They're creepy and they're kooky—each member of the Addams Family is a gothic icon in their own right. But today I want to focus on my favorite little sadist, the sweet and sinister Wednesday Addams.
Cartoonist Charles Addams initially created the Addams Family in 1938 for a series of humorous one-panel gags that appeared regularly in The New Yorker. Though unnamed and somewhat undeveloped in the early comics, Wednesday Addams can be seen sporting her signature pigtail braids and Peter Pan collar. The popularity of Addams' cartoons led to the development of the Addams Family television series in the 1960s, where Wednesday was portrayed by Lisa Loring. In this adaptation, the young Wednesday Addams is at her perkiest, a sweet contrast to her parents and brother. Wednesday first appeared in animated form in a 1972 episode of Scooby-Doo, which then spawned an animated Addams Family spin-off show. While the previous iterations had been in black-and-white, Wednesday is depicted as wearing a pink dress in the full-color animated series—a color palette that would be dropped in subsequent adaptations.
Since then, there have been many incarnations of the Addams Family, both animated and live-action, but the version of Wednesday Addams that may be forefront in the minds of modern audiences is the character portrayed by Christina Ricci in the feature films of the 1990s: The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. Ricci's Wednesday won over our hearts with her deadpan demeaner, morbid precociousness, and sadistic tendencies. The films also solidified Wednesday's signature look of a knee-length black dress with a wide Peter Pan collar and two pigtail braids hanging in front of her shoulders.
Taking fashion inspiration from Wednesday Addams is a great way to add a bit of playfulness and childlike fun to your style, while still maintaining an overall gothic somberness. Any black dress with a white Peter Pan collar (like either the Heartless Wednesday Lace Dress or the Heartless Wednesday Night Witch Dress from Poizen Industries) is enough to put anyone in mind of this character. And, of course, you can always just wear your hair in her iconic pigtail braids. But there's a lot more that we can learn from Wednesday Addams than just borrowing from her fashion sense! The Addams clan can teach us about what it means to build loving relationships, and Wednesday in particular shows us how to follow our passions—however unusual they might be—and to be unapologetically ourselves.