Therapy That Works...

Gearing Advantage

Doctors Sylvia and Milton Gearing have been serving the Dallas-Fort Worth area since 1985 with compassion and professionalism.

The Gearings implement the latest in psychological research to stay at the cutting edge of their field and bring the most effective and life changing techniques to their clients.

Their methods and strategies have been sharpened over the years, and are now built upon Gearing Up’s Three Gears of Change.

Dallas Blondes - May 1, 2008

Dallas Blondes: Do They Really Have More Fun?

May 1, 2008

Dr. Sylvia Gearing, TXA 21 News

D Magazine's cover featuring pop star Jessica Simpson announces that Dallas is the only city in the world that can officially claim a hair color as it's own. Blonde is "in" in Dallas and we want to know why. Is being blonde an advantage and why do so many of us prefer our fair hair? Here to shed some light on these questions is TXA Contributing Psychologist, Blonde Dr. Sylvia Gearing.

Q: Why is blonde hair so popular in Dallas?

Dr. Sylvia: Blonde is big not only in Dallas but all over the world. There are now 500 shades of blonde to satisfy us. Forty percent of American women add blonde to their hair each year. Beginning with Jean Harlow's platinum locks in the 1930's and our improved blonde technology, blonde has exploded in popularity. Although other hair colors are equally stunning, Americans tend to associate blonde hair with youth, glamour and celebrity. We've been hypnotized by blonde celebrities such as Kate Hudson, Jessica Simpson and Madonna and by marketing slogans--"blondes have more fun"--to regard blondness as something unique.

Q: Are blondes really that unique?

Dr. Sylvia: Interestingly, naturally blonde hair is extremely rare unless you're from Scandinavia or under the age of five. Even natural blondes tend to darken as they age and darken even more so after childbearing. Natural blondes do have more individual hairs (140,000 hairs for blondes, 108,000 for brunettes, 90,000 for redheads) and finer hair than brunettes or redheads, which may account on our blonde obsession with full, voluminous hair.

Q: Is being blonde always an advantage?

Dr. Sylvia: Not at all! Here's what science says:

Blondes Seen as Weaker and Shyer: In repeated research studies, blondes are judged as weaker, more submissive and less wise than brunettes. Darker haired women are seen as smarter and more mature. In fact, in temperament studies of young children, psychologists have found that pale kids with blue eyes are shyer, more fearful of new situations, and cling to mom more than darker-eyed kids. If you are trying to command power, bright blonde can be a slight disadvantage.

Q: Do men really prefer blondes to other women?

Dr. Sylvia: No, this is another Hollywood-generated myth. However, most men are definitely attracted to women with lustrous, full hair of any color. Most men like long hair that moves well. Hair is power in the world of attraction. Here is why:

Flirting with Your Hair: Brightly colored hair attracts attention. Shine, texture, perfume and movement all work together. One of the first signs of interest is shown when she begins to touch her hair. Brushing, flipping and caressing her hair send a flirtatious message. She "licks her lips, tosses her head and flips her hair."

Women Initiate with Hair: Research tells us that women initiate two thirds of all social flirtations. Since initial attention is drawn to the face, the hair is center stage. Subtle nonverbal cues--shifting the body, smiling, turning and moving the hair all draw a potential suitor in.

Q: When does our preoccupation with hair color or any physical attribute go too far?

Dr. Sylvia: We all emphasize looks too much. Plastic surgery rates have increased almost 500% since 1997 with almost 12 million plastic surgeries in 2007 alone. Only five percent of women naturally have the body type we see in the movies and television with the average model weighing less than 98% of women. Eighty percent of American women are dissatisfied with their appearance. Ten million women struggle against eating disorders in this country alone.

Q: Any advice for our viewers if they are worried about appearance becoming too important?

Dr. Sylvia:

Recognize the Obvious: Like it or not, appearance plays a part in relationships. Research shows that attractive people are perceived more trustworthy, intelligent, hard working, kinder and more influential. Such findings are evident even with small children. Understand that it is important to take care of how you look.

Automatic Negative Thoughts: Guard yourself against judging your appearance harshly. Watch your self- statements and comments to others about yourself. As a woman, it is far too easy to critique yourself. Remember that a hair color--blonde or any other shade-- can never create high self-esteem. Only you can do that.