Sunday, November 22, 2009

Top Ten Orphans

Lately, I've been thinking an awful lot about orphans. Perhaps because it's the time of year for folks to be thinking about things like hunger and charity, family and community, Dickensian imagery, and the feelings of alienation that can come from familial separation around the holiday season--a kind of adult orphanhood.
At any rate, I've always loved stories of orphans and the orphan aesthetic. And in film and literature, orphans are always masters of their own fates; slaves to none. So here are my top ten classic orphans:

10. That one kid from Slumdog Millionaire: He just made slummin' it look so badass, whatwith ripping off tourists, and jumping from train car to train car with M.I.A. singing in the background. That was rad.
9. Superman: I really don' t need to justify this choice. Although not particularly pleasing to the eye by way of orphan chic, Superman still provides a badass story of pullling yourself up from your bootstraps and being super.
8. Harry Potter: I don't know if I really can consider a character whose parents died and left him alone, rather than decisively parting ways, an orphan. I guess I just had to include him to appease any geeks who may be offended by his exclusion.
7. Tom Sawyer: Great style, sass, mucho brio. Artful in manipulating the adult world; however, not quite as artful as...
6. Artful Dodger: Makes greasy hair and dirt on the face super hot. Grade A for style, B for sophistication. A cockney accent is the ultimate orphan accoutrement.

5. Punky Brewster: I'll admit it, I totally wore a bandana around the leg for a few days in the first grade, such was the influence of this fashion maven. Also, I claimed to want to be an astronaut when I grew up for approximately three years, simply because that's what Punky Brewster wanted to be on her television show.
4. Annie: Aw man, I wish I could give Annie the #1 spot, I mean, the style, the sass, the songs that really spoke to orphans and orphan-wannabees such as myself. She really paved the way for orphan chic. And how supremely fantastic is the choreography in this video?

3. Peter Pan: His force was so powerful that he was able to command an entire army of orphans to outsmart pirates. Pirates! And you can't knock an orphan whose name has been used for the title of a syndrome to describe the ultimate man-child.
2. Oliver Twist: The Audrey Hepburn-in-Breakfast-at-Tiffany's of orphans. So chic; so beautiful, my inner eight year-old girl still yearns for him. He was so very captivating as a child orphan that it is actually rumored that Michael Jackson used the actor who played Oliver in the classic film adaptation, Mark Lester, as the sperm donor for his child, Paris.
1. Eleanor Roosevelt--because, really, no shit, she was an orphan. And how many orphans grow up to be first ladies? The ultimate orphan in terms of style, Protestant work ethic, and prowess.

That's it--I'm buying up all this orphan garb. I'm bringin' orphan back.

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