November 24 – Brownielocks Day

Posted on November 24, 2014

Someone created a day to celebrate dark hair and brunettes, because light-colored hair and blonds are so generally noticed and celebrated. I guess the inspiration for the name of the day is that there are stories about Goldilocks with her famous golden curls, but no stories starring Brownielocks.

Why do blonds get more attention? Why is there a saying “Blonds have more fun”? Why are there stereotypical “dumb blond” jokes? What does hair color have to do with anything?

Our bodies produce a pigment called melanin. It is the thing that gives our hair, our eyes, and our skin different colors. The more melanin you have in your hair, the darker your hair.

Black is the most common hair color in the world, and brown is the second most common. Blond hair – which ranges from almost white to sort of yellow to a deep gold color that is close to light brown – is much more rare; only about 2% of the world's population is born blond, and most blonds have brown hair when they are adults (unless of course they bleach or dye their hair). Red hair is even more rare, and is often noticed and commented on even more than is blond hair.

So blonds are more noticed because they are more rare. Nowadays, however, soooooo many people frequently and easily change their hair color, natural blonds and redheads will probably get less attention because there are so many “bottle blonds” and redheads about.

Of course there is no connection between natural hair color and intelligence. Probably the two main reasons for the unkind “dumb blond” jokes are:

(1) A lot of blond teens and adults are people who lighten and dye their hair, and some of them care a lot about image, fashion, and / or seeming to be younger than they are; some people interpret those values as shallow and frivolous.

(2) Since blonds tend to get more attention, unkind jokes and stereotypes could well be the product of jealousy.

To celebrate brownielocks day, we are encouraged to heap attention on the brunettes in our lives, to wear brown and eat brown foods (mmm, brownies!), and to enjoy our teddy bears. (Goldilocks shouldn't get all of the fun of hanging with bears, right?)

Also on this date:

Anniversary of the discovery of “Lucy”

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