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"Blonde" redirects here. For other uses, see and.

"Platinum blond" redirects here. It is not to be confused with.

A man with blond hair and a blond beard

Blond or fair hair is a characterized by low levels of the dark. The resultant visible hue depends on various factors, but always has some sort of color. The color can be from the very pale blond (caused by a patchy, scarce distribution of pigment) to reddish "strawberry" blond or golden-brownish ("sandy") blond colors (the latter with more eumelanin). Because hair color tends to darken with age, natural blond hair is generally very rare in adulthood. Naturally-occurring blond hair is primarily found in populations of descent and is believed to have evolved to enable more efficient synthesis of, due to northern Europe's lower levels of sunlight. Blond hair has also developed in other populations, although it is usually not as common, and can be found among natives of the,, and, among the of North Africa, and among some Asians.

In human culture, blond hair has long been associated with female beauty., the Greek goddess of love and beauty, was reputed to have blond hair. In and, blond hair was frequently associated with prostitutes, who dyed their hair using dyes in order to attract customers. The Greeks stereotyped and as blond and the Romans associated blondness with the and the to the north. In western Europe during the, long, blond hair was idealized as the paragon of female beauty. The and the medieval heroine were both significantly portrayed as blond and, in,,, and the are often shown with blond hair. In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, categorized blond hair and blue eyes as characteristics of the supreme. In contemporary western culture, blonde women as sexually attractive, but unintelligent.

Contents

Etymology, spelling, and grammar

Detail of a portrait of Crown Prince of Poland (c. 1644), with characteristic blond hair which darkened with time as confirmed by his later effigies.

Origins and meanings

The word "blond" is first documented in English in 1481 and derives from blund, blont, meaning "a colour midway between golden and ". It gradually eclipsed the native term "fair", of same meaning, from Old English, causing "fair" later to become a general term for "light complexioned". This earlier use of "fair" survives in the proper name, from Old English fæġer-feahs meaning "blond hair".

The word "blond" has two possible origins. Some linguists[] say it comes from blundus, meaning "yellow", from blund which would relate it to Old English blonden-feax meaning "grey-haired", from blondan/blandan meaning "to mix" (Cf. blend).[] Also, Old English beblonden meant "dyed", as ancient warriors were noted for dyeing their hair. However, linguists who favor a Latin origin for the word say that Medieval Latin blundus was a vulgar pronunciation of Latin, also meaning "yellow". Most authorities, especially French, attest to the Frankish origin. The word was reintroduced into English in the 17th century from French, and was for some time considered French; in French, "blonde" is a feminine adjective; it describes a woman with blond hair.

Usage

"Blond", with its continued gender-varied usage, is one of few adjectives in written English to retain separate. Each of the two forms, however, is pronounced identically. 's Book of English Usage propounds that, insofar as "a blonde" can be used to describe a woman but not a man who is merely said to possess blond(e) hair, the term is an trendswinter fashion trend collarless coats example of a " stereotype [whereby] women are primarily defined by their physical characteristics." The (OED) records that the phrase "big blond beast" was used in the 20th century to refer specifically to men "of the Nordic type" (that is to say, blond-haired). The OED also records that blond as an adjective is especially used with reference to women, in which case it is likely to be spelt "blonde", citing three Victorian usages of the term. The masculine version is used in the plural, in "blonds of the European race", in a citation from 1833 Penny cyclopedia, which distinguishes genuine blondness as a feature distinct from.

By the early 1990s, "blonde moment" or being a "dumb blonde" had come into common parlance to mean "an instance of a person, esp. a woman... being foolish or scatter-brained." Another hair color word of French origin, (from the same Germanic root that gave "brown"), functions in the same way in orthodox English. The OED gives "brunet" as meaning "dark-complexioned" or a "dark-complexioned person", citing a comparative usage of brunet and blond to in saying, "The present contrast of blonds and brunets existed among them." "Brunette" can be used, however, like "blonde", to describe a mixed-gender populace. The OED quotes, "The nation which resulted... being sometimes blonde, sometimes brunette."

"Blond" and "blonde" are also occasionally used to refer to objects that have a color reminiscent of fair hair. For example, the OED records its use in 19th-century to describe flowers, "a variety of clay ironstone of the coal measures", "the colour of raw silk", a breed of,, and pale wood.

Varieties

Various subcategories of blond hair have been defined to describe the different shades and sources of the hair color more accurately. Common examples include the following:

  • ash-blond: ashen or grayish blond.
  • bleached blond, bottle blond, or peroxide blond: terms used to refer to artificially colored blond hair.
  • blond/flaxen: when distinguished from other varieties, "blond" by itself refers to a light but not whitish blond, with no traces of red, gold, or brown; this color is often described as "flaxen".
  • dirty blond or dishwater blond: dark blond with flecks of golden blond and brown.
  • golden blond: a darker to rich, golden-yellow blond (found mostly in Northeastern Europe, i.e.,, []).
  • honey blond: dark iridescent blond.
  • platinum blond or towheaded: whitish-blond; almost all platinum blonds are children, although it is found on people in Northern Europe. "Platinum blond" is often used to describe bleached hair, while "towheaded" generally refers to natural hair color.[]
  • sandy blond: grayish- or cream-colored blond.
  • strawberry blond or Venetian blond: blond[25]
  • yellow: yellow-blond ("yellow" can also be used to refer to hair which has been dyed yellow).[]
  • A woman with long blond hair

  • A young man with light blond hair

  • A woman with long, dark blond hair from behind

Evolution of blond hair

Natural lighter hair colors occur most often in and less frequently in other areas. In populations, the occurrence of blond hair is very frequent.[] The hair color gene has at least seven variants in Europe, giving the continent a wide range of hair and eye shades. Based on a carried out at three Japanese universities, the date of the genetic that resulted in blond hair in Europe has been isolated to about 11,000 years ago during the.

A typical explanation found in the scientific literature for the evolution of light hair is related to the evolution of, and in turn the requirement for synthesis and northern Europe's seasonal less solar radiation. Lighter skin is due to a low concentration in pigmentation, thus allowing more sunlight to trigger the production of vitamin D. In this way, high frequencies of light hair in northern latitudes are a result of the light skin adaptation to lower levels of solar radiation, which reduces the prevalence of caused by vitamin D deficiency. The darker pigmentation at higher latitudes in certain ethnic groups such as the is explained by a greater proportion of seafood in their diet and by the climate which they live in, because in the polar climate there is more ice or snow on the ground, and this reflects the solar radiation onto the skin, making this environment lack the conditions for the person to have blond, or red hair, light skin and blue, grey or green eyes.

An alternative hypothesis was presented by Canadian anthropologist Peter Frost, who claims blond hair evolved very quickly in a specific area at the end of the last ice age by means of. According to Frost, the appearance of blond hair and blue eyes in some northern European women made them stand out from their rivals, and more sexually appealing to men, at a time of fierce competition for scarce males.

The derived allele of associated with blond hair in modern Europeans is present in several individuals of the (ANE) lineage, and is recorded in Mesolithic Eastern Europe as associated with the Eastern European Hunter-Gatherer (EHG) lineage derived from ANE. The earliest known individual with the derived allele is the ANE 3 individual, dated to 14,700 years ago. Ancient DNA trendswinter of ANE or "steppe" ancestry is found in Mesolithic Northern Europe.

A 2014 study reported seven Mesolithzic hunter-gatherers found at, southern, dated to 7,700 years ago, as the earliest known individuals in whom the modern Scandinavian phenotype, combining light skin, blue eyes and blond hair, was combined. These individuals had light skin gene alleles in and, and / alleles associated with blue eyes (also contributes to lighter skin and blond hair). Light pigmentation traits had thus already existed in pre-Indo-European Europeans, since at least the later Mesolithic. Later individuals with ancestry, by contrast, were predominantly dark-eyed (brown), dark-haired and had a skin colour that was moderately light, though somewhat darker than that of the average modern European.

It is possible that blond hair evolved more than once. A 2012 study published in reported a distinct genetic origin of blond hair in people from the in, associated with an amino acid change in produced blond hair.

Prevalence

Toddler with golden blond hair

Blond hair is most common in light-skinned infants and children, so much so that the term "baby blond" is often used for very light colored hair. Babies may be born with blond hair even among groups where adults rarely have blond hair, although such natural hair usually falls out quickly. Blond hair tends to turn darker with age, and many children's blond hair turns light, medium, dark brown or black before or during their adult years. Because blond hair tends to turn brunette with age, natural blond hair is rare in adulthood; according to the sociologist, only around five percent of adults in Europe and North America are naturally blond. A study conducted in 2003 concluded that only four percent of American adults are naturally blond. Nonetheless, a significant majority of Caucasian women (perhaps as high as three in four) dye their hair blond, a significantly higher percentage than for any other hair color.

Europe

Blond hair is most common in and the countries, where true blondism is believed to have originated. The pigmentation of both hair and eyes is lightest around the Baltic Sea, and darkness increases regularly and almost concentrically around this region.

In, according to a source published 1939, blondism is more common in, and less common in the and the Mediterranean seacoast; 26% of French population has blond or light brown hair. A 2007 study of French females showed that by then roughly 20% were blonde, although half of these blondes were fully fake. Roughly ten percent of French females are natural blondes, of which 60% bleach their hair to a lighter tone of blond.

In, an average 11% of the population shows traces of blondism, peaking at 14.3–15.1% blond people in in northern Portugal. In northern, 17% of the population shows traces of blondism, but in southern Spain just 2% of the people are blond. In, a study of Italian men conducted by between 1859 and 1863 on the records of the National Conscription Service showed that 8.2% of Italian men exhibited blond hair. Blondism frequency varies among regions from 12.6% in, to 1.7% in. In a more detailed study from the 20th-century geneticist Renato Biasutti, the regional contrasts of blondism frequency are better shown, with a greater occurrence in the northern regions where the figure could be over 20%, and a lesser occurrence in the south such as Sardinia where the frequency was less than 2.4%. With the exception of and the surrounding area where various shades of blond hair were present in 10%–14.9% of the population, other southern regions averaged between 2.5% and 7.4%.

Africa

Blondism is a common sight among of, especially in the and region. Blondism frequency varies among Berbers from 1% among and 4% among and, to 11% among. In where there is a significant population of, mainly from Dutch and English ancestry, blond people may account for 3-4% of the South African population.

A number of blond naturally bodies of common people (i.e. not proper mummies) dating to Roman times have been found in the cemetery in. "Of those whose hair was preserved 54% were blondes or redheads, and the percentage grows to 87% when light-brown hair color is added." Excavations have been ongoing since the 1980s. Burials seem to be clustered by hair-colour.

Oceania

, especially in the west-central parts of the continent, have a high frequency of natural blond-to-brown hair.[] Blondness is also found in some other parts of the South Pacific, such as the,, and, again with higher incidences in children. Blond hair in is caused by an amino acid change in the gene. This mutation is at a frequency of 26% in the Solomon Islands and is absent outside of.

Asia

Blond hair can be found in any region of, including,,, and. In these parts of Asia, blond hair is generally seen among children and usually turns into a shade of dark brown in adulthood. Environmental factors, such as sun exposure and nutrition status, often contribute to changes in hair color in Asia. Genetic research published in 2014, 2015 and 2016 found that Proto-Indo-Europeans, who migrated to Europe in the early Bronze Age were overwhelmingly dark-eyed (brown) and dark-haired, and had a skin colour that was moderately light, though somewhat darker than that of the average modern European. While light pigmentation traits had already existed in pre-Indo-European Europeans (both farmers and hunter-gatherers), long-standing philological attempts to correlate them with the arrival of Indo-Europeans from the steppes were misguided.

girl in Turpan, Xinjiang, China

According to genetic studies, Yamnaya Proto-Indo-European migration to Europe led to, where Yamnaya Proto-Indo-Europeans mixed with "Scandinavian hunter-gatherer" women who carried genetic alleles HERC2/OCA2, which causes a combination of blue eyes and blond hair. who split from Corded Ware culture formed the and are believed to have spread genetic alleles HERC2/OCA2 that cause blond hair to parts of, and. Genetic analysis in 2014 also found that people of the which flourished in the were genetically identical to Yamnaya Proto-Indo-Europeans and that they did not carry genetic alleles for blond hair or light eyes. The Afanasevo culture was later replaced by a second wave of Indo-European invaders from the Andronovo culture, who were a product of Corded Ware admixture that took place in Europe, and carried genetic alleles that cause blond hair and light eyes. In 2009 and 2014, genomic study of discovered in the in present-day,, showed that they were also a product of a Corded Ware admixture and were genetically closer to the Andronovo culture (which split from Corded Ware culture) than to the Yamnaya culture or Afanasevo culture.

Today, higher frequencies of light hair in Asia are more prevalent among,, and children than in adult populations of these ethnic groups. About 75% of is geographically considered ; however, the Asian portion of Russia contributes to only an estimate of 20% of Russia's total population. North Asia's population has an estimate of 1-19% with light hair. From the times of the of the 17th century through the rule in the 20th century, many ethnic,,,,, and were settled in or exiled en masse to and. Blond hair is often seen in these groups, whereas the indigenous peoples are more likely to be dark haired. For instance, their descendants currently contribute to an estimated 25% of Kazakhstan's total population.

Americas

Many actors and actresses in and Hispanic United States have blond hair,, and pale skin.

Historical cultural perceptions

Ancient Greece

Most people in ancient Greece had dark hair and, as a result of this, the Greeks found blond hair immensely fascinating. In the epics, the king of the Spartans is, together with some other Achaean leaders, portrayed as blond. Other blond characters in the Homeric poems are,,,, and., the Greek goddess of love and beauty, was often described as golden-haired and portrayed with this color hair in art. Aphrodite's master epithet in the Homeric epics is Χρυσεη (Khryseē), which means "golden". The traces of hair color on Greek probably reflect the colors the artists saw in ; these colors include a broad diversity of shades of blond, red, and brown. The minority of statues with blond hair range from strawberry blond up to platinum blond.

of Lesbos (c. 630-570 BC) wrote that purple-colored wraps as headdress were good enough, except if the hair was blond: "...for the girl who has hair that is yellower than a torch [it is better to decorate it] with wreaths of flowers in bloom." Sappho also praises Aphrodite for her golden hair, stating that since is free from rust, the goddess's golden hair represents her freedom from. Sappho's contemporary of Sparta praised golden hair as one of the most desirable qualities of a beautiful woman, describing in various poems "the girl with the yellow hair" and a girl "with the hair like purest gold."

In the fifth century BC, the sculptor may have depicted the Greek goddess of wisdom 's hair using in his famous statue of, which was displayed inside the. The Greeks thought of the who lived to the north as having reddish-blond hair. Because many were captured from, slaves were stereotyped as blond or red-headed. "" (Ξανθίας), meaning "reddish blond", was a common name for slaves in ancient Greece and a slave by this name appears in many of the comedies of.

The most famous statue of Aphrodite, the, sculpted in the fourth century BC by, represented the goddess's hair using gold leaf and contributed to the popularity of the image of Aphrodite as a blonde goddess. Greek prostitutes frequently dyed their hair blond using dyes or colored powders. Blond dye was highly expensive, took great effort to apply, and smelled repugnant, but none of these factors inhibited Greek prostitutes from dying their hair. As a result of this and the natural rarity of blond hair in the Mediterranean region, by the fourth century BC, blond hair was inextricably associated with prostitutes. The comic playwright Menander (c. 342/41 – c. 290 BC) protests that "no chaste woman ought to make her hair yellow." At another point, he deplores blond hair dye as dangerous: "What can we women do wise or brilliant, who sit with hair dyed yellow, outraging the character of gentlewomen, causing the overthrow of houses, the ruin of nuptials, and accusations on the part of children?" Historian and asserts that the ruler and members of the of had blond hair, such as and. Historian notes that, and husband to queen Arsinoe II, also had blond hair.

  • The goddess (according to the description on the cup); of an Attic from, c. 470 BC

  • Pottery vessel of in a shell; from,, discovered at, (, ), early 4th century BC,,

  • Gnathia Ware, Southern Italy, 310–260 BC, Prague Kinsky, 142105.jpg

  • with Lid by the Ganymed Painter (Oinochoe) and Armidale Painter (Lid): head in a between tendrils. About 340–310 BC. Antikensammlung Kiel.

  • Detail of a with volutes in terracotta; Greek art from Southern Italy, c. 330–320 BC.

  • A ceramic vessel from ancient (, Italy), depicting a blond winged youth with a, with lion head spouts, by the "Toledo" painter, c. 300 BC

  • of statue of a young girl from the in Athens, 520 BC. Based on analysis of trace pigments.

  • of a vase-shaped tombstone from, c. 330 BC, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen

  • The Greek goddess. of a 1st-century AD statue found in. Reconstructed using analysis of trace pigments. It was an imitation of Greek statues of the 6th century BC.

  • The Treu Head, 2nd century AD. of marble head of likely a goddess. The head was found at the, Rome, and preserves numerous colour traces.

Roman Empire

During the early years of the, blond hair was associated with. The preference changed to bleaching the hair blond when Greek culture, which practiced bleaching, reached Rome, and was reinforced when the legions that returned with blond slaves. Sherrow also states that Roman women tried to lighten their hair, but the substances often caused hair loss, so they resorted to made from the captives’ hair. According to Francis Owens, literary records describe a large number of well-known Roman historical personalities as blond.

wrote in a satirical poem that, Roman empress of noble birth, would hide her with a blond wig for her nightly visits to the brothel: sed nigrum flavo crinem abscondente galero intravit calidum veteri centone lupanar. In his Commentary on the of, noted that the respectable matron was only black haired, never blonde. In the same passage, he mentioned that wrote that some matrons would sprinkle golden dust on their hair to make it reddish-color. Emperor (r. 161 – 169 AD) was said to sprinkle gold-dust on his already "golden" blond hair to make it even blonder and brighter. (r. 177-192), son of (a co-emperor with Lucius Verus), likewise had naturally curly blond hair.

From an ethnic point of view, Roman authors associated blond and with the and the : e.g., describes the hair of the Gauls as "golden" (aurea caesaries), wrote that "the Germans have fierce blue eyes, red-blond hair (rutilae comae), huge (tall) frames"; in accordance with, almost all the Gauls were "of tall stature, fair and ruddy". and of, among the free subjects called, served in Rome's armies as, such as the cavalry contingents in the army of. Some became Roman citizens as far back as the 1st century BC, following a policy of of and. Sometimes entire Celtic and Germanic tribes were granted citizenship, such as when emperor granted citizenship to all of the in 69 AD.

By the 1st century BC, the had expanded its control into parts of, and by 85 AD the provinces of and were formally established there. Yet as late as the 4th century AD,, a poet and tutor from, wrote a poem about an slave girl named, who he had recently freed after she'd been taken as a prisoner of war in the campaigns of, noting that her adopted marked her as a woman of yet her blond-haired, appearance ultimately signified her true origins from the. Further south, the was originally inhabited by outside of Roman control. The gradual Roman conquest of Iberia was completed by the early 1st century AD. The Romans established provinces such as that were inhabited largely by, whose red and blond-haired descendants (which also include those of origins) have continued to inhabit northern areas of such as and into the modern era.

  • Ancient Roman fresco (detail) featuring and the head of,, Italy, 1st century AD.

  • Fresco depicting a seated woman, from the Villa Arianna at, 1st century AD

  • A holding a, Pompeii, 1st century AD

  • Ancient Roman bust of, made during the reign of (117–138 AD), National Archaeological Museum in Athens.

  • A blond man in a Roman fresco from,, Landesmuseum für Kärnten

  • depicting a feminine personification, from the Boathouse of Psyche in Daphne (suburb of ), beginning of 3rd century AD,

  • A boy of fruits and what may be a bucket of crabs, in a kitchen with fish and squid, on the June panel from a depicting the months (3rd century)

  • A Roman fresco depicting hunting, 4th century AD, from the Via Livenza hypogeum in Rome

  • depicting, from, Spain, late 4th–5th centuries AD

  • being adored by, from a mythological scene in which (Ulysses) discovers him dressed as a woman and hiding among the princesses at the royal court of Skyros. A late Roman from, Spain, 4th–5th centuries AD

Medieval Europe

Medieval Scandinavian art and literature often places emphasis on the length and color of a woman's hair, considering long, blond hair to be the ideal. In, the goddess has famously blond hair, which some scholars have identified as representing. In the,, described as "the most beautiful woman in the world", is said to have hair that is "as fair as beaten gold" and so long that it can "envelope her entirely". In the poem, the blond man is considered to be the ancestor of the dominant warrior class. In, supernatural beings value blond hair in humans. Blond babies are more likely to be stolen and replaced with, and young blonde women are more likely to be lured away to the land of the beings.

The Scandinavians were not the only ones to place strong emphasis on the beauty of blond hair; the French writer writes in her book (1404) that "there is nothing in the world lovelier on a woman's head than beautiful blond hair." In medieval artwork, female saints are often shown with long, shimmering blond hair, which emphasizes their holiness and virginity. At the same time, however, is often shown with long, blond hair, which frames her nude body and draws attention to her sexual attractiveness. In medieval Gothic paintings of the, the figure of is shown with long, blond hair, which flows down her back unbound in contrast to most of the women in the scenes, who are shown with dark hair, normally covered by a scarf. In the older versions of the story of, falls in love with after seeing only a single lock of her long, blond hair. In fact, Iseult was so closely associated with blondness that, in the poems of, she is called "Iseult le Blonde". In 's (written from 1387 until 1400), the knight describes the beautiful princess Emily in, stating, "yclothed was she fressh, for to devyse:/Hir yellow heer was broided in a tresse/Behinde hir bak, a yerde long, I gesse" (lines 1048-1050).

Because of blond hair's relative commonness in northern Europe, especially among children, folk tales from these regions tend to feature large numbers of blond protagonists. Although these stories may not have been seen by their original tellers as idealizing blond hair, when they are read in cultures outside of northern Europe where blond hair "has rarity value", they may seem to connote that blond hair is a sign of special purity.

During, Spanish ladies preferred to dye their hair black, yet by the time of the in the 16th century the fashion (imported from Italy) was to dye their hair blond or red.

Early twentieth-century racism

In the early twentieth century, blond hair was considered a hallmark of the "", as shown by these Nazi propaganda photographs, which were intended to demonstrate what pure Nordic Aryans were supposed to look like.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, blond hair, blue eyes, a tall stature, a long head, and an angled nose were deemed by as hallmarks of the so-called "". In the nineteenth century, this race was usually referred to as the "Germanic race", but after the turn of the twentieth century, it came to be more commonly known as the "". German and Scandinavian scientists and academics throughout the early part of the twentieth century studied racial typology to the point of obsession and debated the features of the Nordic race extensively.

In the 1920s, the invented the (Fischer Haarfarbentafel) to scientifically document hair color, which consisted of twenty-six bundles of coated in non-fading colors attached to a palette and labeled with numbers. Lighter colors were given higher numbers and darker ones were given lower numbers, with the distinction between "blond" and "brown" being set between seven and eight. Fischer was a passionate supporter of and warned that would result in the deterioration of modern civilization. Dispute over the exact distinction between blond and brown hair was a heated debate among Norwegian anthropologists during this period, with arguing that the distinction should instead be set between six and seven.

By the end of the 1920s, the (IFEO), the leading international eugenics organization, became increasingly dominated by proponents of the movement, who sought to turn the organization into "Blond International", which would be "aimed at the purification and propagation of the Nordic race." After the came to power in Germany in 1933, racial based on the ideas of genetic superiority and racial psychology "became increasingly hegemonic in Germany." The Nazis revered blond hair as a quality of the herrenrasse ("master race").

The idea of racial superiority, which once dominated the field of anthropology, has now been completely and unanimously rejected by modern scientists. Modern scientists have also rejected the assertions and beliefs of pre- racialists. Classification of race based on physical characteristics such as hair color is seen as a "flawed, pseudo-scientific relic of the past." Many modern scientists dispute whether the concept of "race" is even a useful classification for human beings at all.

Modern cultural stereotypes

Sexuality

In contemporary popular culture, blonde women are stereotyped as being more sexually attractive to men than women with other hair colors. For example, popularized this idea in her 1925 novel. Some women have reported they feel other people expect them to be more fun-loving after having lightened their hair.

The (1910). Fitzgerald was a frequent contributor in the 1920s.

Madonna popularized the short bleached blond haircut after the release of her third studio album and influenced both the 1980s fashion scene as well as many future female musicians like, and.

Intelligence

Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She is wearing a white dressing gown and is holding a phone. She looks shocked, with wide eyes and an open mouth. In (1953), one of the films in which Monroe portrayed a sexually attractive and naïve "dumb blonde"

Originating in Europe, the "" is also associated with being less serious or less intelligent. are a class of jokes based on the stereotype of blonde women as unintelligent. In Brazil, this extends to blonde women being looked down, as reflected in sexist jokes, as also sexually licentious. It is believed the originator of the dumb blonde was an eighteenth-century blonde French prostitute named whose reputation of being beautiful but dumb inspired a play about her called Les Curiosites de la Foire (Paris 1775). Blonde actresses have contributed to this perception; some of them include,,, and during her time at.

The British filmmaker preferred to cast blonde women for major roles in his films as he believed that the audience would suspect them the least, comparing them to "virgin snow that shows up the bloody footprints", hence the term Hitchcock blonde. This stereotype has become so ingrained it has spawned counter-narratives, such as in the 2001 film in which, played by, succeeds at Harvard despite biases against her beauty and blond hair.

In the 1950s, the American actress 's screen persona centered on her blond hair and the stereotypes associated with it, especially dumbness, naïveté, sexual availability and artificiality. She often used a breathy, childish voice in her films, and in interviews gave the impression that everything she said was "utterly innocent and uncalculated", parodying herself with that came to be known as "Monroeisms". For example, when she was asked what she had on in the 1949 nude photo shoot, she replied, "I had the radio on". Monroe often wore white to emphasize her blondness, and drew attention by wearing revealing outfits that showed off her figure. Although Monroe's typecast screen persona as a dim-witted but sexually attractive blonde was a carefully crafted act, audiences and film critics believed it to be her real personality and did not realize that she was only acting.

The notion that blonds are less intelligent is not grounded in fact. A 2016 study of 10,878 Americans found that both women and men with natural blond hair had scores similar to the average IQ of non-blond white Americans, and that white women with natural blond hair in fact had a higher average IQ score (103.2) than white women with brown hair (102.7), red hair (101.2), or black hair (100.5). Though many consider blonde jokes to be harmless, the author of the study stated the stereotype can have serious negative effects on hiring, promotion and other social experiences. Rhiannon Williams of writes that dumb blonde jokes are "one of the last 'acceptable' forms of prejudice".

See also

Science Society

References

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