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Hair colour stereotypes

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Whether you're a blonde, brunette, redhead or have black hair, then chances are you've had to deal with hair colour stereotyping before. If someone doesn't know you then the only thing they can judge you on is your appearance, and naturally, this includes your hair colour. It's an extremely superficial way of judging people - not to mention annoying, and frequently inaccurate - but it still happens all the time! So what does your hair colour say about you?
She's unpredictable, sexy and independent. Red is the colour of passion, and so of course, redheads are viewed as being passionate creatures. They're also stereotyped as being extra-confident as their unusual hair colour makes them stand out from the crowd (less than 3% of the world's population has naturally red hair). But they have a hot temper, so watch out!

Famous redheads include Isla Fisher, Gillian Anderson, Marcia Cross, Debra Messing, Amy Adams and Julianne Moore.
Blonde-haired women have to deal with the most irritating hair colour stereotype of all: the Dumb Blonde. In studies, men consistently rank blondes as appearing less intelligent than their darker-haired counterparts, though women rank them about the same... suggesting that the idea of the Dumb Blonde may, in fact, be a male creation.

Blondes are also stereotyped as being a lot of fun, as well as being friendly, bubbly and popular. Blonde hair also has correlations with youth: it makes sense, as babies and children often have blonde hair that darkens as they get older. Because of this - and because blonde hair hides greys - women will frequently choose to dye or highlight their strands with blonde when they reach middle age, in an attempt to preserve their youthful appearance.

Famous blondes include Marilyn Monroe, Paris Hilton, Kate Hudson, Jessica Simpson, Pamela Anderson, Hillary Clinton and Gwyneth Paltrow.

The Brunette

She's smart, stylish and classy, as well as being the Girl-Next-Door... who else could she be, but the brunette. She's less flighty than a blonde and more stable than a redhead, she's reliable and trustworthy, but can be a little bit boring. Having said this, she can still be extremely sexy: studies have shown that 51% of men claim to prefer women with brown hair, despite what Miss Monroe said about gentlemen preferring blondes.

Famous brunettes include Angelina Jolie, Megan Fox, Katie Holmes, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Kim Kardashian, Cindy Crawford and Penelope Cruz.

The Black Haired Beauty

She's the most mysterious of the four hair colours, as well as being industrious, competent and astute. She's either an academic, or a hard-working professional. If she dyed her hair black, then she's deep and emotional, possibly a poet or an artist, but definitely creative. If she's naturally black-haired then she's often shy, but can be a lot of fun once you get her to come out of her shell.

Famous black haired beauties include Rihanna, Lucy Liu, Dita Von Teese, Michelle Obama, Naomi Campbell and Halle Berry.

These are the most common stereotypes that you'll come across, but of course there are others out there. What's annoying is that they only seem to refer to women's hair - can you ever recall hearing someone describe a man as being fiery because he had red hair? I think not!

The main problem with all stereotypes is that once they're in place, it takes many, many years to debunk them. Rather than getting irritated when people tell the same old, lame Dumb Blonde jokes, you just have to grin and bear it, before dazzling them with your intellect. If someone unjokingly hints that you may have a low IQ simply because you have a lightly coloured head of hair, then really, it says more about them than it does about you.

Ultimately, hair colour stereotypes are all about first impressions. Once a person has gotten to know the real you, their stereotypical, appearance-based judgements of you will fly right out the window - so forget about what strangers may think, and wear your hair colour with pride.

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