Blair Waldorf is the current reigning “queen bee” of teen snobbery on primetime television. Ever since Gossip Girl made the transition from the pages of YA books by Cecily von Ziegesar to the small screen I find myself periodically having certain thoughts when I watch it. Thoughts like, So Blair Waldorf is the “queen bee” huh? Know who the original queen bee was? Blair Warner. Yep, that’s Blair from The Facts of Life. Recently I started wondering just how true this statement was. Are Blair Warner and Blair Waldorf really that much alike? I went back and watched the first couple of seasons of The Facts of Life again. Turns out, their differences far outweigh their similarities.
Both girls are from extremely wealthy families and are the children of divorced parents. Waldorf seems to prefer her maid Dorota to her mother, and Blair Warner often cries into housemother, Mrs. Garrett’s “tig ol bitties” rather than going to her mother for guidance. Blair Warner’s father owns Warner Textile Mills. Blair Waldorf’s mother is a fashion designer. It seems Blair Waldorf’s sophistication may stem from being able to live on the Upper East Side and attend Constance Billard. Blair Warner attends boarding school in Peekskill, NY.
Blair Warner exemplifies her lack of sophistication through her actions. In one memorable episode she uses her fake ID to hang out at a bar called The Chugalug. The Chugalug is a bleak local bar where a bunch of old Magnum P.I. looking guys hang out and drink “brews.” Seems like girls in “P-Skill” don’t really care where they get their party on as long as they can party. Blair Warner frequently drinks beer or wine and sometimes learns a “valuable lesson” after doing so. Blair Waldorf pretends to sip gin martinis in upscale bars. The thought of a fake ID never enters Blair Waldorf’s mind, because she doesn’t need one. Blair Waldorf would have a heart attack and down a bottle of Purell if she ever stepped one of her Jimmy Choos in The Chugalug.
Both girls wear nice clothing. However, Blair Warner’s typical attire is what I term “generic extravagant.” Blair Warner wears cashmere sweaters and designer jeans on a daily basis, but it is a huge deal when her mother gifts her with a Dior dress. This is a commonplace occurrence for Blair Waldorf whose own closet is filled with couture.
Unlike Blair Warner’s loose and wavy blond hair, Waldorf’s hair is always perfectly coiffed and usually held back with her trademark headband. Blair Waldorf’s love for the headband probably lends itself more easily to a comparison to Heather Chandler (from the film Heathers) and her coveted red scrunchie. Blair Waldorf models her personal style after Audrey Hepburn, and often has dream sequences where she appears in Audrey Hepburn films such as Wait Until Dark or Breakfast At Tiffany’s. From the first couple of seasons of The Facts of Life it does not seem like Blair Warner has a personal style icon. Although her hair has been compared to Farrah Fawcett’s, and in the later seasons, she kind of resembles a young Markie Post (of Night Court and jumping on the Lincoln bed fame).
Blair Warner is merely shallow and superficial while Blair Waldorf is cruel and manipulative. Blair Waldorf can only function properly when she has a nemesis to focus all of her energy on. A person whose life it is her mission to use her resources to destroy. Blair Warner has sidekicks. She has friends like Tootie and Natalie who admire her but can function independently of her as whole individuals. Blair Waldorf has minions. Much like the wicked witch of the West and her flying monkeys, Blair Waldorf has two minions that she prefers to send out to do her dirty work. Their existence is validated by her praise and directives.
Both girls are fairly indiscriminate about romantic/sexual partners. In a season one episode of Facts of Life, Blair Warner is eager to “get it on” with Steve the hot delivery guy in his brother’s van. However, he rebuffs her advances when she refuses to “go steady” with him. Though, Warner did actually earn my disdain for not boning the handyman George (played by George Clooney). Blair Waldorf gives up her virginity to Chuck Bass in the back of his limo the day after she broke up with longtime boyfriend Nate. Both girls are physically well built, but I think Blair Waldorf would dominate in a physical altercation between the girls. Waldorf would use some of her sneaky lacrosse moves and kick Warner in the shin or the peanut. Then she would banish Blair Warner to upstate New York to live in shame with little Jenny Humphrey.
Blair Waldorf is the true queen bee in the “battle of the Blairs.” Millennium Blair dominates eighties Blair in every way. Blair Waldorf is a machine built for beauty, privilege, and popularity. She will ultimately rule us all. Perhaps it is unfair to compare the two Blairs. After all, Blair Warner existed in a time before teenage girls knew the wonders of traveling pants, had Sex and the City sensibilities, or confessed their sins on Formspring. But in the “battle of the Blairs” there can only be one winner, and it is Blair Waldorf.