Anne of Green Gables gets a blonde makeover

WTF? I just posted about the offensive chicklit makeover for Plath’s Bell Jar that I saw on Jezebel and didn’t realize, it was only the beginning! They are fucking with the great heroines of YA who we already don’t have enough of. How can they go back and mess up those we love just in time for our children to read about them? Publishers gave Anne of Green Gables a blonde makeover.


Thankfully, here’s my nine year old daughter’s edition, bought last year and waiting for her on the bookshelf:


This is Anne! Looking out of the window, thinking, wondering about the world! Not smiling coyly for some invisible admirer (my daughter?) The edition above is illustrated by the amazing Lauren Child of Charlie and Lola fame. Child also illustrated our edition of Pippi Longstocking.

How could they do this to Anne?

As Jezebel writes, the publisher chooses “to ignore that Anne had red hair—which was such an important part of the book. She had red fucking hair!”

Sadly, we’re not done yet with this retroactive sexism. Now, for Virginia Woolf:


Sorry, even that Rosa Parks stamp can’t make me feel better about this travesty.



9 thoughts on “Anne of Green Gables gets a blonde makeover

  1. And whatever the model on the Anne books is wearing is also so wrong. It was published in 1908, set in the 1890s going by her age in “Rilla”, and she’s obsessed with puffed sleeves, not collared checked shirts. I love the Lauren Child version

  2. Anne doesn’t just have red hair, she’s *obsessed* with it, and how it prevents her from being her idealised I image of the way a girl should look. The marketing and design team should be tarred and feathered for this.

    • That’s the edition I first read as well. I understand wanting to opt for a model instead of artwork since I was wandering through Barnes and Noble today and that seems to be the trend in marketing books now, especially in the teen/YA section. But put a picture of young Megan Follows on the cover, not this generic image of a blond girl that could be used to sell anything. The fact that they made her blond shows that the publisher hasn’t read the book but still, that cover doesn’t communicate anything. As you pointed out Margot, both your daughter’s version and CherokeeWriter’s edition say something about Anne. She’s standing in front of her home with a book in her arms, signifying two of the most of important aspects of her character. This new version has a blurred fence in the background. That’s all we get of the setting in a story about an orphan finding a place for herself in a new town with her adoptive family. Great.

    I can’t believe someone have done it. I love Anne of Green Gables, her red hair is an importante part of the story. Who made that cover haven’t read the books, Anne is 11-12 years old in the beggining, how could they do that? Thanks all my copies are safe with Anne and her red hair.

  4. I was going to warn you about the new AoGG cover, which I’d seen posted somewhere else, but you beat me to it. I’m glad I saved my copy from the 80s for my daughter to read!

  5. Unfortunately I don’t know much about Virginia Woolf, other that she wrote a famed feminist essay (which I still need to read – it’s on the long list of things I want to read, though!).
    That first book … now that doesn’t look like the same book as the one your daughter has. What happened to that cover? A photograph of a woman who holds her hair up doesn’t look like a book for children (not that I’m saying that it’s a bad photograph or anything – it just gives me a different idea about the book). Meh. Just meh.

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