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“Blond hair is more beautiful” - Laura Ingalls Wilder’s response

Thursday, March 21, 2013

This is an addendum to my Tuesday blog entry
A brown eyed girl’s search for a brown eyed doll (circa 1955)

Ironically, on Tuesday afternoon my eleven year old granddaughter was writing a book report on “The Little House in the Big Woods” the first of Wilder’s “Little House” series.
She was describing the characters.

“Everyone knows that blond hair is more beautiful” blond Mary told her brown haired sister Laura.

Laura’s response? She slugged her!

Of course she was disciplined by her mother and I don’t advocate violence, but even back in the 1880s without constant media images before their eyes, girls were aware of society’s preference for certain physical characteristics. It either made them accept it or it made them mad.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I remember the commercials a number of years ago for the "Blondes have more fun" ad for one of the hair dye companies. I am a natural blonde, but kind of a dishwater blonde. Now there is gray added in. For years I lightened my hair to make it more blond an get the dishwater color out. But then about 2 years ago I decided to try being a redhead for some unknown reason. But really liked it and a lot of people told me it went well with my skin tone and looked good on me so I kept it. I hadn't noticed any change of my level of fun from being a blonde to a redhead LOL. I do have a brother who is a natural redhead. But yes, people do prefer certain physical characteristics. But then blondes also got all the "dumb blonde" jokes. I think over the years I heard literally a few hundred of them. Hair color really doesn't matter in your level of fun or your intelligence. It's more about the inside than the outside LOL! But I guess stereotypes have been around forever.
    2452 days ago
  • DR1939
    I am blond, and I have a blond daughter and a brunette daughter. My blond daughter and I always thought that "blondes have more fun," was the entire sentence until my brunette daughter, a teenager at the time, informed us that the rest was "but brunette are smarter." We all see through filters. The conversation came about because the blondes were complaining about being perceived as dumb.

    BTW, I live 20 miles from Walnut Grove/Plum Creek in Minnesota. One of my friends, a retired history professor at South Dakota State University, is a renowed expert on Laura Ingalls Wilder.
    2452 days ago

    Comment edited on: 3/21/2013 10:52:23 AM
    Stereotypes have been around forever, haven't they?!
    2452 days ago
    I LOVE the Little House books! Little House in the Big Woods was one of the first chapter books I remember reading. (I have brown eyes as well and I deeply sympathized with Laura.)
    2452 days ago
    I love that you referenced Laura Ingalls!
    2452 days ago
    ha! Thanks for the memory. I loved that part.
    2452 days ago
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