All of ["The Comeback"]'s nuances are reflected in Cherish's most distinctive physical characteristic, her long red hair with its painstakingly organized curls that have been flipped back and away from her face. That hair is gloriously thick and the waves fall with an unnatural precision. The hair appears Breck Girl clean, devoid of the styling products now used to give hair an informal, slightly messy appearance. Hers is hair meant to be tossed in slow motion during the opening montage of "Baywatch."Givhan doesn't mention it, but red hair and comedy are indelibly associated with Lucille Ball. But of course, Cherish is wrong about a lot of things, so Kudrow's analysis of how Cherish thinks must be understood in that light. But I have a feeling Lisa loves Lucy.
In constructing the character, Kudrow has said that Cherish's hair color was a calculated decision. In Cherish's mind, "blond is dumb comedy, red hair is smart, sexy comedy." And, presumably, brunette isn't funny at all.
Red hair is a touchy topic with me. My natural hair color is red — see it here — but not so red that I couldn't spend my entire childhood insisting that my hair was in fact not red, despite the tendency of strangers to call me "Red" and even "Carrot Top." As an unstably pigmented American, I had to endure both freckles and the early loss of hair color. Anyone fighting the latter problem should know that going lighter makes it less noticeable. If you see me today, you may consider me blonde, but I am incapable of seeing myself as a blonde. Though I spent my entire childhood denying that I had red hair, I now insist that I have it. I know it's a delusion, but the mental imprint is too strong to shake.
Why is red hair so meaningful?