Ginger or Mary-Ann?

If you ask any guy, “Ginger or Mary-Ann?” you are likely to get an immediate and unequivocal response. It seems there’s no middle ground and guys don’t have to think about it. They know and have known for some time which they are. What the heck is the Woodbutcher talking about? It’s impossible to be neutral about it—males cannot like them both equally, or even nearly so. Men will pick, always and easily, one over the other as more their type—their fantasy, desert island companion, if you will (next to their nearby significant other, if they’re smart).

Think back to ’60s TV—Gilligan’s Island to be exact. Besides Gilligan, the Skipper, too, the millionaire and his wife, the professor—there was Ginger the movie star, and Mary-Ann. Now there was no question that Ginger (played by Tina Louise) was the glam, gorgeous woman fitting the movie star character perfectly. She was designed to knock the socks off every red blooded male in America. Mary-Ann, on the other hand (played by Dawn Welles), was homey, country, pigtails, and apron. What’s to choose? You’d be surprised. Read on.

That wasn’t the only battle of femme fatales. On the most underrated television show in history, WKRP in Cincinnatti, Bailey Quarters (played by Jan Smithers) was the waifish, plain Jane foil to the glamorous Jennifer Marlowe (Loni Anderson). Actually, they didn’t really play off each other—they had completely non-competetive roles in the show, other than catching men’s eyes. What’s to choose? You’d be surprised. Read on.

Remember ABBA? The #3 all time pop music stars in history (behind Elvis and the Beatles), and the #1 corporation in Sweden? The eponymous “As” were Agnetha (Fältskog) and Anni-Frid (Lyngstad—known as Frida). One was blonde—flashy and beautiful in the Michelle Phillips mold, the other, brunette— sultry and mysterious. Male hearts thumped all over the world over those two. They were each married to the eponymous “Bs” (Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, respectively), but sadly the failure of their marriages almost inexorably led to the breakup of the group. Each had a magnificent voice and each was gorgeous in her own way. What’s to choose? You’d be surprised. Read on.

We men don’t need real women to fantasize about. In the comic book Archie, the eponymous character’s two competetive paramours were Betty and Veronica. You can probably predict the pattern by now—Betty had blonde hair in a bouffant, and was a little flashy, ala Dolly Parton—brunette Veronica’s hair was long and straight—think Cher. What’s to choose? You’d be surprised.

Here’s a late entry, although the show was on in the early aughts. Corner Gas, a Canadian comedy featured a couple of comely women, Karen and Lacey. the only difference is that while Lacey is the typical dusky dark haired beauty of which we’ve been speaking, Karen, a blonde, is not the archetypal blonde we’ve seen in other venues. What’s to choose? You’ll be surprised, but for a different reason.

50% of my visitors (the women) will think flashy women get the men every time. Our dirty little secret is that as shallow as you think we are (and you’re usually right), it’s not the flash that gets all of us. Oh, yes, we’ll jerk our head every time, but if you asked us which type we’d rather be parked on that desert island with, a surprising number (maybe even more than half, according to my informal inquiries) will take Mary-Ann, Bailey, Frida, and Veronica every time.

Try your own poll. Next time you’re around a bunch of guys (whether you’re male or female), just throw it out—“Ginger or Mary-Ann?” I have a nickel that says not only will everyone comprehend the question and give you an immediate response, you’ll be surprised at the answer.

I knew you’d ask—Mary-Ann, Bailey, Frida, Veronica.

Didn’t I leave one out? Yes I did. I can’t seem to pick between Corner Gas’ Karen and Lacey. They’re both hot and kind of out of place in this competition.

Oh, and did you ever in your life think you’d read a piece which used eponymous three times? You’ll thank me the next time you run across it (if ever) and don’t have to look it up. Or use it in a sentence and then explain where you learned it…

A recent thread on one of the discussion groups I frequent reminded me that there are lots of actresses/celebrities whom I consider hot who others might not, but also are stand-alone—that is they weren’t portrayed in contrast to another type of hot character, consequently don’t qualify for the discussion above. The best examples that came up were: Lilith (Fraser’s wife portrayed by Bebe Neuwirth/Bebe Neuworth/Bebe Neuwith—depending on which spelling you prefer), Emma Peel (Mrs. Peel from The Avengers, portrayed by Diana Rigg), and Christine Sullivan (public defender on Night Court, portrayed by Markie Post). This should keep your mind reeling for a while.

Last updated: 27 January 2009

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