Throughout history, from Greek goddesses to Britney, hair color has been a way to express and distinguish oneself. It not only gives one an opportunity to change the way he or she perceives themselves, but it allows someone else to look at you from a perspective they wish to see. Hair color can sometimes be reduced to an estimate of beauty, wealth, status, and aptitude. In today's modern society and media, hair color can be associated with a clich of intelligence or stupidity, specifically between blondes and brunettes, as well as determining ideals and motivation.
Amongst the period of Greek mythology, women with blonde hair, or "golden tresses" were presented in a sexual manner. Heroic characters were depicted with blonde hair, while those full of sin and malice were portrayed with dark hair. Blondes are the angels and saints, rather than witches or villains. A light skin tone and eye color are said to have revealed the most beautiful woman throughout time (Rich 1). Even though blondes have been held on a high pedestal, with time, they have suffered from discrimination in various aspects of their character.
Through popular clichis such as "blonde bombshell" or "dumb blonde", blondes have been turned into the focus for well renowned "blonde jokes". Films have even gone as far as revolving their cinemas around the typical stereotype. Specifically, throughout the movie Legally Blonde, Reese Witherspoon demonstrates her pride for both pink and Harvard Law School. Although the movies intent may have been to prove blonde intelligence, it somewhat did just the opposite. According to a survey taken, when asked which girl, the blonde or brunette, was most likely to belong to her college's sorority, the answer was apparently obvious.
Eighty percent of both males and females polled felt the blonde was the most likely candidate. Corresponding to the film, Elle Woods was introduced as the president of her sorority. It was also apparent that almost every single girl in the following sorority house scenes was blonde. Furthermore, blondes are sometimes associated as not only stupid, but wealthy, "I love nothing more than a dumb blonde with daddy's plastic" (Legally Blonde). However, when asked who was born into wealth, the response was split between both shades of locks.
It is crucial to keep in mind that upon surveying, the answer received corresponds to the hair color of the responder. When asked which girl would make the perfect girlfriend, those females answering with blonde hair replied the blond, and likewise with the brunette. This was also the reply when asked who the ideal wife would be. This was not the case with males. Eighty percent of males felt the brunette would make the ideal wife, while the blonde was in the lead with sixty percent as the perfect girlfriend.
According to The American image of Beauty: Media representations of hair color for four decades, eighty four percent of white college woman felt that mean favored blondes, yet brunette males felt brunette females were ideal, blonde males preferred either. According to the article Undue Diligence: Who has more fun? , Melinda Mc Lellan refers to a quote by Professor Juergens, "the men wanted to bed the dark-haired women, but were thinking of sharing their lives, or building a house with the blonde. "
The idea that different hair colors of females are apparently desired for different stages in life can also be proven throughout Legally Blonde. Elle Woods was told by her college boyfriend that she was not what he was looking for in his future at Harvard, "Harvard is different… I need to be serious. " Through this insinuating comment, he goes on to say, "If I'm going to be a senator I need to marry a Jackie, not a Marilyn. " Upon Elle's acceptance into Harvard, her sorority sister proclaims, "You mean like on vacay? ", escalating the stereotype in the process.
Elle's arrival to Harvard Law School put her out of her element through her unusual law student demeanor, performance, and hair color. Not only was she the only blonde there, but her soon to be rival was a dull brunette. Eighty percent of both females and males polled felt the brunette was more likely attending Harvard. Yet when asked who was an aspiring lawyer, a blonde, male respondent stated, "The blonde is already the lawyer, so I guess the brunette is aspiring to be like her. "
Referring back to the article Undue Diligence: Who has more fun?, written for The Independent Newspaper at Harvard Law School, Melinda Mc Lellan tells of her drastic change from a past as a blonde to a future as a brunette. At first she tried to figure out the clichon whether or not she was have any less fun as a brunette. Melinda did a search on Google, however, to find 11, 800 hits through the search "brunettes have more fun". "Blondes have more fun" returned 38, 300 hits. Even if this information is pointless, it contributes to the label that blondes have more fun.
In the end, Melinda felt both the blonde and brunette side of her had "proportionally the same amount of fun. " It is commonly known that what we do not have, we want. No matter what the statistics of what men want, or what women think they need to be, we cannot be judged solely and thoroughly by the color of our hair. Our personality, nature, and diligence determine our intelligence and perceptions by others. It is important to look beyond initial images, such as hair color, in order to find the true individuality in us all.