We all know the color of hair does not make a person dumb but for some reason, we make the connection with blondes anyhow. Fortunately, a new study published June 1 in Nature Genetics finally disproves that inner notion blondes are dumb once and for all. According to researchers from Stanford University, a molecular ‘switch’ is responsible for blonde hair and has nothing to do with intelligence.
The researchers were able to locate the exact genetic change that resulted in a molecular switch within the DNA code. To prove their hypothesis, they tested their theory on mice. As predicted, the mice with the ‘nucleotide’ change in the DNA had the lighter coats. The connection would be the DNA change in humans would result in blonde hair.
The First Dumb Blonde
The long-held belief that women with blonde hair were dumb appeared as anecdotal fact in the early 1900s. It is alleged a French courtesan by the name of Catherine-Rosalie Duthe inaugurated the dumb blonde notion that society still believes to this day. Duthe was a beautiful blonde but could not carry on an intelligent conversation with anyone which may have spawned a character depicting the satirical version of her. In 1775, it is believed the play “Les Curiosites de la Foire Saint Germain” is a satire of Duthe’s dense character.
Enter other beautiful blondes in the 1900s, such as Marilyn Monroe and Goldie Hawn who promoted ‘sexy’ over ‘intelligence’ and the origins of the dumb blondes became resolute. The notion of all blondes being dumb took root and now we have a stereotype of a ‘hair color personality’ which leads to the infamous blonde jokes. The jokes only secure the fallacy of blondes being dumb.
Adding insult to injury and keeping the jokes abreast, there may be other explanations for the dumb blonde belief. One of these could be a psychological phenomenon that the beautiful blondes will ‘act’ dumb in order to fit the stereotype. Whether it is purposeful or unknowingly, their personalities will change to fit what is expected of them. Alas, these personality changes, blonde jokes and stereotypical beliefs apparently started with that first dumb blonde.