Why Ginnifer Goodwin’s performance last night was so important

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Snow White became the Evil Queen, hunting down Regina for her childhood mistake of spilling the truth about Snow White’s true love–James, Charming’s twin brother.

Regina, in a copy of Snow White’s bandit outfit, attempted to rob what she thought was a tax carriage. It was not a tax carriage. It was Snow White’s carriage. She stepped out and they had the usual exchange, but Regina was the one giving the “when will this blood feud end” speech and Snow White was the one giving the “I want to hear you say you’re sorry from your grave” speech.

It was brilliant.

I must say I was surprised at all the people who were surprised that Ginny Goodwin did such an outstanding job portraying a character who isn’t goody-goody. I suppose many of them had never seen any of her other work.

But the important thing about the performance was Ginny’s appearance.

She wore the same type of costumes that Regina would wear as the Evil Queen, but she didn’t wear her long wig and she didn’t have her face made up dramatically. Her makeup was minimal. What was dramatic was her short hair, done up almost in a mohawk. (If you can’t picture this, here are screen caps.)

I’ve read a lot of complaints about:
The short hair
The downplayed makeup
The costumes
Her weight.

Let’s start with the hair. Ginny is well-known for her love of unconventional hairstyles, makeup, and fashion. What was she doing as the Evil Queen with short hair? Making it clear that she didn’t have to copy Lana’s Evil Queen to be jaw-dropping beautiful.

IMPORTANT NOTE: I AM NOT IN ANY WAY CRITICIZING LANA PARRILLA’S EVIL QUEEN. I AM MERELY POINTING OUT THE DIFFERENCES.

You do not have to have long hair, or any hair at all, to be beautiful. So many girls and women spend outrageous amounts of money and time trying to have the flowing, layered, gently wavy, highlighted hair they see on female celebrities. Ginny–or rather, the hair stylists–turned Ginny’s pixie into a high-fashion, high-drama updo.

Ginny always goes light on the makeup on the show. I’m glad she did not copy Lana’s makeup because I think it would have been distracting and would not have suited her. It would have distracted from her hair. It would have distracted from the absolutely viciously evil expressions on her face as she played the Evil Queen.

Now, I don’t understand why people don’t understand why she was wearing the same style of costumes that Lana wears as the Evil Queen. After all, no one questioned why Lana was in Ginny’s Bandit Snow costume. I’ve read criticism that Ginny should have worn a different style. I think some of that has to do with her weight.

Ginny is not slim. I’m not going to use the excuse “well she had a baby a few months ago” because IT DOESN’T MATTER WHY SHE’S NOT A SIZE FOUR. It doesn’t matter why any other woman is “plus size” or “overweight.” It has nothing to do with her beauty. It has nothing to do with her personal style. I think that many larger women tend to stick to traditional looks so that they don’t stand out and people don’t notice their weight as much. THIS IS CRAP. You can be “heavy” and cut your hair short, wear no makeup, wear the same styles that smaller women wear.

Ginny gave us a perfect example of non-traditional beauty.

Non-traditional beauty includes tattoos, piercings, shaved heads, wearing a bikini even if you don’t have a “bikini body,” being androgynous in appearance. And, since it has to be said, I’ll say it: non-traditional beauty includes not being white. All shades of skin, all types of hair, all facial shapes. And another thing that has to be said: non-traditional beauty includes women over 30. Seriously. It’s time to toss “men get distinguished, women just get old” out with housewife wearing pearls to vacuum stereotype. Everyone gets old. That doesn’t mean older women automatically become unattractive.

So this is a lot to think about and it was all inspired by the season finale of Once Upon a Time and Evil Snow White.

Bravo, Ginnifer.

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