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Hardcover On Blondes Book

ISBN: 0747560765

ISBN13: 9780747560760

On Blondes

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

Homer admired it, Hitler dreamed of it, Hitchcock was fascinated by it, Hollywood made money out of it.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Social Fascinations with Blonde Hair Throughout the Ages

This book is an extremely interesting historical account of the mystique of blonde hair throughout the centuries. It is a fascinating read, delving into societal trends surrounding beauty. While some people may become offended they should re-evaluate what the book is really trying to say. This is not pro-blonde propaganda, but rather an historical account of the appealing and entrancing nature of the blonde. Yes brown hair is natural and can be mysterious there has always been a power and allure that blonde holds that brown hair, or red, can never match. The book is an objective look at the power in beauty, specifically that of blonde hair and the associations that people have come to attach to the color. I also found it extremely interesting the section where the author talks about the 'dumb blonde' stereotype and how that is a device used by men, and threatened brunettes, to debase and devalue the power of women. Thoroughly a good read, well worth the time.

Left a Lasting Impression, Educational

Joanna Pitman has given us everything we wanted to know about blonde hair and some stuff we didn't. On Blondes is about the people who love it, those who desire it, those who fake it, those who steal it, those who envy it, those who paint it, those who write about it, and those who kill in the name of it. She follows the allure of blonde hair through time from the days of Aphrodite to modern day Hollywood. Each chapter directs the reader through the seductive seven lives of Blonde hair from the Dark Ages to present day. Pitman teaches the extremes that the Romans and Greeks and succeeding generations went to for blonde curls. This self-abuse for blonde went on for centuries to the detriment of health and scalp. Substances as natural as saffron and as toxic as ammonia, bleach and the aforementioned goat urine were used to achieve the desired shade of blonde. The zest for blonde has not always been positive; in fact most of it seemed quite negative. "Blonde hair was highly divisive and provoked extreme reactions." Nowhere is this more apparent than during Hitler's reign. Pitman's journey into Teutonic and Aryan history is informative and answered many questions for me on the German philosophy of Blonde hair/blue eyed superiority and how Hitler managed to promote it despite his dark colouring; propaganda. After World War II the world knew of Germany's love of blonde hair. This book reads like a weekly dose of the History channel with each chapter being a new episode in the series of events. In some areas she seems to ramble off topic, going on about relationships or other personal quirks of the personalities. The history of the white flour wigs drags on long after the main idiosyncrasies were driven home. In the afterword Pitman states she approached "several American women academics," on the study potential of blondeness and they "refused to discuss it at all." Perhaps a sign that they are embarrassed they didn't discover the topic themselves. I'm sure Pitman's On Blondes will be a text in future feminine study. On Blondes left a lasting impression on me. I've begun to question every form of blondeness that I see. From a blonde perspective this is an informative book but I wonder if there would be the same interest with the brunettes and redheads of the world. And for those who may be wondering, yes it is natural. Review Originally Posted at

Fascinating investigation

I think many of my fellow reviewers are missing the point - the author is not making a wild statement in saying that there is a mystique to blondes, she is exploring a historical phenomenon. No one is denying the beauty of red or any other color hair, it's just that blonde does have sociological baggage attached to it - and for those who have a problem with the idea that bleached blondes are included, they're proving this argument, for why do so many people bleach their hair if there isn't a certain mystique to blonde? That said, the author does a wonderful job exploring this. The language is clear, the examples good, the subject truly fascinating. An excellent read for those sociologically minded, whatever haircolor they are.

Finally the blonde stereotypes are explained!

Contrary to the other review, the author does NOT make a case that blonde is more beautiful. She simply explains the 3 main stereotypes: the innocent young fairy tale virgin (Goldilocks, Alice in Wonderland), the flirt/vamp (Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Mae West), and the powerful leader (Princess Diana, Hilary Clinton). These stereotypes are contradictory but somehow persist. There are cultural, political, artistic, and economic reasons behind the stereotypes, going back to ancient times. As a blonde myself, it was intriguing to finally understand the history. FASCINATING! Blondes may not necessarily have more fun, but they do get sterotyped more often! This book explains in historical detail and provides glossy photo illustrations. Would have liked more photos. Very enjoyable reading.

Very interesting and informative

As a blonde, I of course just had to buy and read this book. I was definitely not sorry.It is easy reading and, more importantly, it is truly interesting. Ms. Pitman traces the history of the blonde, a subject that she points out has been taboo in the past due to Hitler's fascination with just this subject. It is interesting to discover where I would fit at different points in history. At some points, I would be considered a goddess, the symbol of purity; at others, I would be considered the most vile of temptresses. (Obviously, either choice seems appealing in its own way!) I think blondes would probably find this book most interesting, however, brunettes and redheads may be able to appreciate it also. If you take an interest in popular culture and why we believe what we believe, this is definitely a work you should consider adding to your library.
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