Columns, Opinion

Our True Face: Blond stereotypes are rooted in misogyny and need to be eradicated

Society’s obsession with blond hair dates back several millennia; Greek and Roman gods and goddesses were often portrayed with golden locks and with them developed a desire to have blond hair and the status associated with it. 

The psychology of being blond, according to Peter Frost, an anthropologist at Laval University in Quebec City, is mostly associated with a human desire to be unique and therefore attract mates. 

Given its roots in seeking male attention, blond hair has become extremely sexualized in and by the media. Blond women are perceived “more like an object, are presumed to be dumber, receive less respect, are taken less seriously, and receive aggression more readily than when they are brunettes,” according to Carla Clark, an expert in neuropsychology.

Blond women also put societal pressure on themselves to act a certain way. For example, the popular phrase “blondes have more fun,” which seems to be lighthearted and encouraging, degrades and sets expectations for blonde women to behave a certain way. The phrase may pressure blonds to act youthful, easy-going, sexy and well, “more fun,” than their darker-haired counterparts.

Some women spend hundreds of dollars a year on treatments and products to keep up their bleached look — that’s a lot of money just to be blond, and is an example of the emphasis women put maintaining a specific image. 

Perhaps the most well-known blond stereotype, however, is the phenomenon of the “dumb blonde.” The popular trope used as an insult to put down another woman. It originates from the play “Les Curiosités de la Foire,” and was exacerbated by Marilyn Monroe’s often ditzy performances in films as well as in her everyday life.

We have all heard a blond woman being referred to as dumb, but blond men rarely face the same criticism, which may indicate that this insult was specifically invented to put females down. This stereotype was born in misogynistic ideologies that tell women they are not capable. This may make blonde women feel like they have to work harder in order to be taken seriously.

Blond is a beautiful hair color; I enjoy the throes of being blond myself. It does, however, come at a social and financial cost and brings with it unfair disadvantages that should be eradicated. One’s hair color is not an indication of status and should not be treated as such.


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