Tuesday Tropes: Dumb Blonde

We are all overly familiar with this. The dumb blonde is the woman (though, male characters sometimes get this trope) that is brainless, beautiful, busty, and blonde-haired. She’s either sexually promiscuous or a pure virgin. There is no middle ground. If it’s a dumb blond male, then he is typically brutish, a jock, and either lovable or despicable. Again, there is no middle ground.

Does this trope need more of an introduction?

Does this trope need more of an introduction?

Why this is bad: First of all, it completely obliterates a subset of people based on their hair color. News flash: intelligence is not actually tied to hair color. I promise. It often falls into this trap of reducing women – often a love interest – to someone who can only care about stereotypical “female” activities and will always need a man to save her (literally or metaphorically). The dumb blond males, on the other hand, are also victims of stereotyping, typically enjoying typically masculine activities. Both characters are completely diminished and often given no chance at redemption.

elle woodsHow you can fix it: Two words: Legally Blonde. In probably the single best example of trope subversion, this movie took the concept of a dumb blonde and put it on its head. Elle Woods is competent and intelligent, but she is also blonde, loves to shop, and loves the color pink. The writers didn’t subvert the trope by making her hate all feminine pastimes in the end. She still loves to dress her tiny dog in sweaters, but she’s also a damn good lawyer. Subverting tropes, especially this one, doesn’t mean your character has to be the opposite of who they are. Your blond dumb jock doesn’t subvert the trope by becoming “cultured” and never playing football again. He subverts it by being intelligent or wise and still clinging to the things he likes.

Bottom Line: We already pass judgments on people in real life based on things as ridiculous as hair color; we don’t need to bring it in to our writing. Keep your characters multilayered and complex. Even if they’re dumb, that doesn’t mean they have to fall into the same stereotype as thousands of other characters.

So go on, write and break that trope.

2 comments on “Tuesday Tropes: Dumb Blonde

  1. m88 says:

    What’s up mates, its wonderful article about educationand fully defined, keep it up all the time.

  2. 94Kristen says:

    Hi admin, i must say you have high quality content
    here. Your page should go viral. You need initial traffic
    only. How to get it? Search for: Mertiso’s tips go viral

Give me your thoughts.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s