Being Blonde and the Groundhog

1 Feb

Our minister’s sermon was one in a series of several on “forgiveness.” His intention was to begin with a joke & he asked if anyone was offended by blonde jokes?  I immediately raised my hand to a ripple of good natured laughter from the congregation, so I followed that physical gesture by asking if he could make it a red head joke instead. More laughter & then he told the joke making reference to many hair colors & not just blonde. In the end, hair color was not a key element in advancing the joke… but intellect was.

It made me wonder why having blonde hair often made one the butt of jokes centering on intellectual “lack of abundance …”

As long as I can remember there has been a connection between blonde hair & bimbo-ness. I think it harks back to movies from the 30s, 40s & 50s. Suddenly the “Bottled Blonde” burst onto the Hollywood scene during that era. A “Bottled Blonde” was someone whose naturally dark hair was bleached to distraction & to the point of being platinum.  Naturally occurring platinum hair is a rarity seldom found in nature & primarily in very young children & those sharing a genetic affliction.

The Hollywood blonde somehow became associated with those buxom, overly bleached starlets who seemed to need not even a shred of basic intelligence in order to be the headliner in a movie; hence the bimbo & the connection to normally blonde people with normal intellect.

This is just my take on the whole thing, though. I haven’t really researched the phenomenon & had given it very little consideration until the advent of “Blonde Jokes,” which mostly don’t offend me. I’ve found them tedious but not really personal. I’ve known where I was coming from intellectually so our minister got a laugh in church from me along with the rest of those at the service.

So what does it mean to be blonde? I don’t know. I’ve mostly never been anything else so I have no comparison. Well, that may not be entirely true. I experienced a bout of baldness following chemotherapy & for a matter of days had chocolate brown hair once due to a beautician’s error. But most of my life I’ve been blonde & had all those things associated with it like freckles, sunburn & nicknames like Cottontop & Towhead. But it never resulted in a lower IQ. At least I don’t think so.

When I started chemo in late 2008 I had a few grey hairs on either side of my head just above my ears. When my hair came back almost a year later, it came back whiter than any New England snowstorm in the middle of winter. It was such an unexpected & startling change that I went immediately to have my hair colored. The contrast was stark & too sudden to deal with.

Being an intellectually savvy blonde, I had saved my hair (actually saved it as it fell out) in a WalMart bag that I kept under the sink in the bathroom. When it came back “white & snow-like,” I took that WalMart bag to a beautician. I told her my story & asked NOT to be made younger or different but just to be made ME again; the way my friends & family KNEW me… & I knew myself. Several hours later she removed the towel from my head & all that blinding New England snow had been replaced by a chocolate color only Hershey could embrace. I was appalled.

When I complained that chocolate was not on my list of preferred hair colors the beautician told me I was very lucky to HAVE hair & that any attempt on her part to lighten it could possibly result in a startling resemblance to Bozo (the clown).  Clearly the beautician should NEVER have been allowed to work with anyone in crisis.

So I took my WalMart bag full of my real hair & went home; calling my husband on the phone from the driveway to tell him that I still didn’t look like me & to get braced because I was coming in. Being a very positive human being & a wise husband, his only remark was to tell me it was a very good haircut. We agreed, however, that if I bought a silver dress for an upcoming cocktail party I could WOW everyone there showing up as a Hershey Kiss.

During my chemo-induced baldness my hairdresser called to tell me she was retiring. She said, “I’m tired & you don’t have any hair so there’s no reason to keep working.”  The day I came home with chocolate hair I called her for advice. She gave me the name of a colorist who could work miracles & said that Debbie was the only person she knew who could straighten out my chocolate mess.

I called Debbie immediately & she said, “Honey, you come on down here with your chocolate hair & let me take a look at you.” She did & she was everything my former hairdresser said she would be … a worker of miracles with a little bit of bartender & psychiatrist tossed in for good measure…she colored, she listened & she calmed my distress. She looked into my WalMart bag & made my hair that color again & restored me to ME. To this day she is totally in charge of my hair & is a friend that I value. I will be grateful to her for the rest of my life.

So back to that previous question, “So what does it mean to be blonde?” I’ll add another I get quite a lot – “Do blondes really have more fun?”  To that I can give a definite answer …. It’s a lot more fun being blonde than being bald & anyone can let a few blonde jokes roll off their back.

I still like chocolate but always on my plate or in a candy wrapper or in a cup of hot ….. It’s just not something I want to see on my head.

I may have had a few more dates in high school, but only slightly more, or a few more opportunities along the way but I prefer to think all of that has been due to the person that I am, my drive to succeed, my appreciation of life & nothing to do with the color of my hair. But here’s another question to consider – are only blonde females considered bimbos or are blonde males also considered members of the Bimbo Clan?

Even with animals that become pets there seems to be some sort of prejudice. It’s a fact that golden & light haired dogs & cats are adopted from shelters many more times than their darker haired brothers & sisters. With cats that may be due in part to that old superstition that black cats are somehow bad luck but that doesn’t explain the preference for lighter haired dogs…..

…which leads me to Punxsutawney Phil.  Has there ever been a blonde groundhog?

If old Punxsutawney Phil is actually a blonde with a colorist on retainer & we buy into that “light hair – low intellect” myth, will that affect his judgment when he pokes his head out of his hole in the ground on Groundhog Day? Will being a bimbo groundhog lead him to make the wrong call & give us a kazillion more days of winter? Should we worry?????

Are all groundhogs chocolate colored? If they are, Punxsutawney Phil, & you’d like a change, have I got THE hairdresser for you …& for those other 364 days a year you, too, can be a blonde & have more fun ….




2 Responses to “Being Blonde and the Groundhog”

  1. Tammy White February 2, 2015 at 2:54 pm #

    That was cute. Thank you for sharing.

    Sent from my iPhone



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