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Blonde Like Me: The Roots of the Blonde Myth in Our Culture Paperback – Feb 22 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Touchstone (Feb. 22 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684852144
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684852140
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 14 x 21.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 204 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,244,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
My wife's blonde. My 57 year-old mother just dyed her once-brunette Italian coif blonde. I needed to read this book, and so do you. Ilyin covers not only fashion and consumer culture, she dips into myth, symbolism, history, and gender. What made this enjoyable was the spin placed on her personal anecdotes. She looks back with a critical eye and, it's an eye capable of seeing beneath the surface. Taking on popular culture, religion, and (of course) hair coloring, Ilyin shows us that appearances can sometimes be deceiving. And most of the time, they simply are.
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Format: Paperback
Ilyin does a fabulous job of drawing the pictures of the various types of blondes. She helps the reader to see that blonde alone is just a color but the wearer of the blonde makes the blonde.
Sometimes it seems as though she digs too hard to find evidence and examples. Most of the time she effectively draws compelling conclusions. I am able to see blondes through more complex filters now, and in fact with a bit less mystique. That may or may not have been her objective with the book, but nonetheless, it made some impact.
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Format: Paperback
This book is a great little book to read for the purpose of leisure reading. However, if you're looking for a plethora of information on blondes and why people are fascinated with blonde hair, I would suggest you turn your attention elsewhere, such as the book "On Blondes" by Joanna Pitman.
That being said, the book was interesting. It was more an account of the author's life than a book on the history of "the blonde myth," however. She seemed to talk a lot about herself, and then to ramble on about her family, and then to ramble on about some other random subject and finally tie it back to blonde hair.
I would say if you are interested in reading a random woman's memoir, go with this book. If you are interested in reading about blondes, look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
First of all, I do not believe that was really Ilyin who posted here. Ilyin's intelligence level comes across brilliantly in the book. I do not believe the real Ilyin would have said some of those things, much less misspelled "disdainful."
Now. The passage that struck me the most in the book was when Ilyin was telling about going back to school at a ritzy graduate school and how real education rearranges your mind. Then she "turned the kleig lights of [her] education" on blondeness. I am glad she did. But aside from the topic of the book, that one passage made me want to get more education.
I think it is a scholarly book. That was fascinating about the bounty goddesses (Summer Wheat and California Sun.)
I wonder if stunning brunettes like Catherine Zeta-Jones symbolize anything at all? Or are they, too, thought to be associated with (I guess) impurity? As a brunette, I have picked up on the association of blondes with purity even though it didn't seem fair (if by implication brunettes are associated with impurity, and I think in my experience we are.) There isn't a thing I can do about it; much less women of color. I look at old Rita Coolidge albums and I can't help it; the woman was *beautiful.* I am not criticizing Ilyin, but the culture that wouldn't recognize the beauty of a Cher or Rita Coolidge if they came along today. Ilyin explains why. It isn't fair, but at least Ilyin acknowledges that I didn't make this up in my head.
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By A Customer on Aug. 12 2000
Format: Paperback
Natalia Ilyin has written a masterful little book, filled with insights on the blond archetype in our culture, brilliant descriptions of blond subtypes (the "Armpiece Blond" and the Martha Stewart segments are hilarious), and warm memoirs of her own blond childhood to adulthood.
As a brunette with a California blond daughter, and an East Coast mother who had a blond childhood but elected to grow out of it, I was intrigued to find every blond I've known (practically) described almost flawlessly in this little book. The value we place on golden hair is obvious in this society. But as we become more diverse, and as people with darker hair and skin become more dominant, the value may change. I recently had a compliment from an African-American woman who admired my summer tan. "But you're not dark enough," she added.
It would be interesting to have had a footnote, at least, from the author with some comment about women of color. I wonder, will the value change enough as our races merge so that blond eventually looses some of its mystique.
"Blond Like Me" is a quick read of interest to both scholars and casual readers. It should be taken seriously by reviewers and social commentators.
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By A Customer on July 26 2000
Format: Paperback
I picked up Blonde Like Me because I needed something light to read on a plane. It turned out to be much more than humor and entertainment, although it was that in spades. This story about the meaning of blondeness, and its meticulously researched and scholarly explanation of why so many women (and men) yearn after the golden crown blondness implies, is a metaphor that reveals much deeper stuff about the ways people search to matter in life. Anecdotes from the author's own life that form the core for each chapter reveal a fresh, civilized attitude totally lacking in pretension. As Howard Thurman wrote, we all long for relationships in which we do not need to pretend. I, for one, found that the candor and vulnerability displayed without vulgarity (imagine reading a book these days where you are not obliged to be constantly scraping scatalogical images off your consciousness), and layers of insights through feelings graciously and generously revealed made me feel heartened on my own journey. Although Ms. Ilyin's depth of learning is carried so lightly on waves of truly delicious wit and engaging stories, deeper insights kept surfacing. I felt this was a book that could accompany many different journeys and I subsequently gave it to friends young and old who were experiencing various life challenges. Without exception, each reported back that they found in it something that mirrored their own circumstances. For them, as for me, the book provided a good companion, lighthearted but compassionate, on the road to menschdom.
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