- The Washington Times - Monday, June 4, 2001

Question: What do you call three blondes in a freezer?
Answer: Frosted flakes.
Predictable stabs at deprecating humor have been directed for decades at the countrys fair-haired. But now the litany of blonde jokes has spawned an organization that is calling for the celebration of National Blond Day.
The Blond Legal Defense Club, based not surprisingly in Los Angeles, came together in response to the "prejudice" experienced by blond lawyers, according to its Web site, but it also welcomes lighter-haired males and females from all occupations and creeds. Put bluntly, its not how you got there, but that you made it.
And that you deserve respect for your choices.
"For years weve had to endure untold hardships," Fern Magnin, the groups official spokeswoman, says in a statement that calls for a national holiday to be observed on July 9.
"People assume youre a bimbo," she says of being a blonde. "Were not going to stand for it anymore. Whether naturally blond or blond at heart, its time to hold your head up and be true to your roots."
About 9 percent of us are blond, but according to research, it accounts for about 70 percent of all hair color sold, a testament to its ongoing appeal, years after icons such as Jean Harlow and Marilyn Monroe — even Barbie — made it ever so intriguing and American.
The clubs mission statement is forthright: "To stop the widespread belief that blonds are dumb and incapable. To destroy blond stereotypes and publicize blond accomplishments throughout history, dispelling the myths and mistakes about blonds, both natural and chemically created. To ultimately make sure hair color isnt a factor in any work or social environments."
To spread its sphere of influence, the group is calling for the formation of local chapters that will sponsor such events as fashion shows and fund-raisers, furthering their case that blondness is not a "stupidity signal." They are calling on hair salons to join in the national celebration by offering free blond transformations.
According to the clubs Web site, one of the groups founders is a blonde named Elle Woods, who wanted support for anyone who was "treated wrongly for their follicular appearance."
In actuality, Elle Woods is the lead character of an upcoming movie about a California girl and University of Southern California fashion student who becomes a star student at Harvard Law School just to win the affections of another ambitious student who has rejected her because her blondeness makes her an unsuitable political spouse.
"Where is it written that an attorney should have flat, unconditioned, mousy brown hair?" asks Elle Woods, a Prada-loving sorority girl played in "Legally Blonde" by golden-haired actress Reese Witherspoon. The film, which opens later this summer, was shot on location in Cambridge, Mass., and drew a brief in the spring issue of the Harvard Law Bulletin, which suggested that hair color prejudice is often real among professional women — even those with Harvard law degrees.
Elisabeth Scott, a human resources officer at a Florida health care company, disagrees that her career has been stunted by her blondeness.
She says her fifth-grade son, who has dark brown hair, frequently tells her blonde jokes, but they fail to connect.
"In the Deep South, it has its advantages," Mrs. Scott says of living life as a blond in North Florida. "If people think Im stupid because of my hair color, thats their choice. I know Im not, and thats all that matters."
In Washington, election lawyer Cleta Mitchell says hair color has not been so much of a hindrance on the job as her Southern accent.
An Oklahoma native, she came to the area nearly 10 years ago and says her lifelong mentor, the first female chief justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court, Alma Wilson, was also a deeply committed blonde.
"She said she was proud to be beige from head to toe," says Mrs. Mitchell, who stresses that she, too, is serious about remaining a blonde.
"Ive always said Im chemically dependent," she says of her hair coloring, which she concedes is an expensive habit. "I try not to ascribe to victimhood theories."
Television news anchor Paige Beck of Gainesville, Fla., calls her hair color a gift and is more than eager to share her pride. She hints theres a secret all blonds share, but she isnt letting the hair detractors of the world — whether gray, redhead, brunette or bald — in on it.
"Mother Nature was kind to make some of us blond from birth. The rest found out how much fun we were having and decided they wanted to join in," she says. "With the right hairdresser that is always possible."
"Its whats under all the hair that matters," she adds of its effect on her long career in broadcasting. "Blond hair cant be responsible for an invitation to the Mensa Society any more than it should be considered an invitation for insults."


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