Ilyin, a teacher and a critic, has constructed an insightful and humorous examination of the meaning and myth of the blonde, especially blonde women, in American society. She introduces us to a few different kinds of blondes--the Apollo Blonde, the Trophy Blonde, the California Sun Blonde, the Moon Blonde, and the Ironic Blonde--each of whom corresponds to a series of cultural ideas and attitudes. Using real-life blondes like Marilyn Monroe, Martha Stewart, and Gloria Steinem to demonstrate these categories and weaving references to cultural theorists like Joseph Campbell and Robert Graves into the narrative, Ilyin has written a unique book. A nice companion to Forever Barbie: The Unauthorized Biography of a Real Doll (Morrow, 1994); recommended for libraries serving general readers and undergraduates.
-Jenny Lynn Presnell, Miami Univ. Libs., Oxford, OH
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
A flip, funny, thought-provoking evocation of the need to be a blonde amid all its mythic and symbolic ramifications. Because peripatetic cultural theorist Ilyin, whos taught at Yale and Cooper Union, was born a blonde and remained one until puberty, she and others like her, she avers, have the right to live a ``blonde life.'' That can mean anything from getting more attention from taxi drivers, subway conductors, and waiters to becoming the next Marilyn Monroe. Ilyins discourse begins with an inventory of the blondes on boxes in the hair-care aisle, ranging from the Golden Sunlight Blonde (most popular) to the lightest Baby Blonde. They break down into three categories: Sun Goddesses, Moon Goddesses, and Innocents. Among the blondes who preserve the face of innocencevulnerable, presexual, forever youngare the Virgin Mary, Princess Diana, and Nicole Simpson. Among the Sun Blondes are Martha Stewart (in the Summer Wheat subcategory) and Farrah Fawcett, epitome of the California blonde. But even sun blonde has its darker side, illuminated by delving into creation myths, Jung, and Hitlers Aryan ideal. A discussion of omnipotent Moon Blondes leads into tales of ancient goddesses, transformed today into the compelling yet dangerous decadence of Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel. Further subcategories include the Ironic Blonde (Gloria Steinem), the mixed blonde (Dolly Parton), and the old blonde, who opts for pastel colors in an attempt to hide the dreaded mythical crone beneath the look of a Walt Disney fairy godmother. It is not mere vanity at play with the peroxide bottle, says Ilyin, but a heroic attempt to blend myth with reality. Blondes, she notes, want to be remembered, just like the (blonde) Vikings. Must reading for all blondes, friends of blondes, and would-be blondesnone of whom will ever look at a dark root in the same way again. -- Copyright ©1999, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.See all Product Description
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. Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2003 by Jason A. Tselentis
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... Read morePublished on July 28 2003 by Jodi Michael Horner
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... Read morePublished on June 13 2003 by S.R.W. Phillips
Give me a break. What a shallow, not to mention trivial subject-- worthy, perhaps, of an article in Cosmo, but as a book--no way. Read morePublished on July 18 2000
This book is good for entertainment; in fact, it's a page-turner. It's like a really long "Mademoiselle" article. Read morePublished on May 25 2000 by Clancy Ratliff
Don't wait! Buy it for guaranteed laughs. As a fifty-something "blonde" and mother of two blondes (and sister and aunt to innumerable radical brunettes) I can report... Read morePublished on March 27 2000 by "mulehouse"
Don't wait! Buy it for guaranteed laughs. As a fifty-something "blonde" and mother of two blondes (and sister and aunt to innumerable radical brunettes) I can report... Read morePublished on March 27 2000
Unlike the author, I'm a currently natural blonde, so I know I'm not her target audience. That hardly matters; any woman could relate to this book. Read morePublished on March 3 2000