Sometimes I forget that I have blonde hair. That's because I've spent most of my pre-adult and adult life trying to make others ignore that fact. I've always been aware that people pre-judge me based on how I look. And every time I meet a new person I know I have to overcome their unfair expectations. No, I'm not high maintenance; I live in jeans and Chucks. No, I don't work out all the time and eat celery and rice cakes; in fact I hate the gym and eat lots of meat. No, I never cheered for sports other than when I watch my favorite football team. No thank you, I don't want a cocktail, I want a beer (and I don't want a glass for it).
I had college professors who were guilty of assigning me some societal role based on how I look. One told me that he was sure I had been a cheerleader in high school. Another said to me that I "looked like the girl who dates the quarterback." Who were they to say these things to me without knowing anything but my name and student ID number? Should I have said to them, "you look like the guy who jacks off to pre-teen internet porn every night?" Or, "you look like someone who used to be thin and now your self-loathing causes you to be unfair to the pretty girls in your class?"
The fact is, I went to a super nerdy high school that didn't even have a football team. I had an appropriate level of angst, loved rock music, played sports, and generally didn't pay much attention to my hair. Unfortunately, when I got to college I discovered I was woefully unprepared to navigate the complex social hierarchy. The girls were so unfriendly to me and I had no idea why. My mom's words echoed in my head, "They're just jealous." But I couldn't believe that they would be jealous of me. I had no style. I was clumsy, loud, and socially retarded. Truly, big boobs and blonde hair will make girls come to some stupid conclusions.
As I've gotten older, I have come to embrace my blonde hair. I don't fight it anymore. When girls meet me now, I am aware the wheels in their heads are already turning. I greet them with a big smile and a loud hello. And I burp and cuss and let my Tommy Boy sense of humor show through until they know I am not just a bubbly babe masking a cruel penchant for gossip. I think Cameron Diaz kind of saved me. When she burst onto the movie scene and became a sex symbol for embodying the anti-Marilyn, I knew I was going to be OK. I love Marilyn. I'm just so not her. Cameron briefly abandoned me for a brunette phase. I'm so thankful she came back.
Living in a society that values blondes as sex symbols and not much else forced me to rebel against the stereotype. I'm glad I have blonde hair. I think it's made me develop my personality and figure out who I am. And it has most definitely gotten me into a few concerts and out of a few speeding tickets.
TommyGirl lives, works, and defies blonde stereotypes by drinking beer and cussing in the Northeast.