Feminist Criticism

BLEACHED OUT: Various portrayals of the blonde in cinema

As a life-long, die hard Marilyn fan, I’ve always been a bit obsessed with blonde hair, and with bleach. For someone with naturally brownish-blondish-reddish coloured hair that is neither one thing nor the other, the appeal of having sunny golden tresses that are undeniably blonde has always been painfully apparent to me. I spent a long time bleaching my hair to create a look similar to that of my peroxide heroines, despite all the negative assumptions that blonde hair can bring with it. It was always a bit of a double-edged sword, being bleached. For every person who thought ‘Marilyn’ there was another who thought ‘Paris’. For every person who noticed my dark eye make-up and fake fur coat and thought ‘Margot Tenenbaum’ there was someone else who thought ‘crack whore’. I wanted to be like Saorise Ronan in Hanna, and slay my enemies with my white hair whipping past covered in blood, but most people didn’t get it. To a dude (most of the time) blonde is just blonde. But whenever I dyed my hair, I was always going for a specific blonde; a character. So I thought I’d have a little look at how blondes are stereotyped, and the characters I’ve tried to imitate over the years.

The Popular Blonde: Cher Horowitz, Elle Woods, Regina George

1

These girls tend to wear a lot of pink and have a pre-occupation with looking hot. They are the queen bees; sometimes bitchy, sometimes not; sometimes ditzy, sometimes not. They have a lot of money and can afford the most expensive highlights. Some drive convertibles. Some overlook a smart, decent guy right until the end and then live happily ever after. All of them have friends, unlike…

The Cult Blonde: Margot Tenenbaum, Lux Lisbon

2

Cult blonde heroines are tragic, solitary, and enigmatic. They say very little, preferring to let their aloof demeanour and perfectly off-beat taste speak for them. They smoke a lot of cigarettes and inspire sometimes devotion from their mere mortal admirers, sometimes dying tragically from an OD or suicide, or occasionally running away for a better life only to fall into prostitution.

The Deadly Blonde: Beatrix Kiddo, Hanna, Babydoll

3

These girls are tough, trained to kill and usually have a vendetta driving them, something that is sufficiently awful to make their violent rampage a bit of a laugh with a popcorn and a coke;  you know their past is scattered with abuse, rape, or some murdered parents, and so watching them hack a man’s head off with a machete becomes quite amusing. They aren’t doing it for pleasure, rather, calculated vengeance (or to save the world) and they seem very mentally stable in comparison to Nutcase Blondes, those queens of sexual tension, often found in religious cults or on their way to an asylum.

By Holly

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