What are the physical characteristics of Cherry Valance in The Outsiders?

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bullgatortail | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Sherri Valance is the beautiful cheerleader who asks Ponyboy to sit with her at the drive-in theatre in The Outsiders. She has received the nickname "Cherry" because of her long red hair, which she occasionally wears pinned up. Pony is immediately taken by Cherry's good looks and nice clothes, describing her as "tuff-looking... a real looker." Pony recognized her from their high school, and he always had thought she was "stuck-up." About "sixteen or seventeen," Cherry was chewing "hard" on her gum while Dally was harassing her; she later turned "white as a sheet" while Pony was telling her about Johnny's beating at the hands of the Socs. Cherry also had a sad side, telling Pony that the Socs' had their problems, too.

"Things are rough all over."

Cherry drives a "bright red" Corvette Sting Ray and must be fairly small, since Dally describes her as "that little gal." When Pony meets up with her just before the rumble, she is wearing a ski jacket, and he realizes she has green eyes.

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jameadows | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Cherry Valance is a well-dressed girl who Ponyboy and his friends encounter at the movies in Chapter 2 of The Outsiders. She is well dressed and what Ponyboy calls "sharp and really good-looking." She is about sixteen or seventeen and has long red hair. Her real name is Sherri, but she has the nickname Cherry because of her red hair. She is a cheerleader, and, in addition to being very good looking, she seems intelligent and perceptive. For example, she understands that Johnny has been hurt and is vulnerable as a result. Cherry and Ponyboy have a real connection, and he feels as though he can speak with her openly. Though she hangs out with the Soc crowd, she is open to befriending people who aren't in her crowd, and she has a good sense of judgment about people. 

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gpane | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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As others have replied, Cherry Valance is a beautiful red-haired cheerleader. Ponyboy is absolutely taken with her. She is with a friend, Marcia, when Ponyboy and Johnny first meet her, and Ponyboy notes that although Marcia too is "cute," Cherry is the real stunner. She can be regarded as the main female character in the novel. 

Ponyboy does seem to be genuinely attracted to Cherry, although he doesn't really say so directly. But it isn't just her physical characteristics that attract him. He also likes her for being considerate and sensitive. She is a Soc girl but she shows no condescension whatsoever towards Greasers like Ponyboy. In fact she strikes up an immediate rapport with both Ponyboy and Johnny. All three are similarly thoughtful and sensitive - unlike practically everyone else in the novel, except maybe Soda, to some degree.

Cherry forms an important link between the Socs and Greasers. She helps Ponyboy to realize that underneath all the external differences, Socs and Greasers are really the same: they're all human. 

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ik9744's profile pic

ik9744 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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She has red hair and is around sixteen. She is a cheerleader at their school.

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