"I'm not offended by people who think I'm a dumb blonde, because I know two things they don't: I'm not dumb, and I'm not blonde." -- Dolly Parton
People are just not happy with things as they are. Australopithicus africanus used tools, which means that he willfully and imaginatively altered his environment, and -- even though he was not a true human -- probably did the one thing that we humans do best when not making decorative cuts in our enemies, which is to make decorative cuts in ourselves. People trim, style and color their hair, tattoo their bodies, daub on paint and enhance or minimize sundry parts for the simple reason that they can. As soon as a new way of altering the body comes along, we greet it with glad cries and rejoicing. It's not a fad, it's the human condition. True blondes -- blondes over the age of six -- are as scarce as hen's teeth. But blonde, as Natalia Ilyin discusses in her witty, poignant book "Blonde Like Me," is a state of mind that disregards exterior reality in favor of the inner vision. Beginning with the title, itself a clever play on John Howard Griffin's 1959 "Black Like Me," the book explores the social condition of people who, because of their coloration, are treated differently by their fellows. In Ilyin's case, better, and in Griffin's case, worse, but the kicker is that neither is what they seem. Natalia Ilyin, 6'2" in her stocking feet, armed cap a pie with blonde hair and high heels has "caused minor traffic accidents," as well you might imagine. Blondeness is a metaphor for beauty and allure. Blondeness confers instant sexual power. What do I mean when I say, in cryptic shorthand, "Tonight I have a date with a blonde"? Natalia knows, and if you read "Blonde Like Me," she'll tell you.
David Lance Goines