When people see me, they often lump me into the general category of being blonde. I like to describe my hair color as light brown, dirty blonde, or perhaps light brown with a golden overtone.
But not blonde.
Cazey once took a picture of the top of my head, and I said,
"What exactly are you doing?"
And he said,
"I'd like this for evidence for the next time you say you're not blonde."
Beyond just the fact that my hair is not in fact blonde, there is a deeper reason I do not call myself a blonde.
I was once chatting with this guy, and it seemed to be going well enough. He was nice, had a college degree and a job, not horrible to look at and seemed interested in me. Then he goes,
"You might be the smartest blonde I've ever met."
I shot back with,
"So what if I had brown hair, where would I rank?"
To which he responds,
"Definitely in the middle, but that's a good thing."
My curiosity got the best of me, so I asked him why. According to him, it's better to be a smart blonde than a smart brunette because the blonde hair offsets your intelligence and makes you seem more likable. You know, because being intelligent and not blonde is just too much for the world to handle.
While that is far and away the dumbest thing I've ever heard, it's not the first time being blonde has seemed like a burden. It's really demeaning when people think you're the "cute young blonde" and not the "smart forward thinking woman" on a semi-regular basis. It negates a lot of hard work that I'm putting in.
As much as I try not to let what people say bother me, I've actually been considering dyeing my hair darker just to see if people's perceptions of me change.
Will I stop being that lovable ditz and actually gain credibility?
But then I reflect on that thought, and I don't want to dye my hair just to suppress the taunting. I don't want to change myself just to fit other people's ideals of intelligence.
My hair color is of no significance to the work I produce. It didn't hold me back when I graduated Magna Cum Laude from college. It doesn't mean my work is any less serious than a brunette. It shouldn't have any bearing on people's perception of me. I shouldn't have to work twice as hard to prove that I'm as intelligent as a brunette. Yet I do.
And when's the last time you heard someone referring to a man's blonde hair and thinking in any way they are any less intelligent than their brunette counterpart?