Blonde Moment

Take a moment and contemplate the picture above. Now answer for me a relatively simple question:

What is it?

If you answered “a cat”, you’re right.

Now look at this picture.

Okay, that’s enough looking. You can stop. Hello? Yes, this means you, bald guy in the corner. Stop looking, and come back to the point. Oh… what is the point? Well, first look at another picture:

And one last time: What is it?

If you answered more hesitantly, it’s not because of the reason you think. No, you did not answer “a caaat” more slowly because of curiosity, annoyance, or lust (yeah, not even you Mr. Bald Letch.) You did it because your cognitive skills were reduced significantly by looking at the blonde in the previous picture. Your natural bias against blondes was coming into play.

Aha! So that‘s why… I wondered when I did it (I thought I was annoyed at myself!), but the Times Online was kind enough offer me insight on my false assumption:

Researchers discovered what might be called the “bimbo delusion” by studying men’s ability to complete general knowledge tests after exposure to different women. The academics found that men’s scores fell after they were shown pictures of blondes.

Further analysis convinced the team that, rather than simply being distracted by the flaxen hair, those who performed poorly had been unconsciously driven by social stereotypes to “think blonde”.

“This proves that people confronted with stereotypes generally behave in line with them,” said Thierry Meyer, joint author of the study and professor of social psychology at the University of Paris X-Nanterre. “In this case blondes have the potential to make people act in a dumber way, because they mimic the unconscious stereotype of the dumb blonde.”

The research adds to a body of evidence that people’s behaviour is powerfully influenced by stereotypes. Previously scientists have found that people walk and talk more slowly in front of the elderly, while other studies have revealed that unconscious racial assumptions and prejudices emerge in written tests.

What more need be said? Those babbling bufoons were stymied by their own carnal instincts and didn’t even realize that that dumbness coursing through them was the result of years of stereotyping experience!

However, there’s an even more terrifying bias contained within this article which the author fails to notice. This, above all else, has led me to the conclusion that there is a scourge raging through our streets today:

Psychologists have suggested that because white babies are often born blond, there is a primal association between blondness and childhood, encouraging people to admire and fawn over the pale-haired.

Aha! The root of all of our troubles with blondes: Babies! And not just babies, but the underlying stereotypes surrounding them!

Clearly this author has no qualms with this argument. While he doesn’t side with any one of the theories as to why men would act stupidly around women, he presents this Baby Theory in neutral light, demonstrating the true depth of his inight! Had he been a real reporter, he would have picked up on the fact that these scientists clearly believe that babies are stupid!!!

These “researchers” need to do some further digging! After all, even Hollywood managed to stumble across the fact that Babies are Geniuses. If filmmakers can get to the heart of the issue, why can’t highly-funded scientists?

Kudos to the scientists for looking beyond the immediate possibility. The horniness factor should be ignored, since the underlying issue of stereotyping is so blatantly present. Why would men behave stupidly when an attractive blonde shows up, when it would be so much simpler to subconsciously alter one’s mannerisms to behave just like the person they are mentally degrading? But those of you looking to overcome your basest instincts, don’t just stop talking slowly to the elderly and writing texts containing racial assumptions, stop assuming babies are stupid.

Only then will blondes truly be free!

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. juggling mother
    Nov 20, 2007 @ 14:37:20

    Ha! I’m obviously a) very clever and b) not a man! because when i looked at the first picture the second time I aid “it is still a cat” very quickly and obviously. |No blonding down for me:-)

    Still Mstr A andL MD were both born with black hair and LMB was bald so maybe the baby thing doesn’t work on me. What is their clever explanation for why men from other race’s but the same culture behave in the same way? Their experience of babies would be mostly non-blond!

    Reply

  2. Stephen
    Nov 21, 2007 @ 06:42:25

    This explains why, whenever I go to a restaurant and I’m served by a black waiter, I am compelled to ask if they serve grits and chitlins.

    And watermelon for dessert. All this time, I’ve been afraid I was a closet racist.

    Now I know better: there’s a perfectly rational, scientific explanation for my behaviour. What a relief!

    Reply

  3. nebcanuck
    Nov 21, 2007 @ 10:43:22

    juggling mother:

    What is their clever explanation for why men from other race’s but the same culture behave in the same way? Their experience of babies would be mostly non-blond!

    Honestly, I see a lot of holes in their arguments, and this is a great point to add to that! They don’t look into race at all, and the study only includes men!!! One could argue that women wouldn’t be patronizing to other women, but the blonde stereotype is one that has been played on by sooo many sources that I don’t think it’d be possible for them to not have the same reaction if they were truly subconsciously playing towards stereotypes.

    There may be some validity to men patronizing blonde women — that much isn’t really disproved here. But I don’t see their “evidence” as being nearly as thorough as they think!

    Stephen:

    All this time, I’ve been afraid I was a closet racist.

    Nah, you’re just a subconscious racist! Even better — you yourself cannot even come to grips with it!

    Reply

  4. 49erDweet
    Nov 21, 2007 @ 13:58:44

    Stephen, I can’t believe you said that – let alone thought it! Tell me i haven’t misread you lo these many months.

    I [surprisingly?] agree with most of the commenters. The original “study” reveals more about the study-ers than the subject matter, imho. As a red-blooded Cali male – tho admittedly ancient of days – natural blondes of all shades were never assumed by me to be – oh, “silly”, might be the better word. As for “dumb”, never.

    Oth, a platinum blonde – wearing revealing attire – was assumed to be at least “loose”, in the common vernacular, but probably more “trouble” to be around than it was worth. But that was probably just me.

    But “babies being stupid” is almost too trite an assumption, and tends to repudiate any so called academic “credentials” offered by the authors of that crackpot theory – again imho.

    Cheers

    Reply

  5. Stephen
    Nov 21, 2007 @ 21:33:15

    49er:
    I think you knew that I was making that stuff up. But, just for the record — in case there are readers who don’t have a feel for satire —

    I was not serious. I was poking fun at the people who produced this study. I think that was the whole point of nebcanuck’s post.
    😉

    Reply

  6. nebcanuck
    Nov 21, 2007 @ 21:39:13

    49er:

    As a red-blooded Cali male – tho admittedly ancient of days – natural blondes of all shades were never assumed by me to be – oh, “silly”, might be the better word. As for “dumb”, never.

    I concur. Of course, even the latter example you give doesn’t necessarily suggest they are dumb, so much as sexual.

    But, as Stephen says, I’m poking fun at their assumptions, and for that very reason. I know I personally have no qualms against blondes, but even the suggestion of subconscious biases seems far-fetched to me. That’s not to say that stereotypes cannot cause problems — I know some horrible assumptions that have been made concerning gender, race, sexuality, etc.. But to suggest that somehow the existence of that stereotype makes us all “subconscious bigots” — and then to back it up so poorly — is only mockable, really.

    Reply

  7. 49erDweet
    Nov 23, 2007 @ 15:50:47

    Nebcanuck [sorry, Bill, but that’s a name, not an appellation] and Stephen. Thanks for clearing that up.

    And as for the person in the latter case being more “sexual” than “stupid”, you are spot on – except my choice of term would probably have been “desirous of male attention”, which we men almost always automatically assume means “sexual” but which the individual herself would often probably just as easily settle for concentrated conversation and human kindness.

    But thats another subject. Cheers

    Reply

  8. nebcanuck
    Nov 23, 2007 @ 17:10:37

    49er:

    except my choice of term would probably have been “desirous of male attention”, which we men almost always automatically assume means “sexual” but which the individual herself would often probably just as easily settle for concentrated conversation and human kindness.

    A keen analysis! It is true that the male psyche reads those signals differently than the female! I should be more careful of applying the term “sexual” — I myself try to take that into account as often as possible, but clearly I didn’t here! 😀

    Reply

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