Yes, Gentlemen Do Prefer Blondes

Illustration for article titled Yes, Gentlemen Do Prefer Blondes

New book out: Jena Pincott's Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? It's a pop-science read on the natural laws of attraction: pheromones, smells, evolutionary psychology —you know the drill. And in answer to the Big Question? (Well, the Other Big Question, along with whether or not Blondes Have More Fun.) Yes. Yes, they do — at least Stateside. It has to do with scarcity, apparently, and perceptions of femininity. (Of course, we already knew that men act stupider around blondes, but marry brunettes, so make of this further "confirmation" of our societal proclivities what you will.) Having barely passed Chemistry, I probably shouldn't be arguing with scientists. Not to get all "Hair Diaries" on you, but all I can say is, in my personal experience going blonde sucked.I'm not even talking about the first fifteen years of my life, my legitimately blonde phase, also characterized by tininess, enormous flannel dresses and extreme self-righteousness. Rather, I'm referring to a particularly low moment a few years ago in which I agreed to go blonde for a feature in an alleged women's magazine I'd never heard of. Being unemployed at the time, it was no problem for me — along with a blonde and a redhead, neither of whom seemed especially jazzed — to show up at a salon somewhere in Manhattan for our gratis metamorphoses. The first doubts began to intrude when we learned that the makeover was a promotion for an at-home haircolor line that shall remain anonymous. Basically, someone would be dyeing our hair, but using the same stuff you buy at the grocery store. The smelly, stinging ordeal commenced. I was excited to see myself transformed into a glamorous sex kitten — it was one of those deals where seeing ourselves would be a big surprise at the end - but my fears mounted as colorist after colorist walked over to my chair, went into hurried consultation with the stylist, and gave me a wan smile that I didn't find reassuring. An assistant styled my hair in silence, refusing to meet my eyes. They assembled us for the reveal before a bank of mirrors. One by one they turned us towards our reflections. Everyone enthused over the former blonde's maghgany mane and the redhead's ebony crop. When they reached me there was an awkward silence. They turned me to face the mirror. There, atop my head, was a pile of Velveeta-hued straw. I burst into tears. Chaos ensued. The beauty editor screamed that she couldn't run a picture of the atrocity; someone else demanded they repair the damage. The "repair" meant an additional three bleachings which left the Velveeta marginally paler and my hair utterly destroyed. A makeup artist gamely blotted at my tears with a powder puff; the hairdresser sprayed me with some silicon-based product to create an illusion of glowing good health. The khaki pants they made me wear were several sizes too big and needed to be cinched in the back with a diaper pin. I heard the words "Photoshop" and "color correction." Of course, further coloring was out of the question; I would have to live with what resembled a cheap doll wig. Which would have been fine, except that next day I got called in for a job interview. There was nothing for it; I would have to make the best of it. What I found galling — besides the way it looked, of course — was that I looked like a moron who a) had wanted to be incredibly blond and b) had totally fucked it up. There was no way this color was deliberate; too horrible to be deliberate, too conventional to be cool, it simply looked like the worst dye job in the history of the world, a canned corn-colored pile atop my small, sallow face. On the day of the interview, I screwed "hair" into a knot on my head and resolved to keep my beret on until the last possible moment. It is a testament to that boss's open-mindedness that she hired said hair to be her assistant. I suspect no one at that job was ever quite able to take me seriously, even when I was able to color it brown again. As to men "preferring" it, well, if you count jeering references to troll dolls or the hilarity of bums as signs of marked preference, then yes, I suppose they did. Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? [Houston Chronicle] Related: Want To Marry A Billionaire? Curl Up And Dye. Do You Get Dumber Around Blondes?



I don't think I could be anything but red. I hear that my hair color is a problem for a lot of certainly does come with lots of mythical/archetypal baggage. Whatever. Hopefully, it separates the menz from the boyz.