Watching — and enjoying — most movies these days requires a certain level of suspended disbelief. It’s unlikely a human would ever have sex with a fish, or that four teenagers could realistically be transported into a board game (and then turn into Dwayne Johnson). For the sake of entertainment, our logic takes a break in the those moments. But other things — like Jennifer Lawrence’s blonde bangs that reveal no evidence of brunette roots in Red Sparrow — are harder to ignore. First, we think, Wow, those highlights are impeccable. Then, the disbelief rolls in.
We (along with anyone who has ever colored their hair) know that maintaining blonde is a difficult process that can take up half the day. And that’s when it’s done by a trained professional. Dyeing your head an icy shade of blonde at home is a whole other ballgame — and not something we’d recommend attempting. So you can imagine how difficult it was for those with even a bit of salon knowledge to watch the scene in Red Sparrow in which Lawrence’s character, Dominika Egorova, decides to box-dye her hair platinum in the bathroom sink.
Egorova, a former prima ballerina recruited by an elite Russian intelligence branch, has to go lighter in order to seduce one particular male target. But she can’t do it alone, so her roommate (also a spy) offers to help by squirting a bottle of bleach directly into her hand before massaging it into Egorova’s scalp. Almost instantly, Egorova is the perfect shade of icy blonde. Then, she proceeds to dive into a chlorine-filled pool.
Naturally, Twitter was quick to point out how inaccurate this part of the film was.
not to spoil the movie for anyone but the most unrealistic thing about red sparrow was when jennifer lawrence’s character went from brunette to blonde in one sitting by using just box hair dye and no gloves pic.twitter.com/cFlZ90Vd4F
— Emily Gould (@emg_emily) March 7, 2018
“a movie that knows so little about women that Dominika bleaches her long brunette locks with one box of pharmacy hair dye and then GOES SWIMMING” https://t.co/s2en0SXNMW
— Aoife (@aoiph) March 7, 2018
? ? Seriously thought this was just me. I can watch the most out there sci-fi & fantasy without ever batting an eye but I see the whole brunette to blonde from a box & feel immediately ripped back to reality.
I embrace you all, fellow hair realists. You are my people now. ?
— Anna R (@saucy_strumpet) March 5, 2018
The most disturbing part of RED SPARROW was when u see a woman BLEACH another woman’s hair without gloves on !!!!!!!!!
— Morgan A Baila (@morganbaila) February 16, 2018
i cannot get over the part in red sparrow where that lady bleaches jlaws hair without gloves. bleaching hair with her bare hands AS IF
— Erin Langley (@Leselangs) March 6, 2018
— larry david petty (@americanpoets) March 4, 2018
Just saw Red Sparrow. The most unrealistic part was when JLaw’s freshly bleached hair didn’t turn green from the swimming pool water.
— Ali DeRegt (@AliDeRegt) March 8, 2018
This might seem completely insignificant in the grand scheme of the film, but it’s indicative of a larger issue in the industry. As The Village Voice puts it, “If you want women to trust that you have made an earnest effort to dissect a woman’s psyche, don’t just assume you know the details.” Our solution: Hire a woman to write the screenplay, or at least consult a colorist before making the assumption that going blonde isn’t as tedious as watching paint dry — because it most definitely is.
Click HERE to read more from Refinery29