Why Is My Daughter Fascinated with Blonde Hair?

There’s a pretty common expression, and I’m sure you’ve heard it as well, “Kids say the darndest things”. It was also the name of a 90’s TV show hosted by Bill Cosby. The general idea is that out of the mouth of babes comes some truism or witty saying you couldn’t imagine anyone else coming up with. Along those lines, comes a new website, Kids on Color, with stories about kids, each with it’s own racial twist.

A story I submitted about my own daughter got featured this weekend, and since it’s fairly short, I’ve reposted it in full here after the jump.

Our daughter is mixed race, Asian and Caucasian. Because Asian genes tend to be dominant, she has dark hair, dark eyes, and darker skin than most Caucasians, but her overall appearance is Caucasian.

I think because she’s mixed race, she’s really pretty. We have people stop us in the street and tell us how pretty she is. So, at the age of 5, she is very world weary of people telling her she is pretty or beautiful. If you tell her that, she’ll pretty much, sigh and say “I know”.

So she really surprises me when she asks me if she can have yellow hair (meaning blonde). There’s certainly no role model, or any discussion that blonde is prettier in her life. Yet somehow mainstream media permeates into our life and hers and projects that image that blonde is pretty. I ask her who’s the prettiest girl in the world, and she’ll easily say she is, but she’ll also still say she wants yellow hair. I’ll tell her she has the prettiest hair, why would she want to change it? She acknowledges she has pretty hair, as many people have told her how nice her long hair is (it’s not stiff like Asian hair, so it really is nice).

But there’s no changing her mind about blonde hair.

The fascination with blonde hair in Asian society isn’t a new thing, and it’s even been discussed before on 8Asians. So what is it about blonde hair that makes it so desirable? I really want to know (I’m also looking for suggestions on dissuading my daughter from changing her hair color for now and in the future).

[Note: The picture on the linked site (Kids on Color) is not my daughter, I’m not sure where they got that picture from, but the picture above is my daughter when she was younger and the blonde hair is courtesy of Marie Claire]

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About Tim

I'm a Chinese/Taiwanese-American, born in Taiwan, raised on Long Island, went to college in Philadelphia, tried Wall Street and then moved to the California Bay Area to work in high tech in 1990. I'm a recent dad and husband. Other adjectives that describe me include: son, brother, geek, DIYer, manager, teacher, tinkerer, amateur horologist, gay, and occasional couch potato. I write for about 5 different blogs including 8Asians. When not doing anything else, I like to challenge people's preconceived notions of who I should be.
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