A few weeks ago I wrote a column at Kill Your Darlings about being a redhead, and the representation of redheads through the cinema. Redheads get a bit of a hard time, both in and as a result of their characterisation and treatment in films. I discovered this, too; I think, contrary to the old saying, that redheads have more fun. At least, that’s what everyone else thinks.
Soon after this I dyed my hair blonde. Not platinum; not quite, but I’ll get there. Three days after I did, I was in a butcher shop. The butcher asked me what I did; when I told him, he responded by saying with a disarming enthusiasm that I should be a supermodel. Here I was, after two years of hearing about men who have a “thing for redheads,” being told that I should be a supermodel. Firstly, I must offer that I look nothing at all like a model. Somewhat searching for further proof that people pigeonhole women by looking at their hair colour, I declared my experiment successful.
And on this note, The Atlantic has recently published a piece on Jean Harlow (“revealing” that her platinum blonde hair was a product of excessive dyeing) that is pretty heartbreaking. Most of what can be read about Jean Harlow is heartbreaking, particularly when related to her death at age 26. Of course, while the original blonde bombshell experienced what it was like to be a blonde, she played a part in spreading the mythology of the redhead around, too. And so it seems; there’s always something.