|Photo by Sara Lando|
Noun & adjective. Also (feminine) brunette. Mid-16th century.
(A white person, in form -ette especially a woman or girl) with a dark complexion or (now usually) brown hair.
Of the complexion: dark.
Have you heard the one about the stupid brunette? Probably not. As brunettes are stereotypically serious, independent, hard-working and above average intelligence (at least for women), they really don't make the best comedic material. Not like blondes, anyway, who, as everyone knows, are really rather stupid. Oh, and brunettes can be really bitchy. And they're no fun. Sure, they're classy, but what man digs classy when you can have a ditzy dumb promiscuous blonde hanging off your arm?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Don't shoot the messenger - this is what's out there: a study in 2005 in which 1,500 men were shown three photos of the same woman, digitally altered to give her blonde, brunette and red hair respectively, found that the brunette was consistently judged to be intelligent (81%), independent and self-sufficient (67%) and stable and competent (62%). The blonde, on the other hand, was judged to be extrovert, needy and lacking in self-sufficiency. And no, redheads didn't escape the penetrating psychological insights of the average man either - you're all intelligent (so well done you), but you're also fiery, temperamental and neurotic, so get over it.
|The proof: all girls are nuts, regardless of hair colour|
(oh ... and blondes and brunettes can be friends)
So, as brunettes are smart, dependable, independent and classy (if a bit on the dull and unapproachable side), do they fare better than blondes when it comes to the stereotypes of hair-colourism? If the standard is to be judged by their ability to attract a man, then they do rather well - while the blonde is good for an easy, no-(intelligent)-questions-asked fling, the brunette is the man's choice for long-term stability and a touch of class, and there are plenty of brunette sex symbols to counter the suggestion that blondes are automatically more attractive: Natalie Portman, Joan Collins, Sophia Loren, Angelina Jolie and Audrey Hepburn, to name but a few. If, however, we assume for a second that maybe - just maybe - a brunette woman's aspirations and validation as a human being might not revolve around successfully attracting men, then maybe no, she doesn't fare any better than any other person who is judged on the basis of superficial physical characteristics. It's just a thought.
Oh, yes, and semantically, brunet is an interesting word because, like blond, it is one of the few words in English to have a masculine and feminine form (although, unlike blond, the masculine brunet is almost never used in written or spoken English). I almost forgot to mention that, seething as I still am, enraged if you will, at my gender being described as a different "species" in that BBC article. The cheek of it. The bally cheek of it!
|Know your place, woman! Such buffoonery is most unbecoming of your kind.|
(photo by Flavio Photography)
Are you a smart, self-sufficient and classy brunette?
Are you a boring, stuck-up, unapproachable brunette?
Are you a browned-off brunet aggrieved at all the attention brunettes are getting?
Do please leave your most above-average intelligence but rather conventional comments below.