.
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I’m going blonde. Winona, take the wheel.

Recently, I flew from New York City to New Orleans on the same plane as John Goodman. I was deliriously exhausted from having not slept during my entire time in NYC due to the adrenaline rush of meeting so many xoPeople IRL for the first time and also the near-lethal amounts of caffeine I consumed while ducking into every other coffee shop in Manhattan to charge my phone and thaw out my poor, frozen hands.

So when John Goodman totally bombarded me at baggage claim and was all, “OH MY GOSH are you RACHEL from EX OH VAIN DOT COM?” I was like, “Dude, this is embarrassing. I’m trying to lie low.” And then we took shelter in a nearby Hudson News and gossiped behind copies of US Weekly and the latest best sellers in the genre I can only guess is called “Speculative and Vaguely Religious Near-Fiction Conspiracy Novels Written By Older White Men.”

And then I woke up on the plane where I was sitting next to this dude who had a corduroy blazer and orthopedic sneakers and the same exact haircut as me. I wiped the drool from the left side of my face as the plane landed, sulked off the plane and stood awkwardly next to John Goodman as we watched for our luggage to come round the conveyor belt.

John and I go way back.

John and I go way back.

Anyway, the important part of this story is I saw a celebrity. Celebrities are rad. I actually dig our celeb-obsessed, E! News-ified culture. It’s a Kardashian’s world, and we’re all just living in it. The whole thing makes reality seem SO bizarro it’s almost sci-fi. Like, when I see a tabloid sometimes I can’t even believe it’s real. Because it isn’t! 

I totally get our cravings for a world more fantastic than our own. Some people get their fix reading things like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. Some people watch Keeping Up with the Kardashians. We’re all just looking for a world different from our own, but still accessible enough for us to live vicariously through its weird illusion of reality.

Yeah, I just compared Tolkien to the Kardashians. Come at me, nerds.

My celebrity obsessions are few and far between. Not since the boy banded days of my youth have I experienced a “crush” on a celebrity, but back then I went hard in the paint for any dude with a crooning voice as squeaky as his shellacked hair surely was to the touch. Nowadays, I spend most of my time ogling photos of Oscar-winning, small-boned women and miscellaneous French style bloggers.

The most important thing for you to know about me is that my favorite celebrities are any celebrity I’ve been compared to. I don’t write for xoModest, after all. I would never even read that, TBH.

Now, I’ve never actually reached the level of delusion to legitimately believe I do look like the women I’ve been told I look like. I know it comes down to vaguely similar bone structure. I think the “traditional” standard of feminine beauty (which is, IMO, on the way out, truly) consists of large eyes, a small nose, and full lips. 

As a kid, my parents called me “Bright Eyes” because my eyes were so big and always weirdly wide open in Zooey D levels of youthful wonder, which is a cute nickname until I remember that “Bright Eyes” is most closely associated in my mind with the moping lost years of my tweenhood. My nose is just a nose, and in middle school a boy made fun of my lips for being so big, which only caused me to bite them more, which I think is the only reason they are slightly full to begin with.

Anyway, I’m good-looking but not particularly unique-looking, and that’s fine. I like my face quite a bit. I really wouldn’t change anything about it any time soon. 

You know what I would change? HERE’S A SEGUE FOR YA.

My hair! And I do change that quite a bit. Whether I’m dying it or cutting it, I just can’t leave it alone. It’s sort of my way of handling my post-collegiate, totally contrived sense of millennial angst. It’s a better coping mechanism than nursing a crippling amphetamine addiction or spending weeks on end in fetal position curled on the sofa, and I can tell you that from experience.

Are you enjoying this LiveJournal-esque glimpse into my addled psyche?

I’m going to dye my hair blonde soon. Maybe. Probably. Yeah, it’s more of a question of “when” than “if” at this point. Also, there’s the question of “how.” I mean, I know I’ll get it done at a salon because I’m actually a talentless hack and would never attempt to DIY this or anything beyond macaroni frame-levels of competence.

Test driving the blonde with my Macbook Photobooth, like you do.

Test-driving the blonde with my MacBook Photobooth, like you do.

Every time I decide to make a major hair change, I come back to these celebrities people compare me to sometimes.

If you’ve read the comments on pretty much any article I’ve written here, you know which celebrities I’m referring to. It’s primarily Winona Ryder, then Leighton Meester, a little Natalie Portman, some Keira Knightley, and ONE TIME I got Audrey Hepburn and, honestly, I’m still riding that high.

So I’m going to dye my hair blonde. Which means I’ve been furiously Google image searching “Blonde Winona Ryder,” which is just her Eddie Scissors look I already did.

I chopped this wig for my Pretty Woman costume, and I miss it now. C’est la vie, right?

I chopped this wig for my Pretty Woman costume, and I miss it now. C’est la vie, right?

Then blonde Leighton Meester comes along, and I’m into it. Her blonde is very similar to the rich Lily Pulitzer-clad chickens I went to all-girls school with.


I used to get compared to Blair Waldorf a lot in high school, because the show came out when I was 17 so I was the same age the characters were supposed to be and I’ve also always been incredibly mean.

And then blonde Natalie Portman. I think I was vaguely aware of Nat Po for a while as a kid. I remember seeing Garden State in theaters when I was 14 and being like, “Oooooh, so being an adult isn’t gonna be any better, huh?”

It wasn’t until a dude I had a crush on in high school (who was gay, like every dude I had a crush on in high school) told me I looked like her that I got really into her entire shtick. I rented Closer and V for Vendetta and became the intense, brooding stripper/political activist I am today. 

Side note: Nat Po and I have similarly dorky laughs so that’s probably where half my affection for her comes from. 


I like her blonde. It’s a bit “cooler” than Leighton’s I think.

Then we just keep scootin’ along the cyber highway, and I end up with Keira Knightley’s blonde bob.

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I’m really into her eye makeup here, and this dress. I always wished I were so skinny I could wear really slutty things without actually looking slutty, ya know? Alas, I have the birthing hips of a generation of the potato-chugging Irish Catholics who came before me. 

I really like Keira’s whole oeuvre. Half her films seem to be the kind of stuff I can watch when I want to tune out, like Love, Actually or anything from the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. Then she’s got heavy stuff, like Atonement, that I watch when I’m really sick of feeling good about my life in any way.

Keira’s blonde is OK. I’m afraid it might lean too brassy on me. It would go really well with my Keira laugh impression, though. *Juts bottom jaw forward, cackles *

I don’t think Audrey Hepburn ever went blonde. When you Google “Blonde Audrey Hepburn,” you get images of Paris Hilton which is, I mean, whatever.

I’m not nervous about “ruining” my hair. My hair’s really quite healthy and very resilient, much like myself, against all odds. And if I do “ruin” my hair, then whatever. It’s hair. I’ve ruined my own life enough times to know better than to go off fretting about my hair. Some people have a deep, emotional attachment to their hair. I have a deep, emotional attachment to dairy products. Also, one day “fried hair” might be a thing. All the best foods are fried.

I forgot to ask John Goodman his opinion on my upcoming hair decision, so I’d like yours instead. Any advice/photos/guidance/haterade/secrets for future-blonde me?

Do you do the same thing with celebrities? Most people have at least one famous person they get compared to every now and then. Do you use that person as guidance for beauty and/or life decisions? I want to hang out with Winona so bad.

Also, do you think I should audition for the upcoming Broadway musical adaptation of Heathers?