Do you judge a book by it’s cover? I want to say no, but then THIS happened:
Who is the Blondie in plaid? The last time I read Anne of Green Gables I was 42 (for the record that is 3 years ago). I have read this book on a consistent basis for about 37 years. The funny thing is, Anne Shirley – the main character, the ANNE of Green Gables – was a red-head the first time I read it and EVERY SINGLE TIME SINCE. Well, once she met a peddle on the road and promised her the dye would turn her hair a beautiful Raven Black – but it turned green…but Marilla cut the green bits off and it was good again.
There is a long tradition of Anne of Green Gables in my family. My Great Grandmother lived on Prince Edward Island and made sure all the girls in her family had the first 3 books to read. Being a teacher, reading was important to her, reading about the Island also important and being a smart girl was the most important quality any female could posses. In keeping with the tradition, I gave a copy to my daughter and told her it was an old book, but the character was just like her. She would make you laugh and you will be amazed at the crazy stuff she gets involved with, yet she is the smartest girl in any book ever written about a 12-year-old without magic.
But Seriously….Who was the brains behind this fiasco?
This is how I imagine the marketing meeting went. Imagine a board meeting in some Urban Publishing Setting with Suits (men) who have never read this classic Canadian Tale.
Big Wig: Minion, tell me the new projects on the table for this month.
Minion: Well, Our best selling classic book Anne of Green Gables had it’s 100 Anniversary in 2008 and that launch was a huge success, but since then we feel the numbers should be stronger but we found they have actually tapered off. We propose a revamp of the cover. Re-market it as a package for this new hip generation.
Big Wig: I like it! Show me what you have.
Minion: Nothing says sexy like a Blonde in Plaid on a hay stack. Guys love that.
Big Wig: Who is our target audience?
Minion: Teen girls who buy sexy magazines and duck face themselves in club washrooms across the nations. Girls who appear on ‘Girls gone Wild Spring Break’ and girls who are looking to attract that special someone. This new cover will be perfect.
Big Wig: Tell me what this book is about.
Minion: Well sir, this book is about a hot a girl who is very popular and gets all the boys.
Big Wig: Then this cover would be perfect, but why the plaid? It feels a little Daisy Duke to me.
Minion: Well Sir, it takes place in Canada. They all wear plaid in Canada.
Big Wig: Are you sure Minion?
Minion: Yes sir, I went to EPCOT in Florida to the Canada Pavilion last year with the wife and kids. The Canadians all wore plaid sir.
Big Wig: Nice research Minion. Start printing right away, I want them out for Valentines day.
Minion: Consider it done.
Well the book came out and you should have heard the rant from my ChatterBox.
“Why is the new cover of the Anne of Green Gables a sexy blonde in plaid? Anne is a self conscious red head 12 year old with freckles and a pointy nose. Anne was NORMAL and now they have ruined it! What is wrong with the plain old hand bound books? with solid colour covers. If they rewrote the book from Josie Pye perspective then perhaps it might work but the book is called ANNE OF GREEN GABLES! ANNE OF GREEN GABLES IS A 12 YEAR OLD GIRL! 12 YEAR OLD GIRLS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO BE SEXY BECAUSE THAT IS CALLED PEDOPHILIA. 18 IS WHEN YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BE SEXY BECAUSE THEN YOU DON’T ATTRACT PEDOPHILES. WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY THINKING?”
Did I happen to mention how proud I am of my girl? I should have name her Anne but I named her to honor my Great Grandmother. I promised I would never name her Agnes or Christina, instead I named her for my gram’s mother. It was the best I could do. I raised a smart girl just like my Gram hoped I would. Thankfully I still have the books that she gave me, and I passed them down so the tradition can continue.
Miss you Gram.
Tell me how well do you know Anne?
- Anne of Green Gables goes blonde, sparking red hair scare (guardian.co.uk)
- Anne of Green Gables now buxom blonde (wnd.com)
- “Anne of Green Gables” makeover angers many (metronews.ca)
- Lolita of Green Gables (takimag.com)