ISSUE DATE: May 26, 1986
Noise from the 18-year-old’s bedroom, the one that years before her latest movie was already decorated in pink—the blinds, the iron bed, the vanity, the dresser. A gust of stardust, and in breezes Molly: impossibly clear complexion (considering her deep-fry diet), hair like Ronald McDonald’s, the famous waxed-candy lips semaphoring a smile. Today she is dressed in black, with standard-teen tribal earrings (diamond-encrusted loops, ruby stud in left ear), and as she says, “Hi,” she piles her hair into a Wilma Flintstone topknot.
Pretty in pictures, she is prettier in person. Critic Pauline Kael’s phrase, “charismatic normality,” has Molly nailed. The charisma sets her apart as the one young movie actress who can set teens queueing at the box office—though typically, in today’s fragmented pop culture, she remains virtually unknown to anyone over 30—and whose punk-flapper fashion sense is imitated by thousands of “Ringlets,” her very own girl groupies. They pay tribute by dyeing their hair orange (as she does, from her natural dark reddish brown), smearing lipstick from nose to chin and dressing in Molly’s unique designer-junk shop couture. Her normality makes her something more resonant than this month’s Madonna. Molly Ringwald is both hip enough to be the style setter of Right Now and traditional enough to be any American teen of the past 50 years.
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