I've written about Narcissa's hair here before, but both times I've been annoyed over someone's snark, and that's probably not the most constructive way to write. I thought I'd write a more measured version that can be linked to, and genuinely contribute to a conversation if/when I need it. People who've read my previous vents on this won't really find much that's new here, it's just a state of mind thing. (Although, there are a couple of teasers about fics in progress. So you might like to read for that.
So, to recap: Yes, I do mostly build my art around the black-and-white haired, movie Narcissa aesthetic. No, that isn't a popular choice. Yes, I know she's blonde in the books. And yes, I understand that a lot of people don't like it.
So...why do it?
The biggest reason is that I'm mostly a movie-based fan. I have read the books, an embarrassing number of times, but I was an adult with a young child when they came out, so I came to the fandom through the movies. Add to that, that I'm a Death Eater/Pureblood focused fan, and those characters are often more developed in the actors' portrayals, and often pretty one-dimensional in the books. Whereas if I were, for instance, very focused on Harry, I would probably lean more towards the books because he, necessarily, is better developed there. But as we've established, I was an adult when the books came out, so the schoolkids really didn't speak to me anywhere near as much as the society and political aspects. And my interest in Narcissa was directly related to Helen McCrory's portrayal, so I'm not inclined to whitewash her out of the picture. As a secondary matter, I also think Narcissa being blonde is completely illogical, unless Druella was having an affair. Her whole family is dark, going back generations.
That said, I actually do
think there is a place for blonde Narcissa, and I will never criticise anyone for basing their art around her or preferring her. (Just please return the favour). She's pretty prominent in my Favourites. I have actually used her quite a bit myself, although more in the fic world. I have explained her blonde hair more than once as a choice on her marriage, a symbolic departure from her family of origin and alignment with the family she has joined. I also have a fic in progress where her paternity is a plot point - unknown to her and Lucius, she is the product of an affair between Druella and Abraxas, and as a result, a drop of her blood is able to be used for magical purposes by Tom and Bella. I have another fic in progress dealing with abuse in the Black family and Narcissa's hair changes to blonde in the context of her escaping to the Malfoys.
So I don't have a problem with purists who consistently prefer the books. And I don't have a problem with people who simply like what they like, and sometimes that's the books and sometimes that's the movies. I have things that I either prefer in the books myself, or just will use when it suits me. It's a bit idiosyncratic.
What I have a problem with is people who act, in this one area, like book canon is the only canon and it's completely invalid to refer to the movie aesthetic, or even like it didn't happen at all. (That's probably the one that annoys me the most - I know perfectly well you probably haven't been living under a rock and probably have seen the bloody films, and you know perfectly well that I know book Narcissa is blonde, so don't be obtuse). And I take particular issue with it because it seems particularly targeted at this one character. I have never seen, for instance, someone posting on a Jason Isaacs inspired Lucius, "You know he doesn't have long hair, right?" or a criticism that a particular image of Hermione is too beautiful. I don't know whether it's a hating-on-middle-aged-women thing or what, but it seems like everyone cares oh so much more about this variation than all the others. I can post a whole picture full of movie-referencing aesthetics, not all of them in line with book canon, and the only one people will take issue with is Narcissa's hair.
Love her or hate her, movie Narcissa is canon too. If she's a dealbreaker for you in my art, that's okay, honestly. No one's making you look at it. Just don't act like she doesn't have a right to fictionally exist.