Wednesday, July 14, 2010

injaynesworld beware of "Redheads and Dobermans..."

Two things you do not want to screw with, or so lore would have it. 

Once upon a time, I was a blond.   That was just so wrong.   I don’t have a blond temperament.   Everyone knows that blonds are perky and sweet, and then there’s all that fun they’re supposed to be having.   

When I was a blond and would say something inappropriate or just plain bitchy (as I often do) I would be called, not surprisingly, “a bitch.”   As a redhead, when I voice those same expressions, people just shrug and mutter, “Redhead…”  And rarely does anyone contest me for a parking space.

Jokes about dumb blonds abound, reinforced by the likes of Britney Spears and Paris Hilton, but I’ve known a lot of blonds in my life and only a couple that I’d consider stupid.   However, they all smile way too much for my liking and they seem to have this insatiable need for everyone to like them.   They’re kind of the Labrador Retriever of the hair world.    Redheads consider you fortunate if they like you.  

Then there are brunettes – the serious ones.   You know the type.  The good students,  most likely to succeed, often found in positions of authority, and they all seem to display just a dash of superiority like they know something the rest of us don’t. 

As for brunettes with blond streaks – who the hell knows what’s going on with those people?    

Of course, these are all myths – utter and complete crap -- things we’ve heard and read so many times that we’ve come to believe them.  Blonds are stupid and brunettes are smart?   Come on.   You only have to look at Diane Sawyer and Sarah Palin to bust that myth in the chops.

And we’ve all met the shy, freckle-faced, “carrot-top,” but let’s keep them under raps because I rather like the bad-ass rep I enjoy as a redhead.  

Although often cautioned about “judging a book by its cover,” we make assumptions about people based on their looks all the time.   First impressions based on hair color are pretty benign and quickly confirmed or dispelled, but how many other areas are we quick to judge people based on stereotypes?   

The lazy Mexican.

Italians all have a mobster or two in the family. 

The black welfare mother.  

Overweight people just lack discipline.

The flamboyant gay.

The latest one being put out there by some very well-paid politicians (you know who you are) is:  “Unemployment insurance just discourages people from looking for a job.”   Right.  Because we all know how easy it is to support a family on $250 a week. 

Come on, I’m sure you can think of some more.   Maybe even some that have been leveled at you. 

While we can all laugh at the stereotype of the geek with glasses, the vapid cheerleader, or the dumb jock, many stereotypes can be downright hurtful.   They serve as a way to separate us from others – sometimes out of fear, often out of ignorance.

As I see it is, we’re really all on this bus together just trying to make it through the next day -- something I’m going to try to remember in these tough economic times when the temptation to look for scapegoats is strong.

But I’m keeping my redhead persona and I may just go out and get a Doberman, too.

I like my comments on the rocks with a twist of lime…

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