Hollywood's Blonde Obsession

Studio 360
The World
In the movies, blonde is more than just a hair color: it's a moral judgment. It started in the 1910s with Mary Pickford, the innocent blonde who needed saving. By the 1930s, another kind of blonde was on the scene: the Jean Harlow type – racy, tough, with a lot more innuendo and a platinum dye job.   "In the mind of the moviegoing male," says film critic Rafer Guzman, "the blonde is something that you own, that you want to own. She represents something that you're going to attain … like an expensive watch." Almost sixty years after Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Marilyn Monroe remains our quintessential platinum-haired bombshell. "Glamour is the combination of elegance and sleaze," says Guzman, "Marilyn Monroe had that."   But it's not always easy being blonde, says indie actress Greta Gerwig. "It's hard in big films not to just serve the function of being decorative, or a goal for the male protagonist who's doing all the interesting things," she says. Still, Gerwig wouldn't give up her hair for anything. She remembers when, as a child, she was told her hair would get darker. "I became uncontrollably sad," says Gerwig, "I just couldn't believe it."    â?? A Marilyn Monroe hair color recipe by Lorri Goddard-Clark, Avon Global Hair colorist    Slideshow: Blondes – From Mary Pickford to Rihanna