November 10, 2006

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

The battle of the tresses, which has raged for many generations, is still fought today on many fronts. The biggest contenders: Blonde vs. Brunette. The school behind blondes say that blondes have more fun; therefore, blonde is better. But brunette theorists beg to differ; to them, brunettes are best—preferably mysterious ones. Just from my seemingly limited experience (I have hair and it does have color), it is rather apparent, to me, that there are some small stereotypes that each color carries with it.

One time, I had a part in our ward’s roadshow, which was a David Letterman-type talkshow where the host interviewed different scriptural characters. I was cast as Ruth, and a friend of mine was cast as Naomi. As the host interviewed Naomi, she declared that she found Ruth a nuisance, always following her everywhere. This was my cue to stand up, take off my dopey looking wig and “smock” to reveal normal hair and dress beneath. Then I said some thing like, “Great! I’m out of here!” and walked off the stage, thus inducing laughter from the audience. When I read the part I thought it was cute and funny, and I was excited about doing it.

When we got ready for the dress rehearsal, the wig I was given was a long brown braid. It looked good and covered all of my hair. The dress rehearsal went great, but there were some complaints from the peanut gallery about my part. I few of the mothers thought my going from drab brunette to beautiful blonde was too racy. Remember, my clothes were modest—I was wearing a regular church dress under my smock—and my hair wasn’t outlandish, just plain old blonde. I wasn’t wearing lots of makeup, not even high heel shoes. The simple fact that my hair was changing from brown to blonde somehow disturbed a few in the crowd. Interesting . . .

My mom thought it was ridiculous and the show went forward as planned, without paying much attention to the blonde naysayers. I remember wondering if there would have been such a ruckus if I had been a brunette with a blonde wig, instead of the other way around.

I have decided to join the brunette side of the battle, a side I have never joined before. In the ages of Mae West or Marilyn Monroe, maybe there were reasons to associate platinum blondes (although I am far from platinum) with racy, loose behavior and riotous living. Certainly they broke rules and pushed envelopes, but have not brunettes done the same at some point? Come to think of it . . . one doesn’t come to mind. Perhaps Elizabeth Taylor? Maybe Audrey Hepburn? These women were considered beautiful, talented, and extravagant I would say, but they just don’t bear the same stigma. Brunettes are somehow much more respected. Blondes—not as much. I guess they don’t call ‘em “bombshells” for nothing.

Take for instance, the mini-series masterpiece, Charlie’s Angels. Farrah Fawcett against Jaclyn Smith. Sabrina (Kate Jackson), who I won’t use as my brunette example, was named “the smart one” of the angels. Kelly (Jaclyn Smith) was always mysterious and sensible. But, what about Jill (Farrah Fawcett)? Or even Chris (Cheryl Ladd), later on? No, not smart, not mysterious, not sensible. The first “sexy,” the second “cute.” The two stereotypes that follow blondes forever. So blondes have the vote for the moment; certainly they are the most popular. Everyone wants to be a blonde because blondes simply have more fun. But, what about as the fountain of youth wanes?

Farrah Fawcett caused a ‘70s phenomenon of bad hair cuts. She was the dream girl, flirty and fun. Jaclyn’s brown locks were merely second best; mysterious and calculated just couldn’t compete with the big blonde image. Farrah lived up to the stereotype of her hair, and then she got old. Her girls-just-wanna-have-fun appeal suddenly died, but she couldn’t let it go. Now she’s faded into a parody of herself. Which, it seems, is a trend with blonde bombshells.

But Jaclyn, on the other hand, still has a great career, although she’s never really made it to celebrity status. She has marketed her talents elsewhere in clothing lines and furniture design. She still looks graceful, charming, and level-headed, while Farrah looks like she’s run the gauntlet a time or two.

I know hardly any of this really applies to everyday life; most people are certainly not viewed in such drastic ways because of hair color. So what is to be taken from this study of hair? I’m not sure . . . except that it’s interesting! I’ve now braved the brown, and it’s pretty fun to have such a big change. I heard that brunettes are taken more seriously, in general. What an interesting idea. I thought I’d give it a whirl. Perhaps I too can become graceful, charming, and level-headed according to the social label of my new hair color. Or, maybe I don’t just want to have fun anymore!


Anonymous said...

Is that a blonde highlight in Jaclyn's hair I see??? YES, ladies and gentlemen it is! What does this mean? Well, from a psychoanalytical point of view I would say that translates into she always had a secret desire to be blonde, as does everyone in the world. AHAHAHA! (evil laugh)

Mr. R said...

Although I'm dating a brunnette, I actually have a blonde head tattooed on my hypothalamus. (No, I will NOT show it to you, you pervert.)

So clearly I prefer blondes.