Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

No fun being blonde

Blondes purportedly have more fun. But consider this: not only do I often get mistaken for other women with short blonde hair, but I am also the brunt of political dissent from none other than my husband, who claims that the media give blondes a lot more attention than they do things that actually matter.

A blonde woman who has gone missing, for example, takes precedence over everything else — and, apparently, the blonder the better. He’s right, but I wonder where he’d relegate the status of me on the global scale of things should I go missing.

And then there’s the problem of leaving the home front and venturing into society where blonde politics abounds.

For instance, I go to the toilets after a gruelling colloquium on the politics of the publishing industry and in no time at all the politics of being blonde slaps me in the face. As I enter the WC with an earnest NGO-type woman, she is compelled to say: ”I imagine you are in women’s magazines.”

Given the environment, my blonde hackles rise. ”No actually,” I say in my best Queen’s English, picked up at elocution lessons in my childhood and kept in my back pocket for occasions such as this, ”I’m a documentary filmmaker.”

”Oh,” she responds, smiling slightly.

”And a writer,” I add, fixing my lipstick in the mirror.

”Mmmm,” she says sceptically … and what do you write?

”Developmental and human rights articles from a left of left perspective … and literary fiction.” I could say more but I don’t, for I notice that she is already looking somewhat uncomfortable and wondering if her preconceptions have ambushed her big time.

I mean, would I have felt compelled to say, out of the blue, to a stranger: ”I imagine you’re a PC, NGO frump … who is probably still stuck in writing one-dimensional didactics for some boring NGO publication … and I could recommend a good beautician who does wonders with moustaches,” — just because she looked a certain way?

I am tempted to start a human rights movement calling for non-discrimination against those of us with a taste for the flaxen. It is hard enough that we are born with hair the shade of ”supposedly” most men’s fantasies and that the older we get the more this particular colour loses its lustre so that we are forced to spend a fortune on hairdressers to maintain its original hue — which, for most, was last natural when they were about three years old. In my case I remained a buttermilk blonde right up until I had my first (and only) child at age 35, whereupon my hair overnight turned a washed-out mousy blonde.

What irks me most is the disdain the ”not blondes” feel towards us ”bottle blondes” — and the fact that men think they can tell us anything.

At the very same aforementioned colloquium I am innocently sipping a Savannah and surveying the social habits of the literary bunch when a man, who has been making zealous religious announcements all day long, walks towards me and asks what I do. I tell him my main business is filmmaking. He gets excited and tells me he too is in the industry and is looking for someone to produce his film.

”Oh, what is the subject matter?” I ask.

He tells me that three years ago he had a religious epiphany and that in a vision he was informed that Jesus Christ had returned to Earth.

”Really, where to?” I ask. ”Is he here in Africa?”

”Yes,” he says emphatically.

”How interesting. Is he black or white?”

The man laughs bashfully.

”No, seriously, I’d really like to know as I am working on a film concept called Jesus is black and living in Yeoville.”

He looks me deep in the eyes and tells me I too must be part of The Revelation and must have known about him, for he is indeed the returned spirit of Jesus and he lives in Yeoville.

I am somewhat unsettled by this disclosure. I laugh. ”Why don’t you have some wine — or perhaps turn this water into wine,” I suggest. He is not amused, but goes to get a drink anyway.

I make a quick escape. Would this man have had the gumption to reveal this insanity to anyone other than a blonde? The experience further entrenches my belief that in the collective subconscious of the world there is a belief that blondes are dim-witted and gullible.

I guess we have dumb blonde jokes and Paris to thank for that.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

Fears of violence persist a year after the murder of...

The court battle to stop coal mining in rural KwaZulu-Natal has heightened the sense of danger among environmental activists

Data shows EFF has lower negative sentiment online among voters...

The EFF has a stronger online presence than the ANC and Democratic Alliance

More top stories

Kenya’s beach boys fall into sex tourism, trafficking

In the face of their families’ poverty, young men, persuaded by the prospect of wealth or education, travel to Europe with their older female sponsors only to be trafficked for sex

High court reinstates Umgeni Water board

The high court has ruled that the dissolution of the water entity’s board by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu was unfair and unprocedural

Mkhize throws the book at the Special Investigating Unit

It’s a long shot at political redemption for the former health minister and, more pressingly, a bid to avert criminal charges
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×