Sitting here watching a Buffy marathon. Its the beginning of the third season. So that means they have Sarah Michelle Gellar with at least three different shades of blond in her hair. And she looks a bit more in shape than when she does later in the season and especially in the rest of the series.
Sarah Michelle Gellar's appearance changes quite a bit throughout the series. Its not always dramatic, but its certainly noticeable and I'm not quite sure why it happens so often. Maybe if I break it down something will pop up.
In season one Sarah is at her heaviest, and when I say heaviest I still mean very small. She is about 5'3. So she isn't going to weigh much. But in season one she looks like a very healthy young woman. Her hair in past shoulder length and pretty dirty blond, certainly less blond than other seasons. I think Sarah was about 20 years old at this point. So her development as a woman is a bit ahead of the 16 year old Buffy she is portraying. I think this is a realistic depiction of a young girl of her size. Although I like how full her body looks I like how her face matures in the next season.
In season two Buffy comes back with her hair a little more blond and a little shorter. Now she has it just above her shoulders and looking a bit like the Jennifer Aniston style that was popular in the 90s. Sarah's face really comes into its own, absolutely gorgeous. She's a bit thinner than in the first season but still looks pretty fit and healthy. The big changes in this season involves her hair. Just going off memory, she goes through a bunch of different styles and shades of blond. Towards the end of the season we get a pretty steady mix of blond and a bit past the shoulder length. From a purely asthetic perspective, I think this is the best Sarah looked while on the show.
There isn't a lot of change in season three. THe one thing that sticks out is her hair color early in the season. This, and when she cuts her hair really short in season 6, are the only times I can think that her change in appearance is part of the plot of the show. Since she was out on her own, slumming it, I think her hair reflects the big change in her life at the end of season two. And as she gets further back into her previous life her hair gets back to normal.
Season four is when I start to have a problem with Sarah's appearance. She shows up to college looking very thin. Not unhealthy, just very thin. This could very well be Sarah being more fit and in shape for the physical demands of the role. But it strikes me as the typical Hollywood thinking that thinner is better. I'm very hesitant to say that definitively in light of Whedon's feminist ideals and the fact that he cast Miracle Laurie in "Dollhouse" because she was a fuller figured woman and not a typical Hollywood actress that looks like she doesn't get enough meals.
There aren't many more changes throughout the rest of the series aside from the big one in season six that I mentioned earlier. So I still don't see much reason for all of the changes. Perhaps its just me nit picking on who I think is one of the most beautiful women I've ever seen. But I didn't care for some of the changes throughout the series. Though I guess that also speaks to the other thing Sarah Michelle Gellar has, which is just a sexiness that exudes from her that is separate from her physical appearance. And I think that part of her also helped her acting and thus the whole show.