Some Valentine’s Day thoughts on Emma’s Pink Dress
So I woke up this morning to see that this old meta of mine regarding Emma’s pink “date dress” was back in circulation.
Rereading it I was reminded just how much I love that dress.
And because it’s Valentine’s Day weekend and I’m feeling a bit romantic, and nostalgic, I want to share a with you a quote about Emma’s femininity from an interview Jennifer Morrison gave way back in February 2012 (X) :
So often in movies and TV a beauty look is so over-the-top glam that’s it’s incongruous with a character.
That’s always my first thing with my characters— I always want it to suit the reality of that person’s life. With Emma, that was a big conversation.We really felt like because she is so tough and is so rough around the edges, we wanted there to be a softness to her somehow. The implication that if she had grown up in a fairy-tale is that she would have been a very different person. We wanted the core of her to represent something softer and more feminine.“
That explains the princess hair.
"Yeah. The idea was that there was a bit of a wave. I let it air-dry and then they give it a bit of soft curl. There’s always a pretty extensive process that goes into those choices.”
According to JMO Emma’s look that was conceived back in S1 was intended to reflect that, AT HER CORE, she was a soft and feminine person. That’s the reasoning behind the choices that were made with Emma’s hair and make-up when the show first began.
And that quote ties in beautifully with another interview in which JMO talked about that pink dress she wore on her first date with Hook - a dress she said reflected the way Hook made her feel (X) :
“This is the first time that Emma is wearing something that is softer and gentler and sweeter and romantic,” she said.
“To me, that was really important because I wanted it to be symbolic of something very different than the other times that we’ve seen her on a date,” Morrison remarked of Emma’s varied romantic past. “Now she really likes this guy and she’s really genuine about it… and the fact that she feels safe enough and inspired to express that part of herself to him was a really important thing to show.”
Emma Swan IS the Ugly Duckling.
That is her fairy tale persona. And her journey since S1 has been one of transformation. She went from a gruff, walls up, loner, to a woman who has grown more and more comfortable demonstrating her immense capacity to be warm, vulnerable, and open to giving and receiving love - first with Henry, then her parents…and now Hook.
No wonder Jen loves that pink “date dress” so much. It represents something so beautiful for the character she’s lovingly created in Emma Swan. Jennifer described the dress as “softer and gentler and sweeter and romantic” and said that Hook made her feel safe enough to share those parts of herself. For the first time since we’d met her, Emma Swan she felt comfortable to embrace and express a core aspect of her personality that she had been keeping hidden under all that leather armor since S1 - her softness.
And it’s been amazing to watch her journey of self discovery - as she feels more and more comfortable in her own skin we see those downy grey feathers fall away as the complex woman that is Emma Swan emerges.
When I first saw the dress I thought it was pretty - and a surprising choice. I was fairly excited to see her in something so different but I didn’t give it much thought. It was only after I read Jen’s thoughts on it, and placed it in the context of how she’s spoken about Emma since 2012, that I truly understood the reasoning behind the wardrobe choice. It was Jen’s insight into her character that made me fall in love with that dress! And now I smile every time I see it.
(Personal note: My own wardrobe is pretty similar to Emma’s - most days I can be found in jeans and riding boots, I own lots of shear sweaters (most often grey) and I’ve even got a tan leather jacket just like hers. I don’t wear much that would be called “girly”. In fact, the last time I wore a dress my 6 year old son asked me what my “costume” was! But after writing this I’m feeling inspired to dig the one pink thing I own out of my closet this weekend to wear on Valentine’s Day - not for my husband, but for me!)