Last night, my flight from SFO to LAX was stuck on the runway, and so I was channel-surfing the DirecTV provided by Virgin Airlines. It was an exercise in minimizing boredom, not to mention enjoying a few minutes off the clock — which is why I found it super weird to see Amber Lee Ettinger, better known to the Internet as Obama Girl, getting a haircut on the Bravo reality series Shear Genius (it’s like Project Runway, but for hair stylists).
Ettinger was just one of seven aspiring model/actresses getting new looks for headshots, and while the stylist-contestant assigned to her identified her as Obama Girl, otherwise there wasn’t much made of Ettinger’s online fame. The reason for that might have been this: Ettinger wasn’t appearing on Shear Genius to bolster the Obama Girl brand. In fact, her target for one of her new looks was to hopefully get a role as the lead in an action film — according to Shear Genius contestant/stylist Brig, “the role she’s after is ‘strong female lead in an action flick.’”
So Ettinger is pursuing an acting career — does that mean Obama Girl is dead? According to Obama Girl creator and creative director of Next New Networks’ Barely Political channel, Ben Relles, the answer is definitely not. Ettinger still lives in New York, and continues to appear in Barely Political and Barely Digital videos (both in and out of Obama Girl character), most recently in the John Mayer parody John Mayer for Dummies.
How did Ettinger’s new do do on the show? Fine: Without any spoilers, her hair didn’t cause any major drama, and the judges especially liked her action look. No telling if her new headshots will help her future career — but I love abusing the “local girl makes good” headline cliche, so personally, I’ve got my fingers crossed for her teaming up with Jason Statham sometime soon.
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