On Being a Brunette

Ever feel like brunettes get the short stick? I have always loved being the brunette in many ways, but in some ways it’s just not seen as favourably as being fair.

Example: absolutely everyone has hair on his face. This includes women. Blonds aren’t going have that show much, but true brunettes almost certainly will. However, this is seen as undesirable, and so brunettes are expected to do something about that, be in bleach, use chemicals to remove it, wax, laser, whatever. I remember when I was 11 and it was first pointed out to me that I had darker hair on my upper lip (you know, because I’m a brunette), and I was mortified. I told my mom so she would get me some Nair or equivalent thing, and I remember the comment that she’d never had to worry about it because she’s blond (I want to add that I do not blame my mother or anything, I’m not upset about her saying that, just showing the societal norms that we have all internalised). Until very recently, I used that cream religiously, until I finally listened to my husband saying I didn’t need to use it. I have to remind myself of his words sometimes when I look in the mirror and think it’s horrible that I *gasp* have darker hair because I’m a brunette.

Next example: leg shaving. It’s another thing where blonds can “get away” without shaving as often because it isn’t noticeable. But who decided this? Isn’t it rather silly? I haven’t stopped shaving my legs (yet), but I’m questioning the reasoning of it more.

Why am I thinking of all this more? In large part it’s because my beautiful daughter is a true brunette, darker than I am, in fact. She’s 4, but she notices everything. She notices if I shave or not and asks me about it. Soon I know she’ll notice that she has darker hair on her legs, too, and I don’t want her to feel ashamed, like I did. I want her to know she is beautiful just the way she is, without having to change anything based on the societal standards that seem to have been created with blonds in mind. (Nothing against blonds, by the way, just let’s acknowledge that we’re different and beautiful in our own ways, ok?) I want Charlotte to have confidence in her beauty from the beginning, and I feel the best way for that to happen is for me to be confident in myself and lift her up, too. So I’m working on that being confident in my own appearance thing.

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