Throughout my life many times I have heard the common snickering of…. “What do you call a blonde with half a brain? ”……. “Gifted! ”, or “What do a blonde and a coke bottle have in common? ”…… “They are both empty from the neck up! ” Although, yes, many times people find themselves cracking up at these dumb ‘harmless’ jokes, they are unconsciously supporting the stereotype that blondes are stupid.
Even though these jokes are meant to be inoffensive; to some they remain stereotypical and inevitably discriminative.It is common in our society, no matter what the situation is, for a person to involuntarily judge another primarily based on their outward appearance before they obtain any knowledge of what kind of person they are. Universally, Blonde women are denounced as dumb, before they have even released a breath, or even spoken a word to give an acquaintance a mere hint of their intelligence level. Despite the fact that many blondes ‘hate’ to be perceived as dumb, our society is making it incredibly hard to avoid with the use of celebrities, actresses, movies, and tabloids.Being a blonde woman has put me in a group whether I like it or not. Being blonde has negative and positive effects on a person with this hair color. First of all, let’s take a little look at where this whole “dumb blonde” idea comes from. One theory is that the ancient. Greeks and Romans so admired their flaxen-haired neighbors to the north, they would bleach their hair to make it blonde. Seeing as they didn’t exactly have the health standards we have today, a considerable amount of bleach repeatedly placed on the scalp and being inhaled could have some effect on one’s mental status.Another theory is that in the Middle Ages, while the lords and ladies pranced around and shaded their delicate features, common people worked outdoors in the fields and became tanned and their hair grew lighter. As the lower classes didn’t usually have a formal education, tan skin and blonde hair became associated with unintelligent, lower class people. Then there is the ever famous book by Anita Loos and the movie based upon it, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, starring Marilyn Monroe. Released in 1953, this story about two showgirls-a clueless blonde and a sassy brunette.While perhaps highlighting the “fun” side of blondes (in fact, brunette women held a demonstration protesting the movie, showing that brunettes could be just as much fun), this certainly did nothing to showcase their intelligence. “In a study conducted by a psychology professor at the University of Coventry in Britain, 120 men and women assessed photographs of a 21-year-old woman wearing a brown, red, natural blonde or platinum wig. The platinum blonde was rated less intelligent by the participants, particularly by the men. (McGinn) Blonde hair in women has been considered attractive and desirable and secondly, the belief that a blonde woman makes little use of her intelligence and relied more on her looks. This stereotype is a combination of historical stereotype, bad press, and human nature. Starting with history, blonde hair is a recessive trait, and therefore somewhat rarer than brown or black hair. Traditionally, this has made it more attractive and desirable. Hence blonde haired woman are perceived to be more beautiful than dark haired women.This can be deemed as a positive stereotyping. However, there is a negative stereotype as well. The dumb blonde is a popular-culture derogatory stereotype, intended to portray the blondes as very beautiful but dumb. Dumb blonde stereotyping entered the American culture in 1900s. Blondes are stereotyped as “beauties without brains”. This image of the blonde has been exploited in culture, literature, advertising and movies. These, in combination with other forms of media have given the ever-lasting perception of blonde-stereotypes.The blonde-haired women have been portrayed as dumb-blondes. For example, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, a novel, a Broadway musical and a film, exploited the idea of blonde’s charm. Many blond actresses have played stereotypical “dumb blondes” in movies and sitcoms and this has further caused the people to stereotype blondes. “As a naturally blonde woman I find that I? m defending myself on a daily basis, having to assure people that I? m not an idiot and remonstrate my own common sense against their assumptions of my stupidity.People either assume that anyone with blonde hair must unquestionably be a ‘bimbo’ or if not, feel that they have the right to make jokes to the same effect at your expense. I agree completely that the many young, attractive women who dye their hair blonde and morph into tanned, plastically enhanced Barbie dolls to compensate for their lack of intellectualism, while not making them any less deserving of defense, does give women who just happen to be born with blonde hair a bad press. ” (Littlemore) Blonde jokes are set to be banned in Hungary after a group of women staged an angry demonstration outside parliament. The protesters handed in a petition claiming they were being discriminated against in every walk of life by bad taste blonde jokes. Their spokesperson Zsuzsa Kovacs said: ‘Blondes face discrimination in the job market, in the workplace and even on the streets. ’” (Unknown) “Blonde-haired women earn seven percent more than women with other hair colors researchers claim, suggesting looks are worth more than intelligence if stereotypes are correct.The Telegraph reports that the study found that not only do blonde women earn more than darker haired counterparts in the workplace, that they also marry wealthier men, who earn an average of six per cent more than the husbands of other women. The study in the journal, Economics Letters reported that having blonde hair boosts pay by $3,000 a year for a woman earning the average salary. ” (Olsen) The power and control attached to this specific hair color can be useful for any individual. Sometimes it can get a person out of a tricky situation.For example, if a blonde does something stupid, she can pass it off as a so-called “blonde moment. ” Instead of making fun, people will think, “Aww, cute. That was so silly. ” Jessica Simpson made her fortune on this type of situation. Or say a blonde wants to really wow others. She could, with a little persistence, play the dumb blonde for a while. The setup may take quite some time, but when the conversation turns to a topic she knows well or has a strong opinion on, she can unleash all the intelligence she’s been hiding.Being blonde has negative and positive effects on a person with this hair color. The dumb blonde stereotype will probably never go away. It hurts sometimes when being referred to as a dumb blonde when in fact that isn’t the case. No matter what the hair color, everyone has a “dumb blonde” moment every now and then. Also, blondes stick out in a crowd and are noticed more which is nice when it comes to meeting guys or when you’re competing for a job. Also, playing a dumb blonde can even get you what you want without anyone really knowing. Personally, I love that I’m a natural blonde.I currently am trying a new hair color but am finding that it still doesn’t compare to being blonde.Work Cited Littlemore, Vikki. “The Wrong Blonde Joke. ” American Chronicle. Ultio, LLC. , 05 Jun 2009. Web. 8 Nov 2010. . McGinn, Dave. “Office blonde jokes no laughing matter. ” The Globe and Mail. CTVglobemedia Publishing Inc. , 24 Nov 2009. Web. 8 Nov 2010. . Olsen, David. “Blonde Women Earn More Despite ‘Dumb’ Stereotype. ” Dynamic Business. Dynamic Business, 06 Apr 2010. Web. 8 Nov 2010. . Unknown. “Blonde Discrimination is no Joke in Hungary. ” IOL News. Independent Online, 24 Nov 2004. Web. 8 Nov 2010. .