Elle Investigates The Tyranny Of Paula Zahn Highlights

Illustration for article titled emElle/em Investigates The Tyranny Of Paula Zahn Highlights

Elle runs an "investigation" of the television media in its November issue that reveals something that will surprise maybe that class of people who ever looked up "gullible" in the dictionary: female news anchors are often pressured to dye their hair. Specifically: blonde. The story opens with the traumatic dye job of fledgling anchorwoman Laura Wells, a trip to the colorist that turns out to be something of a rite-of-passage in television news!

I feel like I"m having low-level plastic surgery," Wells says, mournfully twisting a strand of her naturally deep-russet mane.

Oh good grief, I thought. Maybe if not every woman in the world with hair a shade lighter than Penelope Cruz's did not seem to feel compelled to cough up a few grand a year so as to make her hair look rigorously "sun-kissed" or whatever, I would be shocked by this. But no, for years my own mother has pleaded with me to get them — she'll totally pay! — for no public reason other than the very occasional appearance at church.

WHICH made me think, what is it with highlights? Is it the white women's way of competing with Tyra's weave? Or maybe of approaching greater understanding of the true pain in the ass that is the endless struggle to achieve the Aryan beauty ideal? Or do they actually look good? (I mean, when Becky Quick first dyed her hair I thought it looked awful and now I kind of think it's hot.) So confused!


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I've been dyeing my hair since I was 16. It USED to be a gorgeous brunet, but then I started going gray in my 20s (and not Helen Mirren silver; were it that, I'd be in heaven) and my brunet turned to mouse brown. I spent 15 years as a redhead and then went to brown the last two.

Now, my hair is a reddish brown base with blonde and red highlights, and I find that the blonde does a great job of hiding the ass-ugly gray I have. Worth the money for me.