The Rachel

Little known fact about me: I am obsessed with Jennifer Aniston's hair. Not just Jennifer Aniston as a person, (although I do like her and think she takes a lot of flack for absolutely no reason), but Jennifer's hair. It's fabulous. It's gorgeous. It's a magnificently styled, purposely messy quaff of blonde and brunette highlights. And it's my favorite part of Friends.

Today there were was a tidal wave of online new stories about Jennifer's hair (because Egypt's government, the hurricane in New Zealand, and the Madison, Wisconsin union woes apparently aren't the type of news that Americans truly care about). She showed up to a Just Go With It premier in Madrid last night with her signature long layers chopped into a much shorter, blunt style that is kind of reminiscent of her famous "Rachel" from the early 90s.

And of course I love it.

It's funny because right now Clay and I are going through the whole Friends series (thanks to a wonderful Christmas present he surprised me with this year) and last night we got to the episode in Season 6 when Rachel shows up with a chin-length hairstyle. I kept commenting on how cute it is and, as dumb as it may sound, that episode will always be significant to me.

It would be really lame if I just stopped this entry right here and let you forever wonder why that episode is so important to me. I can just see you lying in bed tonight, staring at your ceilings with wide eyes thinking to yourselves, "WHY IS RACHEL'S HAIR BEING SHORT IN SEASON 6 OF FRIENDS SO SIGNIFICANT TO COURTNEY? OH, WHAT TORTURE IT IS NOT KNOWING!"

But more likely than not, you'll just fall asleep because you didn't care enough to give it a second thought.

Well, I'm going to tell you anyway.

In 2001 I was a sophomore in high school. I had incredibly long brown hair, subtly highlighted with the perfect combination of caramel and blonde streaks, and I loved to wear it in flowing curls that I painstakingly crafted in the bathroom for almost an hour every morning before school.

I totally wasn't vain or anything.

One evening I told my mom that I was thinking about adding a few long layers to my hair a la my hair idol, Jennifer Aniston. My mom, who trimmed my bangs when I was a kid, offered her cutting services and said she'd be more than happy to save me the money of a salon trip. I willingly agreed, not fully grasping that adding layers was drastically different than making one or two snips across a forehead. We see our hair stylists do it so many times that it actually does look easy, but they are the ones doing it (not us) for a reason.

My mom tried her best, but it became pretty apparent to both of us that she must have been a beauty school drop out in another life, because when I looked in the mirror I saw that I didn't have the light, wispy layers I originally asked for. Rather, I had ...

... a mullet.

Since vain, neurotic teenagers are not properly equipped with appropriate coping skills in manners such as this, I totally wigged out (no pun intended). There was lots of crying and lots of dramatic vows never to leave my bedroom again. I wasn't mad at my mom. I was just in shock.

My mom felt terrible and the whole ordeal is now known as the "incident that shall not be named". She was so racked with guilt that she immediately booked me a hair appointment at a reputable salon and let me stay home from school the next day so I could attend said appointment without suffering the inevitable NASCAR and chewing tobacco jokes that undoubtedly awaited me at school.

I walked into hair salon with a chest length mullet and left an hour later with hair cut to my chin.

My mom said it looked really flattering and I tried my best not to make a big deal out of it because I knew she felt really bad, but inside I was inconsolable. I was on the volleyball team and my hair was now too short to put in a pony tail. All the popular girls at my school had really long hair and I stupidly equated long hair to being worthy of a boyfriend.

I felt doomed.

A few days later my mom and I worked out a styling system that gave my chopped locks a little bit of flare.  My mom took a curling iron to the back layers and flipped them out in a way that gave my hair a lot of volume and bounce. I was slowly starting to adjust and believe it or not, one of the most popular girls in my class cut her hair off just two weeks later, saying that she got the idea from me.

And that very week, NBC aired a brand new episode of Friends that featured Rachel Green sporting a new, stylish chin-length bob instead of her signature long layers.

To me, Rachel Green was (and is) the epitome of a beautiful woman - she is considered gorgeous despite having a less than petite nose and prominent chin (if you've ever seen me, you know that I too have ... a big face.)  I looked to her as a confidence role model and seeing her with exact same hair cut as me was the most comforting thing that could have happened (short of my hair magically growing out over night).

And that, dear readers, is why Season 6 of Friends, episode 153 titled "The One With Ross's Library Book", is incredibly significant to me.

I'm in the process of growing my hair back out after a less than stellar hair cut I got back in November when I decided I wanted to have Jenny McCarthy's bob ... but, looking at these pictures, I kinda think I want Jennifer Aniston's new hair cut. I mean, it's only fair. She copied me once.


  1. This is why you are MY sister! I spent all day yesterday obsessing over her hair too!

  2. Are you thinking of getting it cut like that too!? WE COULD BOTH DO IT AND BE THE COOLEST SISTERS EVER!


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