Dumb blonde

Dumb blonde

The dumb blonde is a popular-culture stereotype applied to blonde-haired women. The archetypical "dumb blonde", while viewed as attractive and popular, has been criticised as lacking in both common street-sense and academic intelligence, often to a comedic level. The dumb blonde stereotype is frequently used in the popular blonde jokes. The dumb blonde stereotype is often associated with a poor and sore manly stereotype.


Like many popular-culture stereotypes, the origins of this concept are murky. The 1925 Anita Loos novel "" (later used as source for a film by the same name made by Howard Hawks and starring Marilyn Monroe) featured the character Lorelei Lee, a beautiful but empty-headed singer. While some look to this as the source for the concept, in fact, it might be far older.

Some have suggested that, because Caucasian babies are often born with at least a touch of blonde hair, an association has arisen tying those having fair hair with childhood and youth (and the accompanying proclivities toward naïvité and/or innocence). Also, as blonde hair is often associated with physical attractiveness and youth, some argue that those around blondes may have a tendency to admire or fawn over them, encouraging some to behave in a child-like manner (consciously or not) in order to gain attention and affection.

In Medieval Europe, the upper classes tended to be darker haired than the peasantry, likely due to the period tendency to marry within one's own class and the fact that lower class people were far more exposed to sunlight. Blonde hair was, at this time, often associated with commoners, who were ostensibly deemed less intelligent. Puritans, associating makeup and the dyeing of hair with prostitution, forbade the dyeing or bleaching of hair, creating a subtle cultural taboo on dyed hair that lasted until the 1920s in parts of North America and Europe.

Around the beginning of the twentieth century, Western class stereotypes also led to the negative view of women with dyed blonde hair (or heavy makeup) as being gold diggers, seeking the attentions of men who were already financially well-established, and who were as such likely to already be married. This may have stemmed from the observation that bleached blonde hair (considered to be eye-catching) was a popular choice for the often poor, uneducated women who relied on their looks to make a living, and was common among actresses, singers, music hall performers, burlesque dancers, chorus girls and bar maids, as well as prostitutes. As women of the time typically did not work after marriage, married women still occupying such positions were rare and almost always of the lower economic classes. One of the only ways a woman might find relief from the need to support herself through such professions was to marry, but wealthy men were likely to find that a wife who had formerly been employed in the entertainment professions would not be accepted well into higher-class social circles. The practice of men beginning affairs with attractive working women which did not culminate in marriage is associated with the previously mentioned adage that "gentlemen may prefer blondes, but they marry brunettes".

It has been suggested that the concept of the 'dumb blonde' may also stem from the idea amongst the ancient Romans and Greeks that Northern Europeans were barbarians and thus less advanced than Southern Europeans and Europeans of South Plagious, the civilizations of Old Northern Middle East and North India (old aryans-bramahns).

One interesting notion is that the Scandinavian blonde is often connected to romantic nationalism, and the stereotype of the blonde farm girl or dairy maid. In the actual romantic movement, this type crystallized in literature, mainly Synnøve Solbakken by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson and the character of Solveig from Henrik Ibsen`s Peer Gynt. Although both characters are positive and even intelligent, tradition often gives them the "dumb blonde" trademark, more or less requited.

Appearances in popular culture

Numerous actresses have played characters labelled as "dumb blondes", famously including Marilyn Monroe, Jean Harlow, Jayne Mansfield, Marie Wilson, Judy Holliday (most notably in her Academy Award winning role in "Born Yesterday"), Suzanne Somers (primarily for her role as Chrissy Snow on "Three's Company"), and Goldie Hawn (for her persona on the variety show "Laugh-In"). The film "Legally Blonde" starring Reese Witherspoon featured the stereotype as a centerpiece of its plot. Country music legend Dolly Parton, aware of this occasional characterization of her, addressed it in her 1967 hit "Dumb Blonde" (though Parton's lyrics challenged the stereotype, stating "...just because I'm blonde, don't think I'm dumb 'cause this dumb blond ain't nobody's fool..."). Also, saying she was not offended by "all the dumb-blonde jokes because I know I'm not dumb. I'm also not blond." [Karen Thomas. " [http://www.usatoday.com/life/2003-10-27-blondes_x.htm She's having a blonde moment] ". October 27, 2003. USA Today.] More recently, Paris Hilton has been characterized as a dumb blonde due to her public persona, which is portrayed by popular culture as promiscuous and self-absorbed, and Jessica Simpson has been seen as one due primarily to her behavior on her TV series, "".

Blonde jokes

There is a common category of blonde jokes that employ the dumb-blonde stereotype for their effect. [cite journal
last = Greenwood
first = D
coauthors = LM Isbell
year = 2002
title = Ambivalent Sexism and the Dumb Blonde: Men's and Women's Reactions to Sexist Jokes
journal = Psychology of Women Quarterly
volume = 26
issue = 4
pages = 341–350
publisher = Blackwell Publishers
issn = 0361-6843
doi = 10.1111/1471-6402.t01-2-00073
] They usually involve a situation in which a blonde performs a random or dangerous act because she misconstrued the meaning of the words describing the act, to comedic results. Another variation employs two blondes, one as the recipient of the other's stupid question, only to give an even more ridiculous answer herself.

Essex girl

Local variants of the dumb-blonde stereotype (involving the same jokes and much the same use in popular culture) include the United Kingdom's "Essex girl" — a young, working class woman with an unsophisticated attitude to life. The stereotypical Essex girl wears a short skirt and high heels, and has bleached blonde hair, often pulled back in a severe style sometimes called an Essex facelift. She drinks Diamond White, a very strong cider, which makes her loud and vulgar. Nobody laughs harder at an Essex girl joke than she does. She wears white stilettos and drives a white Ford Fiesta. Essex girl is the female counterpart of Essex man; both came into currency during the 1980s property boom, when sectors of British society enjoyed an affluence hitherto reserved for the middle classes. Lately, the Essex girl image has waned, to be replaced in part by chavette; however, this is clearly a stereotypical view.eq. Alice Milne, the Leigh on Sea starlet starring in such soaps as Hollyoaks and Eastenders.

Valley girl

Alicia Silverstone in Amy Heckerling's "Clueless" played the part of a 'dumb blonde' valley girl. Valley girls, a now pejorative term, is used to describe young women in their teens and early twenties who are considered to be stereotypical spoiled brats, usually with wealthy parents and an active but superficial social life which revolves partially around the accquistion of material luxuries. According to the common stereotype, they are mostly blonde Caucasians who live in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, use distinctive words and expressions (such as "grody to the max"), and make excessive use of "totally", "whatever", and "like"; their dialect has become known as Valspeak.

Frank Zappa sang about these girls in his song "Valley Girl"; his daughter, Moon Unit Zappa, performed the Valspeak during the song, some of it improvised.

ee also

*Essex girl
*Valley girl
*Sex and intelligence
*Blonde jokes


External links

* [http://history.sandiego.edu/gen/snd/valleygirl.html "Valley Girl" lyrics] - Lyrics to the song that popularised the valley girl phenomenon.
* [http://www.dumbblonde.tv Dumb Blonde, No Jokes] - A Little Guide For Big Girls

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См. также в других словарях:

  • dumb blonde — noun (in films, etc) the stock character of a blonde haired beauty of limited intelligence • • • Main Entry: ↑dumb * * * dumb blonde UK US noun [countable] [singular dumb blonde plural …   Useful english dictionary

  • dumb blonde — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms dumb blonde : singular dumb blonde plural dumb blondes an insulting word for a woman with blonde hair who is considered to be sexually attractive but not very intelligent …   English dictionary

  • dumb blonde — noun a) A female preoccupied with appearance while neglecting intellectual pursuits, (often taken to extremes); a blonde bimbo. Have you found the canonical list of dumb blonde jokes on the internet yet? b) By extension, infrequently used to… …   Wiktionary

  • Another Dumb Blonde — Infobox Single Name = Another Dumb Blonde Artist = Hoku from Album = Hoku Released = January 2000 Format = CD Single, Cassette Single Recorded = circa 1999 Genre = Pop Length = 3:53 Label = Interscope Records Writer = Antonina Armato and Tim… …   Wikipedia

  • Blonde jokes — are a class of jokes based on a stereotype of dumb blonde women. [cite journal last = Thomas first = Jeannie B. year = 1997 title = Dumb Blondes, Dan Quayle, and Hillary Clinton: Gender, Sexuality, and Stupidity in Jokes journal = The Journal of… …   Wikipedia

  • Blonde stereotype — The blonde stereotype, the stereotypical perception of blond haired women, has two aspects. On one hand, over the history, blonde hair in women has been considered attractive and desirable. On the other hand, a blonde woman is often perceived as… …   Wikipedia

  • dumb — dumb1 S3 [dʌm] adj [: Old English;] 1.) informal stupid ▪ What a dumb question. ▪ a bunch of dumb kids ▪ What is it? I asked, playing dumb (=pretending to be stupid) . ▪ She s no dumb blonde (=a pretty woman with blonde hair who seems stupid) . 2 …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • dumb — adj. 1 a (of a person) unable to speak, usu. because of a congenital defect or deafness. b (of an animal) naturally unable to speak (our dumb friends). 2 silenced by surprise, shyness, etc. (struck dumb by this revelation). 3 taciturn or reticent …   Useful english dictionary

  • blonde — {{Roman}}I.{{/Roman}} noun ADJECTIVE ▪ attractive, beautiful, gorgeous, pretty, sexy, stunning ▪ blue eyed ▪ dumb …   Collocations dictionary

  • dumb blond — (also dumb blonde) n. informal a blond haired woman perceived in a stereotypical way as being attractive but unintelligent …   Useful english dictionary

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