AfterEllen.com Huddle: Blonde ambition

Something about spring and summertime brings out the blondes (myself included). When I was watching Smash this week, I was thinking about how Megan Hilty is one of my favorite new blondes, and figured I’d take a census of everyone else’s.

And while it’s true that so many starlets have changed up their hair color at some point to be blonde, that just gives us even more to work with. So, crew, who is your favorite towhead?

Ali Davis: I’m a fan of Naomi Watts. I think she’s got great acting chops and is generally underrated. Her turn in Mulholland Drive is fantastic, of course, but I think she always does lovely, subtle work, whether it’s in The Ring or I Heart Huckabees. But, honestly, my favorite role of hers is when she goes brunette to play the deliciously geeky Jet Girl in Tank Girl. I can’t recommend the movie, but I heartily recommend the role.

Heather Hogan: Sheesh, man, this is like asking a person to choose her favorite day of the year! But on this day, I choose Baylor basketball coach Kim Mulkey. If you’ve known me more than about 15 seconds, you know Pat Summitt is and always will be my greatest idol, but next to her, Kim Mulkey is the most wonderful thing going in the world of women’s sports. She’s tenacious like Pat and loyal like Pat and the woman can work a sideline and a huddle with almost as much ferociousness as her Lady Vol mentor.

Baylor is 34-0 and well on its way to a second national championship under Mulkey, and the woman deserves it. You hear all these stories about how mad crazy intense she is, and I mean, if you’ve seen her coach, you know it’s true. But there are other stories too, stories about how one her players’ mothers was murdered, and it was Mulkey who accompanied her home and took care of everything. Or about how she begged on her actual knees for a five-year contract with Louisiana Tech after assistant coaching there for 15 years. And then there was the moment this year when she left her own sideline to hug Pat Summitt, who very well may be in her last year of head coaching the Lady Vols.

I’ll always bleed orange, but there’s growing room in my heart for the legacy of Coach Mulkey. May she win enough championship trophies to fill the state of Texas, as long as she’s not facing off against a sea of orange.

Trish Bendix: I may or may not have been influenced to pick this Huddle topic based on my obsession with U.S. women’s soccer player Megan Rapinoe. Her hair is part of her whole persona on the field and off, so she just comes to mind when I think of a rocking blonde ‘do. Plus, she just tweeted that she has a crush on Tilda Swinton, which made me swoon even more, if such a thing is possible.

Courtney Gillette: I’m going with Etta James on this one. Colorlines’ obituary of the singer noted that “James ascribes the blonde-yellow hair and black eyebrows that she adopted early in her career to being closely associated with street-based sex workers and drag queens at the time.” Maybe not what folks are imagining when they play “At Last” at their weddings, but Etta James and her blonde was more badass than more people knew. On her subversion of traditional church music and jazz standards, James said, “I [was] serious about turning little churchgoing Jamesetta into a tough bitch called Etta James.” Amen to that.

Karman Kregloe: My go-to answer here would typically be Stevie Nicks, but I have a new obsession. Meet Grace Potter, of Grace Potter & the Nocturnals.

She plays guitar, she plays the keys, she writes the band’s kick-ass songs, she shimmies while she sings "Ooh la la." Plus Gibson is working with her to make a Grace Potter Signature Flying V guitar. She’ll be in good company, as the only other female rocker to get her own signature Gibson electric guitar (so far) is Joan Jett.

Erika Star: Kate Winslet has covered everything from Shakespeare to Jane Austen, and Heavenly Creatures to Titanic. And while I actually can’t tell you how many times The Holiday has kept me in on a friday night (approx 5), I will admit to watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind on repeat after any break-up. Hell, I’m still hoping for the ability to get “Eternally Sunshined.” See also: Mildred Pierce, Revolutionary Road and The Reader. Hello award trifecta! Aside from her stunning resume, she had me at her amazing sense of humor and infectious laugh. I mean, add that to a girl who can wear a gown like no bodies business, is amazingly gorgeous and can deliver a sob-worthy acceptance speech at the drop of a hat and I challenge you not to spend your weekend having a Kate Winslet marathon. In related news, I now have plans.

The Linster: I have a weakness for blondes as a rule, so choosing a favorite just seems wrong. But lately the top of the list seems to alternate between Jessica Capshaw and Elizabeth Mitchell. I think I chose Jessica for another huddle recently, so in the interest of balance (I am a Libra, after all), I’ll go with Liz. In fact, I’ll go anywhere with Liz.

Sigh. I forgot what else I was going to say.

Dara Nai: Blonde is mutable! And I don’t care if the carpet matches the drapes, so my picks are Jane Krakowski’s psychotic alter ego, Jenna Maroney and adorable motor mouth, Nicki Minaj. They both make me very, very happy

Bridget McManus: Besides my wife, I’ll have to go with LGBT activist and super-mega country star Dolly Parton! Did you know Dolly entered a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest and lost? A six-foot tall drag queen won while Dolly came in second place.

Grace Chu: This list would be incomplete without Lady Gaga. It’s like leaving out the sky in a list of things that are blue. Platinum blonde platinum selling recording artist whose personal mission is to elevate the status of the LGBT community. Most recently, she launched the Born This Way Foundation at Harvard, thereby making Sanders Theatre cool, proving once again that Lady Gaga truly can achieve the impossible.

Dorothy Snarker: Jodie Foster. Mostly, because you never forget your first. Jodie was my first crush on a girl. My first crush on a blonde. My first crush where I thought, “There’s something about this one; she’s just different.”

Through the years she has remained everything I admire in a woman. Smart. Sexy. Tough. Independent. Outspoken. Loyal. And so smart. I feel that should be mentioned twice. And, in her non-public, not-on-the-cover-of-People way she has even spoken the love that dare not speak its name.

Sure, I’ve disagreed with some of her recent moves — standing by Mel Gibson, sticking with Roman Polanski — but you just never forget your first.

Mia Jones: My favorite blonde is the sassy and brassy Ms. Joanna Lumley — also known as Patsy Stone from one of my favorite shows of all time, Absolutely Fabulous. Aside from her comedic brilliance and the fact that she was once a Bond girl, Lumley has always been a global human rights activist and spends a lot of time, money and effort to help other people. I love a beautiful woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously.

Who does blonde the most justice?

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