Thursday, October 31, 2013

Listen to me for a Secondary

HAPPY HALLOWEEN my ghouly, witchy, batty friends! I hope that your day is full of candy eating, spooky sighting, and letting go of any inhibitions and just going crazy (in the area of costumes…not in anything else. Don’t get too wild my children). Sadly I am not able to partake in any celebrations, as I have to go to class at the wretched time of 7-9:30 pm. It’s just dreadful. However, as I like to think of myself as a rather optimistic person–despite a certain cynicism that I can't seem to shake off–I thought that I could use this opportunity to my advantage and teach you all a lesson. This is not one of those “teach you lesson” things like when the bully on the playground teaches the scared kindergarteners a lesson by taking their lunch money and tying their shoelaces together. No, I want to actually teach you something because I find it fascinating. You see, the class I have tonight is called “Color and Design for Fashion”. In this class we learn all about the theory of color and what color is and what different color combinations are and pretty much everything about color. It is a lot more complicated than you would think. However, it is incredibly relevant because whether or not you are aware of it, color is all around us and has a profound impact on our lives. You’ve probably had an experience where you saw a color and it made you feel something. Like peaceful when you see a light blue, or happy when you see a bright yellow. There are individual colors, but then when you combine these colors a whole new world arises. Different color combinations mean different things. For example, when you see green and red together, most of us think of Christmas. Why do we think of Christmas? It’s a little silly really. It’s just two colors. A combination of two pigments. Nothing complicated. It’s not like they are images of the birth of Christ. Nevertheless, we see these colors and all of a sudden “Jingle Bells” is ringing in our heads.
Another example, today, Halloween, you may notice a large amount of orange, green, and purple together. Such as these Halloween m&m's
Or this little girl's Halloween witch costume

These could be strongly saturated (very vibrant, like they came straight off of the color wheel), they could be muted (more earthy tones), or they could be desaturated (darker or lighter by the addition of white or black). This color combination is called the “secondary color triad”. This is simply because it is a triad (three) made up of the secondary colors on the color wheel. 

Secondary colors are made when mixing two primary colors. Orange= red + yellow, Purple= blue + red, Green= blue + yellow. WOW! It’s like math! This is so exciting!
I’m not quite sure when or why or how these colors became associated with Halloween and fall time, however I do have a theory. Two actually. One, because these colors seem quite witchish. Orange for their wrinkled, old skin. Green for the toads they use in their spells.  Purple for their magical cloaks and the vapors that come off of their potions. Just watch Hocus Pocus and it will all become clear.

There is another reason though, as to why we these colors come into style every October-November. When I see these colors I automatically think of fall. That's because in autumn these secondary colors occur in nature. They may not appear exactly as they do on the color wheel, but instead we see them in muted forms. 
Orange is the color of pumpkins, falling leaves, the ground after the grass has begun to die, and most importantly, the color of pumpkin pie.

Green is the color of the leaves as they are changing, it isn't the vibrant green of spring but a duller green, a green that is beginning to turn brown. It is the color of green apples, the kind that make amazing apple pies.

Purple is the color of thistles, one of the only flowers that stay blooming through fall. Not to mention the purple foods that we eat at this time such as aubergines (eggplant), purple potatoes and red cabbage, at least I eat a lot of those foods at this time. And of course red pears! Which can be made into pie!

So essentially, these colors are the colors of PIE! and we eat pie in the fall and therefore these colors are fall colors.
Have a Happy Halloween
In honor of the day, I am wearing an outfit of secondary colors (pumpkin not included)
Green Sweater from Anthropologie
Shorts from Calvin Klein
Purple tights from Target
Orangish brown suede booties from Clarks

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Let the Witching Hour Commence

As October comes to an end it is time we turn our minds towards more celebratory things. Such as dressing up in costume, getting scared out of our minds, scaring others out of their minds, and eating enough candy to send ourselves into diabetic comas. YAY for Halloween! But what is the true meaning of Halloween? Is it teaching children to take candy from strangers? Or is it that dressing as a naughty anything, be it pirate, nurse, or astronaut, is not slutty on the 31st of October, even though it is on every other day? Sadly no. Halloween is much deeper than the depths of your candy basket and is a much older tradition than the group costumes that you and your buddies put on every year. "Halloween" is actually a contraction of "All Hallows' Evening" or "All Hallows' Eve" (because in Scots, the germanic language of lowland Scotland, the word "eve" is "even" and is contracted to "e'en" "All Hallows Even" soon turned into "Halloween"). While it may surprise you due to the number of wicked things we see on the night–witches, vampires, Miley Cyrus impersonators, etc.– this holiday actually began as a Holy day. It initiates the "triduum of Hallowmas", big words, I know, which is the time of the year dedicated to remembering the dead. That's right. It actually started as a Christian holiday, a great big feast to remember those people whom we loved and are now gone. What on earth does this have to do with the tomfoolery that we get up to now? I'm not sure. I think somewhere along the line the message of this day got a little confused. This probably has something to do with a communication error. Somehow or other "pray for the dead" got confused with "dress up and go crazy"...Well, anyway, some of what we do today has roots in the past. Trick-or-treating, for one, began in Scotland and Ireland with "guising", when children disguised in costume would go from door to door for food or coins on All Hallows Eve. When this turned into the giant candy gathering contest that it is today, I don't know. 
Another tradition that has survived over the ages comes in the form of hunched over old ladies with warts on their noses. Any guesses? 

That's right!! WITCHES!
Halloween was believed to be the day that spirits traveled the earth, and as spirits=dead people and dead people=scary, scary=witches and so it is follows that Halloween=witches. Logic. Based on this logical thinking, barns and homes would be blessed by priests to protect people and livestock from the evil effect of witches. Judging by the amount of pointy black hats I see in store windows, I would say that witches are just as prevalent for Halloween 2013 as they were for Halloween 1692. 
Let's take a quick look at some important witches for whom we can gain knowledge and costume inspiration. (disclaimer: this is a list of witches from mythology and literature. I am not claiming that these women are or were real. I am also not claiming that these are the most important ones, they are just the ones that I know and want to talk about)

Morgan le Fay
A powerful sorceress in the Arthurian legend. She uses her power of seduction to entrap her prey and attempt to overthrow her step-brother Arthur–talk about a dysfunctional family relationship. 
Morgan Le Fey by Anthony Frederick Sandys (1864)
From Homer's Odyssey. While she may seem perfectly normal and lovable, avoid eating anything she offers you or you may find yourself turned into a lion or a pig, doomed to spend eternity wandering around her mansion. 
Circe changing the companions of Ulysses into animals, an English mural from 1580
Abigail Williams
and all others associated with the Salem Witch trials. While Abigail may not have been guilty of casting spells, she was most certainly guilty of being a right tart, a young 
seductress, and a manipulating bully, characteristics of another kind of witch altogether. For more information on this subject, read or watch The Crucible. 
Winona Ryder as Abigail Williams
The White Witch
One of my particular favorites, capable of making it always winter and never Christmas, this woman is most certainly evil. 
Illustration from C. S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
The Wicked Witch of West
Terrifyingly green, beware of this woman, especially if you are a young girl from Kansas and wearing red slippers. But don't worry, if you have a bucket of water near by, you'll be fine.
Margaret Hamilton in The Wizard of Oz
Hermione Granger
Wickedly intelligent, scarily talented, and green in the world of magic, being born to a muggle family, this little smarty pants gives a good name to witches everywhere. Not to mention she is just too cute.
Emma Watson in the first Harry Potter

I could go on for days. But I don't have time for that. I just want you all to see how incredibly prevalent witches are. They are jumping out of books, prancing across screens, whirling on stages, glaring from paintings. They are everywhere. So while getting ready for you wild party this Thursday, or whenever you are choosing to celebrate Halloween this year, please don't forget these important members of Halloween history. While it may seem cliché, a good ol' witch costume never goes out of style. 

Now to the spooking and candy eating!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Time Has Come

Clip Clap Clip Clap Clip Clap
Can you hear that? That melodious sound? It pervades the air, it is on every street corner, it is in every hallway. The song of hundreds of feet rejoicing, for boot season is finally upon us. We wait all year for it and yet it still takes us slightly by surprise–just like Christmas. Gone are the endless days of summer where we waste precious time worrying over which pair of sandals to wear, or whether or not it is a boater day or a ballet flat day. For the next couple of months, oh so blissful months, we need have no worries, for it is boot season! Boots everyday! Boots everywhere! Boots for everyone! 
Boots, Boots, Boots!
I have been a little wary over the past couple of weeks. It's been too hot, too bright, too green. But this morning as walking back from the gym I could sense it. The sky was grey, a dense fog covered the top of the old hotels of Sutter street, the trees were giving off a distinctly yellow glow, and my fingers were going numb. Not the numbness that comes from a lack of circulation or from holding too many shopping bags in one hand, but the numbness that comes from being cold. Yes, cold. It is a sign. I hurried back to my room as fast as my legs could take me (granted I had just been working out, so this probably was not as fast as it could have been due to the significant amount of soreness in my extremities) and pulled out my new brown leather lace up riding boots. The times has come. Finally these beautiful shoes can have a use in this world. 
So, my lovely friends, now that boot season is here, what kind will you choose to cover your hairy legs and miss matched socks for the cold days to come? 

The Riding Boot–always a good classic. Sleek and fashionable. Good to pair with jeans and a sweater or tights and a nice wool dress. Originally designed to be worn while horse riding, these boots usually come up to the knee, in order to prevent the leg of the rider from being pinched by the saddle; have a sturdy rounded toe, to protect the riders feet while on the ground; and have a distinct heel, to keep the foot from sliding out of the stirrup. Even though the majority of us do not frequently jump on a horse in order to get around, these boots are still an excellent option for the chilly days of October to March, the months now referred to as "boot months". 
Tory Burch Riding Boots
The Rain Boot–especially good for those living in Seattle, Vancouver, London, *enter rainy city name here*. These tend to look best when paired with warm fuzzy socks and a rain jacket. A cute rain jacket though. Not one of those awful see-through plastic things that might as well be a trash bag. These boots find their origins in the Hessian boot, initially used in the military and popular in the 18th-19th centuries. They were worn and made popular by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington– hence the name Wellington boots. We may no longer be trudging through knee high mud or camping out in trenches, but it is still good to protect our feet from the elements with a nice layer of thick rubber. 

Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Now whenever you wear your brightly colored Hunter Rain boots, you can know where they came from.
This handsome man in his tight pants. 

Bright Pink is always a good idea.
(I Stole this image from online and don't know hot to cite it...I'm a despicable human being)
The Snow Boot–really only good if it is, well, snowy. For those of us who grew up in lands of ice and snow, aka Colorado, Minnesota, or Montana, we understand the struggle of wanting to look cute while simultaneously not getting hypothermia. I can't even tell you how many times I got to school crying as a child because I had refused to wear my snow boots and thus had frozen feet. But my mom just didn't understand. Snow boots were ugly! I don't understand how it took them so long to figure out how to make snow boots look good, but amazingly enough they finally exist. For those days of exceptional coldness and/or snow, a nice pair of snow boots (Sorels are my number 1 choice for being fashionable AND warm AND comfortable) with wool anything does nicely. Wool tights, wool sweaters, wool skirts, wool socks, or just wear a sheep, that could work too. 
SORELS Conquest Boots
I have it on good authority, mine actually, that these boots are amazingly comfortable, warm, and snow resistant. 

The UGG–no. just no. Unless you aren't leaving the house, then it is okay. I don't want to sound like a hater, but I just have never seen an outfit that I thought looked good with these clunky, puffy boots. Also, they don't keep water out and the fuzziness inside–while it may feel like your feet are being caressed by the hopes and dreams of baby angles–is really quite useless after the first wear because it just gets nasty and smelly and dirty. However, if you must wear them, despite my protests, please do so tactfully. Avoid pairing them with shorts, short skirts, or apple bottom jeans. 

I am not even going to include a picture regarding UGGs because I am against them.

When it comes to boots, the options are endless. Unlike a frozen yogurt place where they have only 4 flavors, boot season is like entering an Ice Cream Shop where they can create any flavor you can think of. I have never actually been to such an Ice Cream shop, but I think the idea is pretty great. So rejoice with me my friends for Boot Season is here! 


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Who Are You?

“We live in a world of self-defined brands”—Kenneth Cole

Being stylish and being fashionable are very different things. Fashion is a universal thing. Style is an individual thing. Anyone can be fashionable if they know the current trends and where to shop, but not everyone can be stylish. For example, tight skirts with crop tops may be in fashion, but by wearing them you may not look very stylish. Style is more about what you look good in, feel good in, fits your personal tastes, and fits your character. In my humble opinion, having style is much more important than being fashionable because style tells the world a story—the story of you. Our first perceptions of anyone are based on how they look because, unless you are blind, only meet people online/on the telephone, or are a hermit, sight is the first sense we use when meeting a person. It is important then to give an accurate representation of yourself in that first moment. It would be awful for someone to assume that you are an uptight business woman when in fact you are a natural, bohemian type simply because you chose to wear a pant suit. Sure pantsuits may seem appropriate for a fancy occasion, but if you aren’t a businesswoman working in a tall building who drinks black coffee for breakfast you are essentially lying to the whole world by wearing one. This is just one example. I have countless, but hopefully you get the point. While it is sad, because we aren’t supposed to judge a book by it’s cover and all that, the truth is that everyone does it any way. While I don’t want to generalize, I think it is safe to say that pretty much everyone makes snap judgments of others based on what they are wearing. So since people are going to make decisions on who you are before they even talk to you, you might as well represent yourself correctly.
Developing your style can be a long, hard process requiring a lot of internal reflection and consideration of life choices. Kind of like going through rehab. Defining your style is like creating a brand for yourself. You go through the same steps as a designer does when creating his or her latest line. This is not something that can happen over night. It takes time, most people spend a lifetime defining and refining their style and most don’t even realize what they are doing. But if you want to be conscious about it, here are few simple steps:
Figure out what it is that inspires you. You probably know what your likes and dislikes are and whether or not you are aware of it, these things inspire you in a multitude of ways, including what you wear. Whether it is books, movies, time periods, flowers, food, architecture, other people, etc., what inspires you will shape what your “self-defined brand” looks like. Example:
This is a mood board that I made for a class that I think does a good job at representing what inspires me
You then decide on your color palette–what colors you like and look good on you. If you had an honest mother or sister or friend, or stranger, you have probably had the experience of being told that a particular color makes you look ill. If not, either you are blessed with magical skin and hair that looks good with everything, or you have never been in an honest relationship with anyone and I am sorry for you. Most people have their “go to color”. A color that looks fabulous on them and that they just adore. For my sister it is grey, for me it is pink (that basically sums up the difference in our characters).
The next step is to figure out what kinds of clothes are good for you. As I have said countless times and will most likely reiterate over and over again, not everyone looks good in the same thing! I like dresses, skirts, flowy blouses, cardigans, high-waisted trousers, and high heels. My best friend would never be seen in any of those things—preferring jeans, t-shirts, baggy sweaters, boots, and leggings. That doesn’t mean that one of us is more stylish than the other. This step includes determining what silhouette looks good on you, what you find comfortable, and what fabrics you like.
I think that if a designer made a line that was a representation of me, it would look a lot like this:
This is part of my midterm for fashion business. FUN right?? Well it has a color palette, clothing examples, and fabric swatches
 After that you can figure out what stores and brands work for you. Urban Outfitters does not work for me, but Kate Spade does (too bad I have no money and can’t actually buy anything from her…I can dream though). Then you can stock up your wardrobe and walk around advertising yourself correctly.
The most important thing to remember is to stay true to who you are. Not only will buying a biker jacket when you are a quiet librarian give the whole world the wrong idea of your character, it will probably be a waste of money. If it doesn’t fit who you are, you will probably never wear it, so why buy it? I have to remind myself of that every time I am tempted to buy a pair of leather pants.



Tuesday, October 15, 2013

We're All In This Together

I had great intentions today to write some amazingly inspiring thing about fashion and individual style and self defined branding all inspired by meeting Kenneth Cole last week and it was going to be fabulous. But I just can't. I guess you could say I have writers block. But it is more like an emotional block. Without getting too much into my personal life, because this is not in fact my diary, let me just explain to you this emotional block I am facing. I miss home, I want it to be cold outside, I just want to eat a sweet potato, I don't like spending 80 dollars at Office Depot on ink and supplies for projects, I am tired of being hit on by homeless men, I don't like the smell of urine and weed that permeates this city, I am scared by emotions and don't understand them, and quite frankly I wish I was a cat. Essentially I have a bad case of the mean reds, with a touch of the blues.
Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's 
While lying on the floor complaining to my roommate (who is fabulous BTW) about how I don't know how to face emotions and how I am the only person in the world facing these mighty struggles, she said something very wise and made me realize that probably every body else gets into these ruts. Everyone thinks that their mountain is the highest and that their pack is the heaviest. At the risk of sounding cliché, we really are all in the same boat. No matter what metaphor you are using, everyone has their struggles and to each and every one of us it seems like the most terribly awful hardship in the entire world. Yes, some people do actually have real problems (other than not being able to fit in your favorite pair of jeans or not being able to afford yet another Pumpkin Spice Latte). There are some serious issues in the world. But it will be impossible to fight others' battles, or even just feel genuinely sorry for another, until our own is won. Winning doesn't always mean coming out in triumph. Sometimes it just means carrying on. It's not easy and it is certainly not enjoyable, but we have to do it. Because no one wants to have the mean reds forever. That would be truly horrible–no matter how cute we find Eeyore to be, no body really enjoys being around a depressing donkey all the time.

So what can we do to blow these emotional blocks out of the way so that we can get on with our lives and do amazing things?

  1. Read. Read anything, my blog for instance, or poetry, your favorite book, a new book, a magazine (something classy though), plays, song lyrics, ANYTHING. Reading allows you to escape from the world, even if momentarily, and can give clarity to life. When I read I am reminded of how vast the world is and how many great things are out there and how really insignificant, and quite approachable, my little problems are
  2. Talk to someone. Or something. Talking about what is bothering you can do two things. One, if you choose to speak to a person, they can give you advice. While my particular opinion on advice is the same as Oscar Wilde's,
    “The only good thing to do with good advice is pass it on; it is never of any use to oneself.”
    it may come in handy to you. And two, explaining your feelings to another, be that human, plant, or stuffed animal, can help you understand better yourself. In your mind you create all sorts of awful scenarios, you make everything seem worse than it is really is. Your problem may seem SO HUGE AND AWFUL and then you try telling someone about it and you realize that you are fretting about the fact that you don't know how to text a boy in the same manner as Poland fretting about being invaded by the Germans. All of a sudden life seems great.
  3. Listen to music. I personally prefer classical, but I guess some people like music that has words which I guess is cool too. Again this is a way to escape for a while and gain clarity.
  4. Enjoy nature. Did you ever see SpyKids 3 in 3D? Well I did and sometimes I feel like our world has become that movie. Not the part with the guy with the black rectangle over his eyes, but the part where they are in the video game and it is extremely stressful. We are always around technology, commercialism, bright lights, other people, craziness, you name it. A lot of times these things are what are dragging us down into the pit of despair. So it is important to make some sort of connection to nature and remember that there is so much more out there than our self centered lives. Like roses. There are roses. Life becomes so beautiful when you smell a rose.
  5. Hug a cat. or watch youtube videos of kittens. Why? because cats are great. 
    Fatty is demonstrating his knowledge of geometry and ability to fit exactly into any place. He would be excellent at tetris.
If these fail I then resort to eating chocolate and watching movies (usually Breakfast at Tiffany's or Lord of the Rings) while snuggling with a giant pillow and wearing too large of sweatpants. That is not necessarily the best option though. 
Next time you feel that you are in a gutter of emotional turmoil, take a moment to realize that probably the majority of the people around you are right there with you–all sitting there getting trench foot together while waiting for the hardships to pass. When you know you are not alone it seems easier to tackle the problem. ALL FOR ONE and ONE FOR ALL and all that jazz.

Now let's all go out there and work on turning those mean reds into rosy pink joy! 


PS None of the images in this post actually belong to me. I found them on the internet. hehe...except for that last one. Yeah that fat cat is mine

PSS I would be ever so appreciative if you would follow me on instagram and pinterest and tumblr and all those things that are right over there -->

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Embrace Your Inner Creep

There are two kinds of people in this world: people who like to people watch and liars. Let's admit it, everyone likes to spy on other people. Deep down in side all of us want to be Sherlock Holmes, or maybe Harriet the spy. Don't lie, you know it is true. Maybe not everyone is as in tune with their inner creep as I am, but there is nothing I love more than sitting in a coffee shop, sipping my iced coffee with light ice and whole milk, and watching the people around me. As with any hobby, this activity takes practice, skill, and refinement. You must be mindful to watch discreetly–openly stare at people and they will get uncomfortable. Start talking to yourself about the people and they will think you are crazy. Stay still for too long and people will think you are a statue, or that you are dead. In order to become a master of this art you must look casual, for example, you could keep a book open in front of you and pretend to be reading. You must be discreet, a great way to do so is by wearing sunglasses (but only if you are outside because they only people who wear sunglasses inside are creepy old men, blind people, and Anna Wintour–or Meryl Streep playing a character who is supposed to be Anna Wintour). You must be good at improv, you must be quick on your feet if something should happen such as you accidentally make eye contact with the person you have been staring at for five minutes. Which just happened to me. But don't worry, I pretended to be reading the sign behind him.

There are many reasons for taking up the hobby of professional people watching. 
1) you can learn all sorts of things about people by simply watching them. This is especially handy if you are a writer or actor because it is like doing research, only fun and you don't have to go to the library.
2) People are funny 
3) You realize that you are not the only idiot in the world. It is so nice to know that I'm not the only one who occasionally spills water all down their front because they missed their mouth–or in my case because my lips are too big to handle sometimes.
4) you can judge people. But this is NOT a good reason. Being judgmental is not a good character trait and should thus be dispelled. can be fun...

and my personal favorite reason
5) You get to see the fashions of everyday life of everyday people. It is like watching a fashion show minus the paparazzi, annoyingly loud music, and depressingly skinny models.

Obviously I like to see what other people wear. I like clothes. Of course I like clothes, otherwise I wouldn't have this blog and you wouldn't be reading about my addiction to people watching. You see such interesting styles on other people. Sometimes I get fabulous ideas of what to wear from seeing what other people are wearing. Sometimes I get fabulous ideas of what not to wear.
If there was a typographer in my head reporting what I am thinking at this very moment while sitting in Peets looking around at the other tables it would go something like this:
"ooo that is so cute! I want that hat. I wonder where she got it...uh oh RBO alert RBO alert (RBO=really bad outfit) mmmm he is super cute. Why don't all guys dress well? How interesting...I never thought to pair a sweater with a leather jacket. I should try that. Although it is a little too hot at the moment. Her shoes are from J. Crew. I think I have seen that skirt before...oh that's because I own it! I have to pee..."

Watching what other people wear is essential to anyone in fashion. The whole fashion industry is a "trickle up" model. Designers look at what the "avant garde" people (essentially hipsters...) on the street are wearing, interpret it, and release their interpretations which are then sold at high prices, then middle prices, then end up in the sale bucket. So if designers are doing it, why don't we?

Today I am wearing an outfit that was inspired by two lovely German girls I met at the Ferry Building in SF on Monday. 
Vanessa and Pelan from Hamburg, Germany.
Wearing key pieces from Zara and H&M and a hat from Goorin Bros
Once you come to terms with your inner creep, you can become confident enough to do stuff like take pictures of those whom you watch. Usually this is just in the form of "creeper shots"–such as the kind you take on snap chat and then send to your sisters to giggle at–however sometimes it is necessary to let your watching victim know what you are doing and let them give you their consent to having their picture taken. This is sometimes known as being a "street style blogger", but what you really are is just a people watcher who takes pictures of people whose clothes you like and then talk about the clothes. Still just a creep. 
But yeah, anyways, so I met these two girls at the Ferry Building while people watching and people sketching (another form of creeping) and I was quite impressed by their styles. It is sort of a mix of urban chic, minimalism, and bohemian. 
So today while getting dressed I thought about what I liked about their styles and tried to emulate it. I did this by wearing purple tights, boots, and a pencil skirt.
as I am lazy, I didn't want to take a full picture. So here is a nice one of my legs...
Isn't people watching fun?! Endless possibilities arise out of such a simple activity. I mean what could be simpler than sitting and looking at people? You don't even have to do anything like get up and turn on the TV. So easy. And yet, so educational and inspirational. 

Go forth my children and people watch 


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Hair-Color-Profiling: A Serious Issue

That’s it. I can’t take it any more. I am sick and tired of being discriminated against and I am speaking out. It is time that we dealt with this serious issue of inequality towards people like me. People who are treated differently for how they look, people who are considered inferior, people who are constantly the butt of others’ rude jokes. People who are BLONDE. Being blonde is not a crime. Being blonde is a natural (well sometimes unnatural thanks to beauty products) condition caused by genetics (or chemicals…). Being blonde does not, despite popular belief, cause some kind of brain deficiency that leads to a state of unintelligence. Sure, I enjoy a good dumb blonde joke as much as anyone, but when that starts to be the actual perception of those lucky enough to have a head covered with sun beams turned into hair, then that is just too much. In school people have always been amazed, even shocked sometimes, when I tell them that I have never had below a 3.8 GPA. Why? Are they assuming that simply because my hair looks as if it is glowing with golden fairy dust that I can’t be intelligent? Then that’s just mean. Seriously. My hair can’t help what color it is and that has absolutely no influence on the capacity of my brain. According to the oh so accurate and reliable Wikipedia: “The blonde stereotype, the stereotypical perception of blond-haired women, has two aspects. On one hand, over history, blonde hair in women has been considered attractive and desirable. On the other hand, a blonde woman is often perceived as making little use of intelligence and as a "woman who relied on her looks rather than on intelligence." The latter stereotype of "dumb blonde" is exploited in blonde jokes.

Why do we have this stereotype of the dumb blonde? I shall tell you.


There are many different origins of this stereotype, but one in particular begins in France with a French courtesan named Rosalie Duthe. She was satirized in a play called “Les Curiosities de la Foire” (1775) in which they emphasized her habit of pausing a long time before speaking thus appearing, not only stupid, but literally dumb (as in, she couldn’t speak). Because this was well publicized, it became fashionable to think of blonde women as witless.
Rosalie Duthe, painted by Claude-Jean-Baptiste Hoin
The dumb blonde stereotype was then deepened in the 19th century when it became fashionable for ladies to dye their hair with a lovely mixture of horse urine and bleach. Delicious. This dye was poured over the hair and then washed out after several hours of sitting in the sunshine. The fumes from this dye were quite toxic and it is to no surprise that the women who subjected themselves to this beauty ritual did in fact have a lower mental capacity. The blonder you were, the dumber you were. One famous example of this is Baby Doe Tabor, the second wife of pioneer Colorado businessman Horace Tabor. Known for her bubbly personality, fabulous social skills, and rather simple mind.
Elizabeth McCourt (Baby Doe) Tabor, 
And Finally, we have Marilyn Monroe. I’ve gotta say, she did the most for engraining this stereotype into society. I love her to death, but she was not exactly the brightest. At least she doesn’t seem particularly bright. Especially in any of her movies (see “Some Like It Hot” for reference).

Marilyn Monroe in "Some Like it Hot"

Whether it is because of these historic women (and there are many more) who were blonde and made an impression of simple mindedness or because blonde women are more beautiful and thus don’t need to be smart to get far in life (just a thought, not necessarily scientific fact) the truth of the fact is that it is perfectly possible to be smart and blonde. Just look at Elle Woods.

So please, no more hair-color-profiling. I’m sick of it. And I don’t want to have to dye my hair in order for people to take me seriously.