Who is Nancy Drew really? The instability of the girl detective.The fundamental instability at the heart of Nancy Drew is a direct result of the production method that wrought her.
Like the thirties starlets programmed by the Hollywood star system to radiate glamour power and searing perfection Nancy is a fundamentally collaborative project who embodies distinct often contradictory visions for how a super-girl should look and behave.
The publishing tycoon Edward Stratemeyer created her in 1930 to capitalize on the girl consumers he knew were reading his popular Hardy Boys books.
He hired a cross-country network of ghostwriters to write the series under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene.
If modifications to Nancy’s character reflected different ideals of femininity tweaks to her appearance reflected ideals of beauty furthered by cinema and pop culture.
Benson’s books called for ‘blonde’ curls but the illustrator Russell Tandy tinted Nancy’s hair a more voguish silver—just when the 1931 film Platinum Blonde premiered Jean Harlow’s famous noxious dye-job –
– a cocktail of peroxide – ammonia – Clorox, and Lux flakes.
Source: Who Is Nancy Drew, Really?