NY Mag: Blonde Hair A ‘Dog Whistle Of Whiteness’

Amber Athey Podcast Columnist
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New York Magazine is calling out conservative women for embracing blonde hair, arguing that the “peroxide” hair is a “dog whistle for whiteness.”

While women’s desire to have blonde hair was born out of sexual desirability, contends the NY Mag article, now blonde hair is a symbol for women on the political right–and whiteness.

“Now, blonde is the color of the right, for whom whiteness has become a hallmark,” Amy Larocca writes. “[Blonde hair is] a dog whistle of whiteness, an unspoken declaration of values, a wink-wink to the power of racial privilege and to the 1980s vibe that pervades a movement led by a man who still believes in the guilt of the Central Park Five.”

At one point in the article, Larocca even refers to the group of blonde Fox News women–the Ainsley Earhardts and Martha MacCallums of the world–as the “alt-blonde[s],” a play on the political term “alt-right.”

“The alt-blonde common on Fox News is a specific look: It’s layered and yellow and never too long,” she says, arguing that blonde hair is a prerequisite for delivering “panicked reports about dangerous immigrants and the president with Hussein for a middle name.”

Larocca admits that there are many women with blonde hair who aren’t a part of the political right: “California surfer girls and the women of the other 49 states,” but contends that the associations of blondness with the right-wing are impossible to ignore.

The article concludes with an anecdote about how Hillary Clinton is letting her hair go back to gray after the election, apparently letting the former Secretary of State off the hook for sporting the blonde hairdo typically associated with the “sorority” girls and “suburban soccer moms” that run Fox News.

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