In the movies, blonde is more than just a hair color: it's a moral judgment. It started in the 1910s with Mary Pickford, the innocent blonde who needed saving. By the 1930s, another kind of blonde was on the scene: the Jean Harlow type – racy, tough, with a lot more innuendo and a platinum dye job.
"In the mind of the moviegoing male," says film critic Rafer Guzman, "the blonde is something that you own, that you want to own. She represents something that you're going to attain … like an expensive watch."
Almost sixty years after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe remains our quintessential platinum-haired bombshell. "Glamour is the combination of elegance and sleaze," says Guzman, "Marilyn Monroe had that."
But it's not always easy being blonde, says indie actress Greta Gerwig. "It's hard in big films not to just serve the function of being decorative, or a goal for the male protagonist who's doing all the interesting things," she says. Still, Gerwig wouldn't give up her hair for anything. She remembers when, as a child, she was told her hair would get darker. "I became uncontrollably sad," says Gerwig, "I just couldn't believe it."
â?? A Marilyn Monroe hair color recipe by Lorri Goddard-Clark, Avon Global Hair colorist
Slideshow: Blondes – From Mary Pickford to Rihanna
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