Sunday, May 25, 2008

Back to my Roots

I finally got a chance to see "Iron Man" today (loooooooooved it. Why couldn't Jon Favreau have made "Fantastic Four?") Anyway, for some reason seeing Gwyneth Paltrow in vaguely red hair got me thinking about hair color of all things. It's a girl thing I'm sure. But you have to admit hair color has a lot with how we perceive other people. Blondes are often stereotyped as flighty, flirty and often dumb. Brunettes are typed as serious, smart and usually not the sex-kitten types. And redheads are often assumed to have personalities as fiery as their hair. I remember watching "Charlie's Angels" as a kid. Not the atrocity starring Drew Barrymore, but the original with Farrah Fawcett, Jacqueline Smith and Kate Jackson. Any little girl who grew up in the late 70's will tell you they played "Charlie's Angels." If they deny it, they're probably lying. And it's no surprise that all the little girls wanted to be Farrah. If you couldn't be Farrah you'd be Jacqueline but no one ever seemed to pick Kate as their first choice. I suppose one could argue that Farrah was the best looking and it's natural that little girls would want to be the pretty one. But as an adult I'd have to give the edge to Jacqueline. That's one beautiful woman. No, I really think it was the hair. Farrah's hair set the tone for a generation. I tried valiantly to get my hair to feather like Farrah, but to no avail. I've read that fewer than 10% of all blondes you see are in fact naturally blonde. This isn't too surprising, lord knows I've spent enough time bleaching my own hair. So the stereotype of the dumb blonde is rather silly when you think about it. We already know Marylin Monroe was born a brunette Norma Jean and her antics were more in the nature of playing a character in my opinion. I have no explanations for Paris Hilton or Jessica Simpson. Jayne Mansfield played the blonde sex kitten to the hilt, though Grace Kelley played it cool. And Madonna? Again, I have no explanation. I think I bleached my hair blonde for so long because I thought it would attract men. Seriously. And to an extent, it does. But are they attracted for the right reasons? Do men view blondes as marriage material as much as they would a brunette? Probably. Though I did meet my husband while I had dark hair. As I get older I seem to be wanting to go back to my roots, literally. I've recently gone back to my brown locks and I'm pretty content with it. I think I've reached the age when no one seems to really judge too harshly on hair color. I don't get asked to solve complex mathematical equations any more than I did when I was blonde. I went through some hair dye too. I went red for awhile, but that didn't feel right. Then I went reddish/brown and that was better. But I finally settled on just plain brown and it feels good. Go figure. It only took me 38 years to figure that out. I guess the point of all this rambling is how much something as silly as hair color can affect our image of people. When I see blondes like Gwyneth or Kirsten Dunst change their hair to red, I kind of cringe. Not very many people can wear fake red hair well. Maybe that's why so many of us brunettes go blonde. We all can't be Julianne Moore. But it seems like I didn't have as many brunettes to look up to when I was a kid. There was Lynda Carter, Jacqueline Smith and .......? I can't think of any. And looking on google is no help. I can get tons of blondes by searching but not many brunettes other than Angelina Jolie and Rachel Bilson show up-- and I didn't grow up with them. Oh wait, there was Cindy Crawford. Huh. No wonder I went blonde. At least my daughter has Angelina as a hot brunette role model. ((Odd bit of trivia. Blonde, spelled with an "e" used to be used to refer to women specifically while blond was used to refer to men. Now it is considered okay to use either spelling.))

8 comments:

furiousBall said...

I still haven't seen Iron Man, ergo I'm jealous.

I loved Jacqueline Smith, LOVED her.

SQT said...

You should be. It's awesome. I so want to see it again.

Stewart Sternberg said...

Blonde women are hot. I love them. I love red heads too. And if you had a tan to that and a beautiful smile...

Appearance influences us. We are driven by hardwiring. Even if culture can influence our way of thinking, the sexual attraction that is necessary to perpetuate the race must live on.

The problem, of course, is when culture gives us the unattainable to desire. When women have impossible role models who set them up for failure or feelings of inadequacy.

Jean-Luc Picard said...

I didn't know that about the spelling.

GFS3 said...

Ironman was really quite good. Robert Downey Jr. ate up the part of Tony Stark.

But SQT you forgot one of the most prevalent hair colors (and my own).

Gray.

SQT said...

gfs3

I have too much gray to forget. I just don't like to think about it.

I am soooo glad Robert Downey was cast as Iron Man. Just thinking of someone like Ben Affleck as Stark makes me shudder in horror.

Charles Gramlich said...

I always, always thought that Jacqueline Smith was by far the most beautiful angel. A very lovely woman.

Carl V. said...

Iron Man was great, wasn't it? So much fun. I really enjoyed seeing Gwyneth in it even if she was little more than eye candy. Like her as a redhead!