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Fight the Barrier This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Looks can be deceiving. We’ve all heard that line before, right? I’ve come to learn that it’s not the looks of something or someone that deceive you; it’s your perception of them. Take me, for example. For the first three years of high school, I was a blonde. I heard more than my fair share of typical blonde jokes and everyone made cracks whenever I answered a question incorrectly or did something wrong. Now, I’m not trying to brag, but I go to regular high school and am a cosmetology student and still maintain a 3.7 GPA. I’m not dumb, yet people sure treated me like I was.

Toward the end of junior year, I decided to color my hair dark brown. For some strange reason, it seemed to dawn on everyone that I actually had a brain beneath all that hair and they started taking me seriously. Strange, isn’t it? I have concluded that most of the reason for the big change is that people stereotype “dumb” blondes.

People have actually had the nerve to tell me that I look smarter and more sophisticated with dark hair. How can someone look smarter? I know plenty of redheads and blondes who get exceptionally good grades and make an impact on society.

It really upsets me when I think about it, because there is absolutely no difference in your intelligence based on your hair, eye or skin color. People need to take the time to think about how their words or actions affect others. I don’t think we realize how much stock people, especially minority groups, put into what other people say about them or to them. I know that I used to get very frustrated when people would just pass over my ideas like they meant nothing. It really did hurt because I knew I had a lot to offer but no one was taking the time to realize it because I had blond hair. Now, as a brunette, people are all ears.

We need to stop making assumptions and base our opinions on actual facts. If a person has a different

belief than you, it doesn’t make them wrong and it doesn’t make you wrong either. There is more than one answer for everything; this applies to religion as well. If a person has a speech impediment, it doesn’t mean that they are deaf or mentally handicapped. And even if they are, they still have feelings. Some people don’t like to be around others who are different from them because it makes them uncomfortable or afraid.

We need to get over this barrier that stops us from living in harmony. It is time that we start seeing people for who they are - not just what meets our judging eyes. It should not matter where we came from, what we believe, or what we look like. Forget about African-Americans, Hispanics, whites; blondes, redheads, brunettes; blue eyes, green eyes, or brown eyes. No matter what we look like, sound like, or act like, we will always have one thing in common: We are all human.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Jfw514 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 1:20 pm
I am a Brunette, and I still get treated like I'm a blonde. Literally people tell me I should have been Blonde, and I can see where it could be offensive. I get offended myself when guys or even girls say, "blondes have more fun". That isn't a proven fact; it is stereotyping. I believe blondes do get noticed more and thats life. People seem to expect more from blondes, and that isn't always the case. My best-friend is a blonde! And I love her! 
 
drf409 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:39 am
This article spoke to me in a positive way. Just because a girl or boy has blonde hair, doesn't mean they are dumb. Humans shouldn't have to judge other humans by their appearance. Instead of assuming that person is dumb just because that person is a blonde,  get to know them, and listen to their ideas, because one never knows. That person just might be smatter than he/she looks.
 
hnw415 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:38 am
I am a blonde, and I get the "dumb blonde" jokes quite often. It doesn't bother me because I know I'm not dumb. Like you, I have a great GPA. I understand your point. Stereotypes are a big topic in the world today. It seems like everyone is a little stereotypical. I don't believe in being smarter or more dumb because of skin color, and I definitely don't think hair color can infer how smart a person is. This was a great article, and I enjoyed reading it.
 
MAB301 said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:15 am
In the world today, every little aspect of a person is used to put them into a stereotype. As much as we try to avoid it, racism is still alive because people are judged because of the color of their skin or their background. People are judged for every reason except the right reason. For example blondes are called dumb or stupid just because of the color of their hair.
 
308JJT said...
Oct. 28, 2010 at 11:03 am
The author of this article made his/her point flow across we he/she said, "It should not matter where we came from, what we believe, or what we look like. Forget about African Americans,Hispanics, whites; blondes, redheads, brunettes;blue eyes, green eyes,or brown eyes.No matter what we look like ,sound like, or act like, we will always have one thing in common:We are all human." This part made me think about Martin Luther King's speech "I have a Dream." The reason that I say this is becaus... (more »)
 
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