by Robrt Pela
Expert Bio: Robrt L. Pela's favorite Cher song is "She's No Better Than Me." He makes his living as a writer, but only because he hasn't figured out how to get paid for knowing useless minutiae about Cher's recording career. [See Robrt Pela's articles on Cher and the movie Chastity from The Phoenix New Times, as well as his NPR stories.]
It seems likely that Cher is a myth; not a person so much as a team of people who have been manipulating a five-foot-seven automation for a half-century or so in order to fill gaps in contemporary culture. How else to explain the fact that Cher has so often transformed herself--her musical style; her job description; and always, always, her hairdo--and yet remained so recognizable to us?
The greatest amount of data indicating that Cher is almost certainly not a single human being can be found in her numerous musical eras. Because while the product known as Cher has sometimes been a television star, occasionally been a film actress, and less frequently a Broadway performer, an aerobics instructor, and a spokeswoman for créme rinse, she has most consistently been presented to us as a singer.
The breakdown of musical Cher Eras presented here should prove, once and for all, that Cher is in fact a not unpleasant conspiracy--perhaps designed to keep us mindful of synthetic hair or to invite discourse about the value of singing phonetically in other languages--rather than a real person. It becomes, when considering the musical Cher, that she is a myth because, for example, no pop star would be allowed to co-host a network television show with her ex-husband while pregnant with the child of a heroin-addicted current spouse. The final proof that Cher is in fact a musical mannequin, of course, lies not in the ever-changing size of her nose and teeth but in the fact that no movie star would dare to appear in a hair-care infomercial mere weeks after winning on Oscar.
Note: Table best viewed in landscape.
Read the blog entries on Cher hair.