TV presenter Mariella Frostrup has made headlines by declaring she regrets being blonde. She feels blondes are still the butt of jokes and endure disproportionate sexism.
As a blonde I have to disagree. Sure there have always been blonde jokes but has anyone seriously ever taken offence at them?
Much like jokes ridiculing Paddy Irishman, the Kerryman, Essex girls and plenty of others, they are made in jest and, while some may find the content offensive, most people realise they don't reflect reality.
Born fair-haired, my baby hair soon transformed into a mousy crown of frizz, spurring me on to a smattering of highlights once I could afford it and later to become a full-on blonde. I've accrued expensive monthly trips to the hairdressers to keep my mane at its blonde best. However, I didn't go blonde to be more attractive to men or to fit into a 'girlie' stereotype. I did it because I feel it suits me better -- although, granted, perhaps all blondes are convinced of this!
I reject any notions that blondes have more fun -- my darker haired friends have just as good a time. Sure, a blonde may turn a man's head but so will a leggy brunette or a voluptuous redhead. Of all the men I know, there are few who restrict themselves to a type. Most, it seems, prefer women -- be they blonde, black-haired, skinny or curvy -- to be attractive and confident.
Blondes hardly have the monopoly on men's interest: think of all the brunette beauties currently dominating celeb-land -- from Cheryl Cole to Angelina Jolie, and Megan Fox right through to Christine Bleakley or Georgia Salpa.
The list of brunette babes with sexist men salivating over them, and other decent men stealing a glance of admiration as they, and other stunning non-blondes pass by on the street, is proof that feeling 'objectified' as a woman is not confined to being blonde.
Frostrup reveals she feels stereotyped as a blonde and that the description of blondes being less intelligent rages on in today's society. Sorry Mariella but I don't feel it. Sure I've seen raised eyebrows at successful stunners such as Miriam O'Callaghan rising up the ranks in cut-throat jobs, but I don't know of any intelligent man in my generation who really believes that to be blonde and attractive necessarily equals dumb and easy.
Unlike Mariella, I have never felt overlooked or undermined professionally or personally because I choose blonde. It all comes down to how your present yourself to the world, so I say screw anyone foolish enough to judge a woman on her hair colour -- I won't compromise on my preference to suit some outdated notion I've never felt affected me.