More Than Just Fun: 5 Ways To Debunk The 'Dumb-Blonde' Stereotype
I was born a platinum blonde, blue-eyed girl. My platinum color gradually faded into dirty blonde over the years, but my classification, based on sandy hair color, has never left my side.
When I was in the seventh grade, one of my teachers took attendance on the first day of class and said, “Stephanie. Whoa. What an absolute perfect name for a dumb blonde like you.”
This guy was a little crude and rough around the edges, but nevertheless was really content in making this claim without remotely knowing who I was.
I remember telling him in front of the entire class that he should guess again, that I was very smart and I would show him by getting 100 on his final exam and in his class as a whole.
When I reigned victoriously with a perfect score at the end of the year, I really wonder who felt like the true dummy.
We, blondes, have it tough. Collectively speaking, we do not pack an IQ of 20, nervously giggle at everything that comes from every guy’s mouth or think that Cheerios are really little mini donuts.
It’s as if Carolus Linnaeus invented a taxonomic system of classification for females based on hair color (wow, didn’t that scientific analogy make me seem so smart?!)
To quote one of my favorite classy blondes, Phoebe Buffay, “I may play the fool at times, but I’m a little more than just a pretty blonde girl with an ass that won’t quit.”
Here are five ways to effectively sabotage that dumb blonde stereotype, and be taken seriously, once and for all:
Whether you are in the workplace or in a personal setting, show that you mean business. Twirling your hair, cracking your gum and appearing to be an unassuming female will not help your street cred.
Instead, be sure to flash a confident smile, be prepared to wield a firm handshake and let verbal eloquence shine through your spoken words. Once someone sees you as a formidable opponent or confident woman, his or her perception of you will drastically change.
You do not want to be feared by anyone — you want to receive the same level of respect that you would give unto others.
Voice your opinion
Don’t be a passive aggressive martyr who just avoids arguments or opts never to vocalize your beliefs.
You matter and your voice deserves to be heard. This reigns true in the classroom, workplace and within relationships. Don’t sit back and take it; fight back and state your point of view (in a highly cordial fashion, of course).
You do not want to be that girl who does not know how to make a judgment call or stand up for herself within conversation or debate. If Elle Woods can stand up in front of a courtroom and kick ass, so can you.
Don’t ask questions that you know the answers to
We’ve all been there; you lower yourself and ask a guy a question in order to make him feel like the bigger and better person, even though you already know the answer.
Example: “Who is the 44th president of the United States? Barack Obama, right?” This is a prime example of a question that would earn you an A+ in “Stupid Questions 101.” Maybe that’s more of a drastic interpretation, but you get the point.
There is never a need to act presumptuous around others and make it known that your brain is overflowing with aptitude, but by intentionally dumbing yourself down for attention, you look even worse.
Think about when Cady Heron asked Aaron Samuels to tutor her in Math. She caught his attention, no doubt, but wound up failing the class in exchange for it. Don’t be a brainless ditz, even if that persona makes guys fall for you hook, line and sinker.
Have fun, but not too much fun
Blondes may have more fun, but you know what I’m saying — don’t go too ham at parties and work events.
Don’t take sloppy selfies with the entire world at Sunday’s boozy brunch. Don’t dress risqué to the extent that your grandmother would be shocked and appalled if she saw you. Don’t let the walk of shame be your routine weekend workout.
Conduct yourself in an appropriate manner. You can let loose and have fun, but don’t let it get to the point that you are someone who is capable of being taken advantage of.
Go ahead and wear that tiny LBD and drink that martini — just don’t let there be tagged photos of you with glassy eyes and provocative poses on Facebook the next morning. In layman's terms, don’t be a bimbo.
As previously stated, once others are aware of your internal makeup, they will not read into your physiological appearance with such a fine-toothed comb.
Randomly whip out your ability to speak fluent Italian. Talk about your 350-page dissertation and how it’s been published in law manuals.
Give opinions on the defensive strategy that your native football team recently implemented in last night’s game, or how the cacao content of Café A’s espresso rivaled the bitterness of Café B’s.
Don’t be afraid to show your smarts. You may intimidate people (especially because they may assume that blondes aren’t that smart). But, stay true to you, my blonde sisters.
You do not lack common sense, but wield sexuality and power. Hair color doesn’t define the person; the person defines the hair color.