“Ditzy Blonde”

Over the course this term I have learned a great deal from researching some of my identities such as young blonde female in the media. I wasn’t surprised by my research because it was a stereotype that I was already familiar with, the “ditzy blonde”. Not only have I learned how my identity is portrayed in the media and how others with the same identity feel about that, I have also learned excellent ways to find sources. Through watching young blonde females in media then reading studies and reviews on the media revealed the stereotypes that follow those identities.

Learning how to navigate the Portland State University library was helpful and where to go within the site to look for a specific type of source. An assignment that we completed in mentor session that I actually found extremely helpful was the Search for Resources Library Tutorial. It walked through each type of source you may need for a research paper and how to find it through the libraries site. This was helpful because before I would just search some key words and then what type of source I was looking for, for example “Blonde Stereotypes Peer reviewed journal”. Through taking the tutorial I also learned that there is a more effective way to search and use key words for example capitalizing AND to separate two key words, and placing parenthesis around words that should be searched together.

Another important concept that I learned was primary and secondary sources and why they are both important. A primary source would be data such as a chart and then a secondary source would be analysis of the chart. A secondary source for my identities would be this article analyzing a primary source, which was an IQ test.

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/forget-dumb-blondes-study-reveals-7606038

The article is going over the results of an IQ test that was done on people of every hair color the primary source (the IQ test) stated that blondes averaged an IQ of 103.2, brunettes a 102.7, redheads with 101.2 and people with black hair come in last with a 100.5. The article goes on to analyze the first source as to explaining that this is possibly why blondes are the chosen identity to play the “ditzy” person. It hypothesizes that the reason that blonde wear the chosen hair color to play the ditzy character was because they were truly the smartest hair color. This is a secondary source because it is making assumptions based off the evidence that the primary source had presented.

The next source that I looked at was one that was actually recommended to me in a comment and that was legally blonde. In case you have not seen this movie it is about a young blonde that fits perfectly with the typical stereotypes of that hair color, superficial, ditzy, doesn’t’ work for what they have. But after her boyfriend Owen breaks up with her before leaving for grad school for being too dumb, she defies the stereotype and goes to law school while using her social butterfly personality to her advantage in school. This was a fun source to look at because it is one that addresses the typical stereotypes for someone with the identities of a young blonde female but then also shows that same female rising above and accomplishing great things.

This movie spoke volumes because it magnified some sterotypes but used them in a positive way. Elle woods, the star of Legally Blonde wears pink glitter everything, and even carries her chiuaha in her purse, she loves to have fun and can come across as materialistic and dumb. After being told that’s not enough she shows young women that you can be pretty and be smart.

legally_blonde_-_h_-_2016

This image is a clip from the movie and it is an excellent example of the stereotype that blondes are into pink and glitter and heels. At the same time it is deifying the stereotype of the ditzy blonde as she is standing in a power pose as the lawyer in the courtroom in a case, which she won in the movie based on her knowledge of makeup and beauty.

After Elle wins big and proves that you can be smart blonde and pretty

I found a review of the movie by someone that blogs by the name of “the rogue feminist”. http://theroguefeminist.tumblr.com/post/113358128353/legally-blonde-feminist-review-and-analysis She discusses how Elle Woods the lead in the movie is a role model to young women. After being dumped for being “too blonde” she rose up and proved him wrong. She goes on to review how this movie puts many aspects in a positive light such as female friendship; Elle supports her friend and encourages her to leave her abusive husband. The first time watching this movie I did not notice this until I had read the review and it got me thinking about it. When looking at the two females they seem opposite in appearance, but regardless Elle encourages and helps another female, even though women are typically known for being caddy.

Another film that sends a similar message to legally blonde would be House Bunny. When a playboy bunny gets kicked out of the mansion some sorority girls allow her to stay there so she will help them become more sociable to create more pledges to the home. The message is again that extensive knowledge of makeup and beauty can be used to either win a case or in this instance help some young girls save their sorority home.HouseBunny_2lg.jpg

The concept of the dumb blonde also has a negative effect on the way men think of women. Dara Greenwood and Linda Isbell wrote a journal on a study of Men and Women’s reactions to dumb blonde jokes. They revealed that after listening to dumb blonde jokes men the men found them more funny and less offensive than women and this also correlated with them being higher in hostile sexism. Presenting the stereotype of the dumb blonde as funny and a joke teaches men that it is okay and humorous to be offensive. This journal demonstrates why it is a bad idea to place negative stereotypes around an identity; it teaches society that these people are less because of their appearances.

Overall I noticed that my identities of a young blonde female are not represented very positively in popular culture. Blondes are typically played out as the ditzy materialistic character and their the only hair color with e category of jokes dedicated to it. Through movies such as legally blonde teaching girls that you can love to be beautiful and pamper yourself but also go to school and be success at the same time.

 

https://typeset-beta.imgix.net/rehost%2F2016%2F9%2F13%2F92b3e3b1-7bb2-4334-9073-374f7f593191.jpg

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/forget-dumb-blondes-study-reveals-7606038

Legally blonde. Dir. Robert Luketic. N.p., n.d. Web.

Theroguefeminist. “Legally Blonde – Feminist Review and Analysis.” The rogue feminist. N.p., 11 Mar. 2015. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Waghorn, Mark. “Ever used a ‘dumb blonde’ cliche? Science has something to say about them.” Mirror. N.p., 23 Mar. 2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

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11 thoughts on ““Ditzy Blonde”

  1. Hi Christine,

    I’ve watched quite a few movies where there is that “Ditzy Blonde” you discussed in your post which includes “Legally Blonde”. One movie I’d like to name is “Mean Girls”. In “Mean Girls”, one character named Regina George is a rich blonde girl who simply believes another girl that eating this Swedish chocolate bar will make her lose five pounds. As a result, she gains weight believing that it would decrease her weight. In contrast to “Legally Blonde,” “Mean Girls” was released three years after it, and the movie doesn’t quite portray a positive image of blondes. When you stated, “Overall I noticed that my identities of a young blonde female are not represented very positively in popular culture,” I think that the media overall shows an inconsistent image of blondes in particular. Other than that, I agree that blonde females are represented through less positive stereotypes. Good work!

  2. Before coming to America I was always watching movies, and TV series to improve my English and its true that blonde women or “Ditzy Blonde” are all mainly shown in a very similar light to one another, and not in a particularly good one. I appreciate the in depth look at the artifacts you choose, and it opened my eyes to the fact that being labeled as only pretty, is not fair and in the long run created this stereotype that blonde women are just sexual objects, which is absolutely terrible, as every person has so much more to offer than there looks.

    Thank you so much for sharing

  3. I definitely agree with your post. Throughout most media still today, ditzy blondes are perceived to be sexual figures. This is not always the best light to shine them in because it categorizes them and depreciates from their other characteristics that they have to share with the world and I think you did a good job of covering that. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I like the stereotype you chose to examine! I recently went from having long, black hair to chopping it off into a blonde bob. I have noticed a difference in the way people approach me, which seems strange. People seem to take me less seriously and I am occasionally talked down to more. If I make a mistake, it’s more likely to be attributed to my hair color than before. I like that you included Elle Woods, since she is a multidimensional character. She proves being cute and blonde, and smart and successful are not mutually exclusive. Great work!

  5. Hi Christine,
    It’s truly annoying to have your identity wrongly portrayed by the media. I like the examples you used, they are different from most movies I have seen that considered blonde girls not very smart. Media likes to get everything wrong for the purpose of entertaining without caring if they were true or not, and this goes to most of the identities out there. I enjoy reading your post. Keep it up!

  6. Hi @christineking6
    I enjoyed reading your blog post. I don’t know how many times I think about how wrongly they show people with blond hair as well as burnest. I have had some blond friend that have proved the stereotype right but for the most part, I don’t think anyone acts a certain way just because of your hair color. really every group has people are like the “ditzy blond” and there are those that are super smart and I love that you showed us how badly that is miss represented in today’s Popular culture. Something I wish you could have shown us is maybe some secondary sources that showed the smart blonds so that we can see that real people are smart no matter what their hair color is. I really enjoyed it and I hope that you keep on doing this type of amazing work in the rest of your collage classes!

  7. Hi Christine,
    I enjoyed reading your blog. And i agree with you. Most of the time women who are blondes are portrayed as “not as smart”. But at the end of the day, hair color does not determine how smart someone is. Knowledge is power. And you gain knowledge by hardworking and dedication. It is up to the person not their hair. Great blog!

  8. Hi christineking6,

    My favorite part about your post was that you talked about how high each hair color scored on the IQ tests, it was cool to see that blondes happened to score the highest when they’re seen as the most “ditzy”. I also like how you followed it up that its hypothesized that they’re seen as the ditzy ones because in reality they’re the smartest. I get where you come from with being a blonde and automatically being assumed as not being smart, it must be a crappy feeling to have people thinking they have you all figured out just because of the color of your hair. Well like these movie examples listed above, prove them wrong just like they did. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Hi Christine,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post. I found this topic very interesting.I also agree with your post when you mention that blondes are treated differently. It isn’t fair how blonde girls are portrayed as “ditzy.” I think this stereotype is used all the time. The sources you chose are great for your topic. I’ve seen both of these movies and both girls are portrayed as ditzy. Legally blonde portrays a blonde girly girl that is also smart and successful. This movie is a perfect example that women can be both blonde and successful.

    Thank you for sharing!

    Berlynn

  10. Although my hair is dyed black right now, I am Swedish and naturally have very light blonde hair, and I hated the stereotype of “ditzy blonde” so much that I made it my personal mission to prove people otherwise throughout my life, but looking back, I should’ve just fought for the notion of accepting people in the first place as equally capable regardless of what their hair color is. Intelligence should never be attributed to cosmetic aspects of a person but sadly often is in media and our everyday lives thanks to perpetual stereotyping and portrayal of different groups of people. Blondes have the ability smart, just like any other hair type, and I wish that all people shared such a belief. Personally I love Legally Blonde, as it shows that although the main girl isn’t perfect, makes mistakes like anyone, but is still powerful and smart.

  11. Hi Christine,
    I really enjoyed your post. I especially loved the point you made how this stereotype lets guys think its okay to be offensive and disrespectful towards women. We really need to take a step back and encouraging these negative stereotypes. The fact that we base how smart a person is off of their hair color is ridiculous and how some of these stereotypes get started is ridiculous as well. The examples you used were great and really showed that you can be beautiful and smart/blonde and smart. Anyone can be successful, it doesn’t matter what your hair color is.

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