Friday, September 26, 2008

How hair colour can affect your childhood

So I'm a brunette. I've always been quite happy with my hair colour, especially now as I'm older. A lot of my friends have actually dyed their hair darker colours to make themselves appear more mature. Some even wear glasses when they don't need them (I do need them and also love my geeky glasses). But I was thinking the other day about hair colour and how angry I used to be when I was younger with having dark hair and dark features. In all the magazines I used to collect (Dolly etc) all the pretty girls in bikinis had long blonde hair. All the models used by Dolly were blonde. The brunettes were relegated to those pre- and post-acne ads. But I suppose they got more of a look-in than red heads.

During my soul-searching the other day I realised what exactly it was that used to get under my skin about being a brunette: cartoon characters. Every single cartoon character that was around during my childhood (think Alvin and the Chipmunks, Sailor Moon, Lady Lovely Locks) was headed by a blondie. They were always the smartest, always got the man, always saved the day. Of course there was also a brunette hanging in the background somewhere, usually as the geeky sidekick who knew the answers to any logarithmic algorithm*

As a result, at school whenever we re-enacted any storylines from the previous afternoon, I was always the default brunette. I was never Brittany, Sailor Moon (Sabrina) or Lady Lovely Locks. I was always Jeanette, Sailor Jupiter (Lita) or Maiden Fair Hair. I know it sounds trivial now - and I have since embraced being the geeky brunette - but it did upset me.

So, I would implore Disney et al to give non-blondes a fair go. Let us be the main cartoon character! Give little girls with brown and red hair someone to look up to, to channel in the playground for a rendition of the theme song. We need more Belles, more Ariels and less hair-discrimination! We aren't living in Nazi Germany where Arians reign supreme!

* N.B. Whilst I have completed several stats units, I'm still unsure whether this term can be used in this context. But it's staying because it sounds complex.

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