Saturday, March 01, 2008

This Gentlemen Prefers Brunettes

For as long as I can remember, I have always been drawn to brunettes. I know that America is obsessed with blonde hair. Whether it is women dying their hair and letting their dark roots show or men trading in their first wife for a blonde piece of arm candy once they 'make it' (examples: Most of Wall St. and Bryant Gumble), the blonde premium is alive and well. Psychologists have tried to argue that it goes back to days of yore in Europe when blonde hair was associated with youth, which was what men were drawn to for mates. That sounds logical, but nowadays we do not live grueling lives where we have to use hair pigment clues to find a suitable, healthy mate. I don't know what gives with modern men, but whatever gets your blood flowing is fine by me.

Now I do not turn down a pretty face, but when I consider hair color, which is like 80th on the list of things I would consider in a mate (right behind attention span and ahead of driving ability), brunettes is number 1, followed by redheads, and then blondes. Temporary green and pink dye jobs get sent to the bottom. I don't go for the punk look. It makes sense that my wife has dark hair. I'll be spending the rest fo my life with her, so she better fit the bill. Considering this order, which appears to be different than most of my peers, I tried to trace it back to something. I could never really put my finger on why I would prefer one color over the other. Then it hit me: Return of the Jedi.

Return of the Jedi was the first movie I remember seeing in the theatres. I was about 3 and a half. Believe me, I saw it maybe 20 times. Every single aunt or uncle I had took me to it. Luke Skywalker was my favorite character. I was Van Damme serious whenever he was onscreen because he was a Jedi. He was also a good guy dressed in black, which did not jive with my little brain that had been watching cartoons and movies where the guy in white is the good guy. Going on in the back of my brain was this other message, "Princess Leia = pretty, find Princess Leia in the future". George Lucas had her in that gold metal bikini get give dads a reason to go to the movie, gave teenage boys good dreams, and planted the seed in many little boys' minds that no matter how fat you are, if you are rich and powerful, a smokin' hot brunette might sleep with you in a metal bikini.

There was a dichotomy with Princess Leia's wardrobe in the Star Wars movies. She was either covered neck to foot completely or wearing a metal bikini. There were no in between styles. Maybe Lucas thought that after covering her up for 2 movies, he had to give male viewers a little bit of fun. The wife and I debate the Princess Leia/Queen Padme comparison a lot. Yes, Natalie Portman is a beautiful young woman. Yes, she has a very classic look about her, and is slightly exotic which might be from Israeli roots showing. Still, she could not pull off the metal bikini like Carrie Fisher. Carrie Fisher was in goodshape due to her genes from Debbie Reynolds and the amount of cocaine she was snorting in the '80s... bonus points: she didnt look anorexic. If Portman wore that outfit, she'd look like a boy. I am probably clinging to a memory of Princess Leia on the big screen. My brain has definitely clung to that memory through the years as I have met women.

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