Sharon Stone, Blondie, Marilyn Monroe, Gwen Stefani, Goldie Hawn, Sienna Miller, Michelle Pfeiffer. All blondes (naturally or not). All known for being blonde.
Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Alanis Morissette, Natalie Portman, Sophia Loren, Salma Hayek. All brunette. All known for being brunette.
What would our perception be of them if they were to change their hair color? Would we think differently of them? Linda Evangelista famously can wear any color and still manage to look beautiful. The truth is, with celebrities, they can get away with changing their style/hair color/look. A celebrity's hair color can change like Russell Brand's girlfriends - quickly and with little thought. They go from character to character never worrying about how others will view them. Is it because they realize that no matter their color, they are still Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba or Cameron Diaz? They walk into the bar and the stereotype of their hair color does not ordain a type of person because they simply no longer have to worry about a mere mortal's fear of first impressions. We all know what they look like already - no matter the hair color.
Then again, would we think of Goldie Hawn as the cute vivacious girl-next-door if she were to go brunette? Would Megan Fox impose such a sexy fearless persona as a blonde? We all have many opinions, anecdotes and preconceptions of what a person is like based on their hair color - whether we like or not. Reese Witherspoon's title role in the film, Legally Blonde, probably wouldn't have had the same impact had she been a brunette trying to tackle the legal system. After all, we expect brunettes to be able to handle the law.
For the average woman, we have to deal with these prejudices. For example, I am someone who simply gets bored with one color, one hair style. I desire the excitement that comes with stepping out of a salon as a new woman. Because that is what you become to the rest of the world when you change your hair color ' a new woman. Especially to men who rely on the visual for many of their thoughts.
Cameron Diaz makes a very sexy brunette. | Photo: |
I met my boyfriend two years ago as a blonde. About a week before I met him, coincidentally, I went under the bleach and dyed it from my chocolaty brown hair to a very white blonde. In some ways, I put our meeting down to fate. I thought to myself that if he likes blondes and on the night we met I was a brunette, would he even have approached me? Would he have tried that hard to keep in contact with me while he went traveling through Africa and I was stuck in Los Angeles if I bore a head of a different darker color? Would he have flown me out to England to meet his family and live if brown hairs were what clogged the bathtub drain instead of wispy white ones?
He prefers blondes, and he met me as a blonde. So, to him, I am a blonde. Whatever that means... And that is something I have been thinking about a lot lately.
What does it mean to be a blonde? Do I really become a different person when head is dunked in different shade? Does my personality actually morph into the prerequisite character slot? One significant fact in this quest for the meaning behind the hair color is the fact that I have never changed my hair in the middle of dating someone. I have never dated someone long enough to see if they still love me as both a blonde and a redhead or a bluehead and a brunette. Therefore, do I subconsciously change my hair in order to be able to date someone new subsequently shedding the old me to make room for a better improved me? Am I afraid that by changing my hair color, the man will no longer love me since it is not the "same" person he started dating?
This gets deep.
I mean, I know a woman who shall not be named that has been married for fifteen years, and her husband has no idea that she is a natural brunette. She goes to the salon every two weeks to get her roots touched up, and they have never taken a vacation longer than two weeks for this reason. It's as if she is so afraid that if he knew the truth about her hair, he would indeed divorce her for he fell in love with a blonde. And, in some ways, could you blame him? She's been misrepresenting what she looks like for their entire marriage! And in other ways, does this mean she is misrepresenting who her actual being is? Does this make their entire marriage a sham?
This gets deep. |
Well, recently I decided to test this theory. My man and I have been going steady for the good part of two years, and since neither of us has ever lasted a full two years in a relationship, I decided I needed to find out here and now if he could still love me as a brunette, and would his love for me pass the test of hair color. It had never been done before, and it took me a good three months to get up the courage to try it. Honestly, I was sick of my bleached hair, the split ends, the upkeep and the brittle feel anyway. I wanted nourished hair; clean, warm and soft. I wanted to be able to wash my hair everyday if I wanted to because everyone knows as a fake blonde, you mustn't wash too often as breakage is bound to happen. I was scared. I yearned for reassurance that my hair didn't define me; didn't have me in a headlock dictating how I should act or be. I craved that type of unconditional love that came with sticking it through the lightest and darkest of coiffures.
Could I do it? Could he do it? Would we last?
Why does he prefer blondes?
I needed to penetrate his psyche. What is it about blondes that he prefers? I figured once I knew his heartfelt answers we could go about changing his preferences. I was going to dig and find the answers. His answer? "I don't know. I just always have liked blondes. But babe, you can do whatever you want with your hair. I'm sure you'll look great."
What does that mean? Does that mean once I dye my hair he'll break up with me because I changed it to something I know he didn't prefer? Or does it mean that he will actually offer me that unconditional love I've always wanted?
Ladies and gentleman, I took the plunge. I figured that if he would really change his opinion of me simply because of hair color, then he wasn't worth it. And yes, it is taking him some time to adjust, but he seems to be alright with it. HE STILL LOVES ME! Maybe he'll start having a proclivity towards brunettes after all.
Scarlett Johansson, born November 22, 1984, is an American actress, model and singer. Johansson made her film debut in North and was later nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female Lead for her performance in Manny & Lo. | Photo: |
The bizarre thing is how the rest of the world treats you. I do feel different as a brunette. As a blonde, I felt heads would turn in my direction more often. However, I didn't ascribe it to appearing better-looking with the softer whiter do, but rather that blonde attracts light and men become like moths to a flame. They are attracted to it, but they don't know why ' as my boyfriend so astutely pointed out. The blonde hair gave me permission to let out a more bubbly, superficial version of me. It allowed me to construct a slightly dimmer, cuter and feistier facade.
As a brunette, there are no whip-lashed heads staring in my direction. I have no endearing catch-phrase that let's me off the hook when I say something dumb, and I can't claim to be the rock chick that my dark roots personified. On the other hand, I feel people are more interested in getting to know what's under that dark hair. I feel more mysterious, somehow more classy and definitely more intriguing. All of these attributes may or may not have been within me before, but now my hair color helps highlight them. And that's why I can't stay one color for too long. I can't stand being pigeonholed into one type of being. I love shaking off the stigmas of society, and proving that I am not my hair color or what it claims to be.
And I am aware that by changing my hair color, I may actually be buying into these stereotypes and in some ways perhaps strengthening them. Then again, I am also saying that my hair is merely an accessory, adornment or accomplice to my style, not the principal player and certainly not the defining component. I am me no matter what gradation of color my mane appears to be.