Typical Blondes, Living the Good Life?


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picture from lilada.org

Priscille Diwa

If you’re not a white, blonde female, have you ever experienced the blonde effect? Yes, the blonde effect can also be experienced by anyone who is not a blonde, white, American female. I’m pretty sure that the blonde effect is not a real term recognized by many.

So I will explain it in my own words. Essentially, the blonde effect is the image of blue-eyed blondes everywhere from television, magazine, advertisements, etc. Before I write any further, let me just say that ALL women are beautiful and amazing. Women with all varieties of hair color, skin tone, body shape—all are unique and beautiful in their own ways. This is in no way about bashing other women. However, this is about why we are only exposed to one standard of beauty and the experiences women have faced because they fit that standard or they don’t.

The blonde effect has influenced both males and females in what the standard of beauty is. One instance was when I was in a biology class. Our teacher had divided the class between boys and girls. We were doing an activity involving the concept of mating. The guys in the class had to choose which girls they would “mate” with. Not to my surprise, the first girl that got chosen was a blonde female. After the activity was over, it had occurred to me that out of the top five girls picked, all three blondes were in that group. What was even less surprising was when the teacher asked what influenced the guys to pick their choice, their reason was “beauty”. Their answer was not a surprise because our subconscious holds the notion that blondes are in fact more attractive.

I mostly see white, blonde woman as the lead role everywhere in the media. When I am reading a magazine, watching a show, or even watching the news, often times the lead character or campaign model is a white, blonde woman. One of the shows that I am currently watching, Gotham, features this type of woman. The main character’s wife, Barbara, is a stunning blonde, blue-eyed woman. Most would say that she is a trophy wife because of her looks. Being exposed to predominantly one type of image creates the idea that there is only one standard idea of beauty, and that is it. Even in advertisements for makeup, or clothes, the lead role is a blonde female.

I always wondered if white blonde females have ever recognized any favor because of their hair color. I asked a friend, Megan Krupin, who has blue eyes and blonde hair if she has gotten more attention because of how she looks. Megan responded that she has picked up on the fact that she was seen as more attractive because she was blonde. She said, “out of the five girls in my group of friends, guys tend to flirt more with me.” Somehow it is not only those of us who do not fit the stereotype of beauty that notices the blonde effect, but also blonde women themselves.

Seeing an image of a white, blonde woman is not looked down upon. The fact is that it is all that we see. Thankfully, there has been changes in the media. One of the lead series on NBC, Quantico, features a beautiful Indian-American actress as the lead role. Change is coming along, and we are slowly, but surely embracing the fact that all woman are beautiful and amazing.