Monday, August 18, 2014

Blondes These Days

Riddle me this, my pretties: Why are blondes portrayed negatively in entertainment these days? Specifically blonde females. It used to be that everywhere you turned, blonde was the new pink. Everyone wanted to be blonde, probably because of the hugely popular Barbie, with her perfect tan, Marilyn Monroe figure, and silky sand-colored tresses. I remember in old illustrations, princesses like Rapunzel, Aurora, and even the Little Mermaid (Hans Christian Andersen edition) were all golden-haired. Cinderella, Thumbelina, heck, even Lady Sif was known for her long, flowing blonde locks. But recently I have noticed how many brunettes have been coming up to bat, stepping into leading roles. Elena Gilbert, along with a startling percentage of other characters from The Vampire Diaries (although in the books she is blonde); the ladies of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.; most of the people from Once Upon A Time; Olivia Pope from Scandal; Stephen Jameson from The Tomorrow People, to name but a few. As a fellow-brunette, I can relate. Brown hair appears to be the most common hair color in the world. Perhaps that is why it was frowned upon for leading roles in earlier decades, because brown hair was associated with being ordinary. And in entertainment, people wanted something or someone extraordinary. However, perhaps it is because of this perceived unremarkability that made the brunette so appealing to audiences: because the hero with brown hair could be anyone in the world, anyone who looked normal but was secretly a spy or rebel for a resistance.
While this is interesting to ponder, I can't help but notice the roles our beloved blonde friends have been forced to personify: the role of the villain. Even if it is not to such an extreme -maybe they are just the "mean kid" in school or the annoying person in the workplace- blondes have gotten a reputation for being evil. "Looks like an angel; acts like a demon." That kind of thing. So, I have decided to compile a list of a few blonde antagonists and protagonists while will be found in my next blog post. Following that will be an identical set-up for brunette antagonists and protagonists. Bear in mind, the list will include characters from books, movies, TV, and maybe even a few video games.
Stay tuned!


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