Tiger Times

Growing Up Blond

Recounting my childhood as a blond little girl

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Photo by Holland Rainwater

Story by Addison Cross, news editor

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“Dumb blonde” was a common phrase thrown around when I was growing up. To put my childhood in context, my parents divorced, my dad was overseas, and I was practically raised by an older brother who was constantly proving that he was better than me. Being a blond little girl didn’t help my case.

I adopted a very tomboy persona: I only wore ponytails, played with action figures instead of Barbie dolls and vomited at the sight of anything pink. I had to adjust my likings to those of my brother in hopes of less torment; the only validity I felt was in the “boyish” things I enjoyed. And, while there’s nothing wrong with a girl playing with action figures or enjoying superheroes, I was suppressing a side of myself that later on came out.

Through my childhood interests — mostly Star Wars and all things DC Comics — I saw a lot of strong female role models, but none I could fully identify with. Padme Amidala, the leading lady of the Star Wars prequels and my childhood hero, was a brunette, as were Wonder Woman and Princess Leia. I was surrounded by strong, intelligent, brunette women. My problem, however, was that I was blond. Even in media where blondes are portrayed as the protagonist, they usually have a transformation from a ditzy girlie girl to the intelligent, empowered version they “need” to be. They have to rise above their stereotype of being stupid to evolve into a respectable woman.

My brother and I did everything together, played video games, watched TV, and because of our combined interests he knew how much I idolized these brunette goddesses. He also knew how to use them against me.

Every time I messed up, my brother was there to call me stupid, a stupid blonde. I had phases in my life where I was convinced that, in order to be taken seriously, I needed to dye my hair brown. I couldn’t be smart because only brunettes are smart.

However, as I got older I embraced my seemingly unfortunate hair color more and more. I discovered that the golden locks on my head did not determine my intelligence, my interests or my personality. I branched out of my tomboyish ways into more feminine things, and thus discovered powerful, blond women such as the intelligent Elle Woods from Legally Blonde, or, a more tangible representation, the classic Taylor Swift. These women, bearing the same curse as me, are the embodiment of empowered, intelligent, feminine women; I have developed love and pride for my blond hair because of them.

Despite the fact that I’ll always be a little blond girl in the eyes of my brother, my identity is not found in his opinion of my intelligence or anyone else’s.

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About the Writer
Addison Cross, news editor
Addison Cross is an up and coming junior, second-year staffer, and news editor — a position she is extremely pumped for. Addison’s hobbies include spending way too much time in the theater, saying the word “wack” far too often, and devoting all of her time to her many other school clubs and mass amount of...
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