to ask what is so special about blond hair

(457 Posts)
pocpocpoc Thu 29-Jul-21 18:20:54

My husband is white and English, I am not white and foreign. I have dark hair and my genetics pretty much guarantee that my children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren are almost 100% likely to have dark hair too.

DH's brother is married to a white English woman and their daughter is the same age as DD. She is taller than DD and has blond hair. Both are nice young ladies, reasonably attractive, but in different ways.

Something that bothered me for a long time, but I could only put a finger on recently, is how MIL (and others in the family) talk about DD's cousin's blond hair and height, almost as a counter-point to anything DD does that is of mention. For instance: "Well done for getting 12 A* GCSEs (saving a child from fire, winning Olympics, getting a Nobel prize), so proud of you being so academic/brave/athletic/hard-working and also of your cousin, who is a tall blond". I find it strange that DD is typically praised for something she has done and worked hard for, while her cousin is praised only for her looks.

Where it is getting ridiculous is that I noticed DH's sister doing the same thing, this time with our boys. Not long ago she said to me "aren't you lucky that your son has such a good friend to play with, with his beautiful head of blond hair" - the sentence really didn't make sense to me. Thinking back I realised that the blond hair has been brought up every time we met in the last couple of years.

In my culture we don't attribute any special value to blond hair. It is very rare, usually means that the blond person is of another ethnicity. Some people get their hair bleached, but it does not confer any superiority or praise. So help me to understand: what is so special about blond hair? AIBU to be bothered? AIBU to detect a hint of racism?

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malificent7 Thu 29-Jul-21 18:23:15

It is odd and perhaps not racist but people gush over blondes....i think they are percieved dofferently..more unusual perhaps?

Comedycook Thu 29-Jul-21 18:23:41

It baffles me too. As a child in the 1980s I remember being made to feel vastly inferior next to the blonde girls in my class. The teachers and parents would fawn all over them and they'd get special treatment. Vomit!

Wooollffff Thu 29-Jul-21 18:25:17

I suppose it’s unusual and associated with glamour. I associate it with young children and Barbie dolls.

My mum comes from a country where it is much more common, especially ash blind and personally I don’t find it attractive especially on men.

One of my daughters is a tall blond but has dyed her hair pink!

Pedalpushers Thu 29-Jul-21 18:26:11

It is a strange thing that people tend to fawn over in children, perhaps because most won't remain blonde past childhood? Adults in general are odd about children's hair, in particular blonde hair or curls.

owlbethere Thu 29-Jul-21 18:26:16

I don’t know. But I do know I was followed and had multiple men ask to buy me in Turkey when I was a teenager with very blonde hair. The same happened to my daughter in Marrakesh.
It was nuts!

pocpocpoc Thu 29-Jul-21 18:26:59

Comedycook

It baffles me too. As a child in the 1980s I remember being made to feel vastly inferior next to the blonde girls in my class. The teachers and parents would fawn all over them and they'd get special treatment. Vomit!

How interesting! In my country blonds are quite rare and no one makes fuss about them.

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SuziLikeSuziQ Thu 29-Jul-21 18:27:48

On the flip side, I have very dark hair and brown eyes and so does my family. My DH had blue eyes and was lighter-haired when younger although grey now. My mum and SIL can't get over how my son has blond hair and blue eyes, as according to my mum that "goes against everything I know about genetics". They mention it a lot. I just shrug.

Sometimes people just need to mention looks. I'd feel sorry for your niece, who apparently will only ever be her height and hair colour to your MIL. At least your daughter's achievements are noted, surely?

IcedPurple Thu 29-Jul-21 18:28:42

Globally, natural blonde hair is very rare amongst adults. Even in famously blonde Scandinavia, most people are not natural blondes. In much of the world almost nobody naturally has blonde hair. Sure, these days, anyone can be blonde with a 10 quid box of Nice 'n' Easy, but perhaps blonde hair has traditionally been prized because it is so rare?

Malibukev Thu 29-Jul-21 18:30:16

My DD is two. Someone made a comment the other day, oh you'll have to wait h her when she's older blonde hair blue eyes. It really got my back up.

It must be so awful for your DN to only be commended on her appearance.

2LostSoulsSwimmingInAFishBowl Thu 29-Jul-21 18:31:57

Is it maybe because the blonde children resemble your MIL (even in a very shallow way) than your children do? My ex MIL was obsessed with pointing out any similarities between my children and people in her own family. She even said it was “a shame” that her own sister didn’t have any children who look like her due to their mixed ethnicity. Not sure it bothered the sister but it bother my MIL enough to keep mentioning it.

As an aside, it must be tiresome for your niece to have her hair colour keep being mentioned over and over. Does anyone have anything positive to say about her actual achievements?

pocpocpoc Thu 29-Jul-21 18:33:11

SuziLikeSuziQ

On the flip side, I have very dark hair and brown eyes and so does my family. My DH had blue eyes and was lighter-haired when younger although grey now. My mum and SIL can't get over how my son has blond hair and blue eyes, as according to my mum that "goes against everything I know about genetics". They mention it a lot. I just shrug.

Sometimes people just need to mention looks. I'd feel sorry for your niece, who apparently will only ever be her height and hair colour to your MIL. At least your daughter's achievements are noted, surely?

Good point re niece being only her height and hair colour - I didn't think about it, but it is very sad.

Re your mum's and SIL's comments - do they suspect you are not the biological mother?? grin Even in my country where we are all dark haired and dark eyed, a blond blue or green-eyed child is occasionally born. Yes, this is how genetics work.

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stclair Thu 29-Jul-21 18:35:30

I grew up in a blonde family and my mother always (and still does) gush over babies with dark hair and brown eyes. Maybe it’s because it’s different to the norm for them.

StoneofDestiny Thu 29-Jul-21 18:35:52

The other side is that some blondes complain they are not taken seriously, perceived to be unintelligent or 'having blonde moments'. Must say I think glossy brown hair is stunning and envied by many - I wouldn't dream of comparing children on looks.

IonaLeg Thu 29-Jul-21 18:36:20

It’s weird, isn’t it? It has a really strong association with glamour and beauty, even though other hair colours are often (obviously just in my opinion) more beautiful, glossier, more interesting etc.

I suppose it’s a hangover from the whole idea of the ‘blonde bombshell’. And maybe because it can be high maintenance (blonde hair is often bleached, so needs careful management and care) it’s associated with wealth and privilege?

It’s pretty creepy in respect of children in particular. It’s weird and off putting that your family are so fixated on it, especially when it comes to kids.

pocpocpoc Thu 29-Jul-21 18:36:50

stclair

I grew up in a blonde family and my mother always (and still does) gush over babies with dark hair and brown eyes. Maybe it’s because it’s different to the norm for them.

If this were the case, then my mixed race dark haired and darker skinned children would be 'different to the norm'

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Maria53 Thu 29-Jul-21 18:37:24

I get this as a redhead and have watched my aunt being treated as you describe as a natural blonde. As others have said, I think it's the rarity.

5128gap Thu 29-Jul-21 18:39:18

Natural blonde hair often contains many different colours including almost metallic silvers and gold. It catches the light and draws attention. Red hair is similar for this and a lot of people love that too.
The difference is blonde has also had great PR, with the likes of Marilyn Monroe making it glamorous for adults, and depictions of angels and princesses making it desirable for children.

bakingdemon Thu 29-Jul-21 18:40:51

My DS has fair hair (though it's gradually getting darker) and blue eyes and the people who comment on it most in our local area are people who are of a different ethnicity to him - he gets called "blondie" by our binmen (black Caribbean) and the guys in the garage at the end of the road (Turkish).

Torrentialraindownhere Thu 29-Jul-21 18:55:06

I can understand where you're coming from.

My children are mixed race. They have dark hair.

DSD is also mixed but has blonde hair.

It irks me when OH gushes about it, especially in DD's presence.

Hair is hair. I don't think blonde children are any more beautiful than darker haired children. They are both nice looking children but somehow DSD outshines DD because she happens to be blonde.

TheLightSideOfTheMoon Thu 29-Jul-21 18:58:24

I grew up in a tourist town with blonde hair and tourist taking photos of me was a frequent thing.

Very unnerving when you’re 12/13/14 and feeling self-conscious about your changing body and so forth.

It’s died burgundy now(although in honestly it’s probably pretty grey underneath).

Freddiefox Thu 29-Jul-21 18:58:51

It’s a shame for you dn that’s she’s defined and her value is the sum of her hair.

pocpocpoc Thu 29-Jul-21 18:58:56

@2LostSoulsSwimmingInAFishBowl

As an aside, it must be tiresome for your niece to have her hair colour keep being mentioned over and over. Does anyone have anything positive to say about her actual achievements?

Not sure how she feels about it, but it is quite undermining for DD to see that her hard work and achievements are compared as equal in value to something others are born with.
There is also an implied message that DD is not as attractive - again, wrong on so many levels. Both are pretty in the young person type of way. Neither is a stand-out 'cover of a magazine' /model beauty. Just your average teenagers, probably with an equal number of admirers.

OP’s posts: |
serenstar89 Thu 29-Jul-21 19:00:02

https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/science/2010/jun/04/men-blonde-women-attractive

FangsForTheMemory Thu 29-Jul-21 19:00:07

It's relatively unusual and in some parts of the world, nobody is naturally blond. I remember being on holiday in Tunisia in a large tour group and there was a girl with natural white-blonde hair and blue eyes and the Tunisians were clearly intrigued by this.

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