From Blonde to Brunette
By Erica Dalton
My brunette, Jewish mom was happy to have a blonde, blue-eyed daughter.
But then, she grew up being told that what’s desirable was the opposite of her. Sexy was blonde, from Cinderella to Grace Kelly to Marilyn Monroe.
Even though my mom grew to love herself, I guess she was glad that I would not have to feel unsexy.
Sure, men are privileged by being male, but attractive females are privileged, too. You are noticed more. You’re more popular. You get attractive guys.
If you don’t mind the stigmas attached to “sexy” you can milk it for all it’s worth.
But even the upsides are downsides.
When I’d done well in class or gotten a high test score I’d hear, “But you’re a dumb blonde!” I learned to laugh about it because girls are sexier when they joke around as much as guys.
So I was seen as an airhead. I was also expected to be unnaturally hot.
But I am neither of those things. And I didn’t want to be rewarded just because I looked pretty. I didn’t want to feel like my value lay just in my looks.
So I looked into myself and realized I had two choices. Either spend loads of time worrying about my outside. Or just be me.
I chose to be me. So I dyed my hair darker to wash away the stereotypes.
Hair color seems to merge with gender roles, with blonde being thought more feminine — sexy, lacking intelligence, and hence, more passive and accepting. And I had let those things go.
I got less flack. But I also got lesbian-baited. Because I was now a woman who didn’t wear make-up, had red or brown hair, and hung out with guys.
I am not a lesbian but I have no problem with them so I just didn’t care. But it baffled me that men would bait me just because I wasn’t following their lead or letting my boobs fall out of my shirt…
… Just because my life was not about pleasing them.
At the same time, I’ve found other men who respect me and appreciate me for who I am — who I REALLY am. It’s a great trade, if you ask me.
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Posted on October 8, 2014, in body image, feminism, objectification, psychology, sexism, women and tagged body image, dumb blondes, feminism, objectification, psychology, sexism, women. Bookmark the permalink. 24 Comments.