Televangelists and big hair

It worked for Dolly Parton

Matthew Alice: What is the correlation between all these Christian ministry TV shows and their exaggerated hairdos, outlandish way of dress, and bordello-like sets (i.e., Tammy Faye and the lady with the pink hair)? Does this have something to do with their location in the Bible Belt? Please explain this particularly bizarre phenomenon. We have marveled over it and been puzzled by it for years. — Curious in Ramona

I too am particularly taken by the pink-haired megabouffant lady of the tarantula eyelashes, which she once removed — on camera, in front of a stunned audience — during a particularly heartfelt bout of tearful testifyin’. I’ve always suspected the wig was intended to balance out all the ruffled dresses, so her head didn’t look like a grape sinking into a vat of whipped cream. The most cogent explanation I’ve heard for all the gaudy show is that televangelism has only a bit to do with devotion but a lot to do with show business. They’re TV stars, after all. When you start believing your own press releases, something happens to your brain. Lucky for them, bad taste is not one of the seven deadly sins. And besides, it worked for Dolly Parton.

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