My mother is beautiful. Her one hundred percent German blood gifted her with an allure that is rare and tremendously special. She is a European beauty, dark brown almost black thick hair, piercing blue eyes, and bone structure that would make Kate Moss reel with envy. Her mother, my grandmother, is also a dark brunette. Although not as stunning, she still possesses that dark haired goddess quality that I so desire. Growing up, I was surrounded by dark haired beauties. For some unknown unfortunate twist of fate I was born a blonde. I always have been blonde and, although my hair has darkened a little, I still am that typical blonde, blue-eyed girl.
Yes I know that in today’s society blonde hair is valued. It’s why so many women chose to artificially create blonde locks by bleaching and destroying their hair. I should feel lucky, blessed even, that I don’t have to spend hours in the salon to achieve my natural blonde color. Don’t get me wrong, there is something special in the fact that I belong to the two percent of the entire world’s population that are natural blondes. And yes I do have moments when I love my hair. But there is something mysterious, something striking, something almost fundamentally appealing about being a brunette.
Take a look at Hollywood. All of the classic beauties were brunettes. Audrey Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Elizabeth Taylor. Yes, yes the icon Marilyn Monroe was blonde, but she died her hair. So she was actually a brunette. Even today the women considered the most beautiful in the world are brunette. Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Aniston, Meghan Fox, Miranda Kerr, Jessica Alba. Yes there are beautiful blondes in Hollywood but they are rarely remembered. When you think of the most beautiful woman in the world, do you think of a blonde?
Maybe I’ve been scarred. After all, it seems as if every boy that I have ever liked or dated seems to choose brunettes over me. Maybe it’s just a coincidence, maybe it’s my own fault, maybe I have a flawed personality. One boy in particular stands out. I was in love with him when I was 20 years old. A little bit of me still is in love with him. I thought he was the one. Every one thought we were going to date. Right when things were heating up he started going out with a Greek girl with stunning dark hair. No I do not think that it was because of my blonde hair that made him not choose me, but subconsciously I can’t help but feel inferior to the Greek goddess. It seems whenever I ask my male friends, cousins, and coworkers if men really prefer blondes or brunettes they almost always say brunettes. I know I know, screw boys, love yourself. However it is interesting that the common notion that “gentlemen prefer blondes” is not necessarily true. But this essay isn’t about boys and my disappointing love life. I am not blaming the fact that my relationships haven’t worked out based on my hair color. I simply think that it points to an interesting observation and rejects a common theory.
I also think that brunette women are taken more seriously than blonde women. This is a total cliché, I know, but as a blonde I do feel that professors, other adults, even my own peers, think slightly less of me in terms of intelligence, my career aspirations, and my leadership ability. Now I am not saying that people outright and obviously treat me like a dumb blonde all the time. It is subtle. A comment here a comment there. Expressions of doubt, being passed over for more “smart looking’ girls, surprise when people learn about my accomplishments. Maybe I am the only one who has experienced this stereotype, maybe I am ultra sensitive. But for me, it is there. People may do it subconsciously but they still do it.
I’m sure as you read this you must think I am an egotistical, vapid, and ignorant woman who blames all of her problems on the fact that I am blonde. That was not the point of this rant. I am merely expressing the problems and issues that I have had being a blonde and why sometimes I desperately wish I was born a natural brunette. I can dye my hair, but at the risk of looking washed out due to my fair features, another curse of being a blonde (my eyebrows are practically non-existent). Yes the grass is always greener, I am sure there are many brunettes who wish to be blonde. Maybe the deeper issue here is the frighteningly high value our society places on appearances. Appearances, notably hair color, mean a lot and say a lot. I wish it wasn’t so but it is human nature to look at someone, evaluate, and give people worth before really knowing anything. All I am saying is that brunettes possess a quality that blondes can never really muster. I have noticed it since my toddler self realized that my mother had a different color than I had. I don’t hate myself but I do hate being blonde.