Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Do Blondes Really Have More Fun?

A client of mine brought her company's new CFO to our studio for a quick headshot and I just could not let her leave without me recording her new hair color. She used to be a brunette. She told me that she would let me know if blondes have more fun in a few months. This got me thinking about the origin of that common saying.

The question was perhaps first posed when some poor woman accidentally splashed bleach on her hair while washing clothes in a bucket. You know, before automated machines and woman's suffrage (a.k.a. the dark ages). Miraculously her hair changed color from brown to blonde... and so the bleach blonde was invented. I am making up that scenario since nobody really knows.

What IS known is that an astute woman named Shirley Polykoff solidified that concept into the collective of modern pop culture. Working for the ad agency responsible for the Clairol hair product accounts, she came up with these golden slogans for the company:

  • "Does she or doesn't she? Only her hairdresser knows for sure." This was the 8th top advertising slogan of the 20th century.
  • "If I only have one life... let me live it as a blonde." This one is clever because it sounds like a another famous slogan that reads "Give me liberty or give me death". It also hides a popular soap opera's name in the slogan which might have connected with housewives in that era.
  • And the last slogan "Is it true that blondes have more fun?" landed this creative lady into the Advertising Hall of Fame... one of only 5 women admitted. This is quite an achievement before the Women's Rights era.
Most of this info comes from an article by a Dr. Rosenthal which explores psychological studies on the subject. If you are curious, read more here: http://www.hairboutique.com/tips/tip8018.htm