(Courtesy of Netflix)
Forgive me if this seems awfully frivolous, but I have an urgent question: Is your office experiencing a blonde epidemic? Lately, I’ve noticed that an increasing number of my brown-haired acquaintances are turning into dirty blondes, while those with blondish hair are practically going platinum.
I thought it was just a summer fashion thing (you know how everyone claims that it’s the sun that’s lightening their hair), but I’m sensing something more purposeful is going on. Then it clicked: Women are going blonde to boost their careers!
I did a little research about the topic and it seems my hunch might be right: According to a 2010 study of 13,000 Caucasian women conducted by the University of Queensland, blondes make more money and marry deeper pockets. Reports The Telegraph:
And in addition to their preferential pay packets blondes also marry wealthier men, who earn an average of six per cent more than the husbands of other women.
A study in the journal Economics Letters [where the Queensland survey appeared] reported that having blonde hair boosts pay by £1,600 a year for a woman earning £22,000 a year–the average salary in Britain.
So you’re probably wondering, as I did, whether blondes are still saddled with a dumb image. According to David Johnston, who led the study, the answer is maybe yes—but so what. He tells the Telegraph: “It seems the association between blondes and beauty dominates any perception that they have low intelligence.”
In other words, the advantages of being blonde trumps everything else.
Lest you think this is just a foreign thing, Lisa Walker, the chair of the sociology department at University of North Carolina, concurs with the Queensland study. She tells WCNC: “In the workplace we see that blondes are given higher salaries.” She adds that “women who are blonde also tend to get more help from others.”
Walker didn’t go into how that might translate in the workplace, but I’m betting it means getting more attention, better assignments and more vested mentors—everything you need to get ahead.
So it seems blond is the color of success du jour. In fact, powerful blondes now seem to be popping up everywhere: Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Melissa Mayer and Claire Underwood (she’s the modern archetype of cold female ambition in House of Cards, as played by Robin Wright, above).
I’d be tempted to buy a box of Clairol and color my hair blonde too—except I don’t think the effect would be quite the same on an Asian woman. Such a shame.
Are women getting blonder at your office—and are they reaping the awards? Would you go blonde to get ahead?
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