We have seen the future, and it sucks.

Political Peroxide: Blonde Privilege

10th August 2017

The Politics of Blondness.

Fox News and Donald Trump have given blonde hair a new chapter: Now, blonde is the color of the right, for whom whiteness has become a hallmark. Over the past decade or so, as inclusiveness became the hallmark of Obama-era liberals, the left found feminist icons in Rachel Maddow, Samantha Power, and Michelle Obama, who make no apologies for their failure to fit traditional ideals. But #MAGA, Fox News America is a place where all the classic signifiers of privilege and wealth work on overdrive: country-club-issue blue blazers with brass buttons and khaki pants, and above all else, for women, that yellow-blonde, carefully tended hair — 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. During that Republican Preppy Handbook era, when Dynasty and Dallas were on TV, the type of conspicuous ostentation that would lead a real-estate developer to sheath his entire apartment in gold leaf was actually in vogue. Look at the movies: Jake’s girlfriend in Sixteen Candles with the lush swoop of thick, blonde locks that ended up stuck in a door (losing the boyfriend to a redhead of all things meant, literally, losing that luscious hair). Johnny, the villain of the Karate Kid films, had a decisive swoosh of blond hair that obscured his headband. We knew, the moment we saw that hair, that small, ethnic Daniel was up against more than another teenager, he was up against privilege itself.

I am not making this up.

The chief defect of Identity Politics is that it makes people into units of a group rather than individuals, and hence interchangeable. This is a relic of tribal politics rearing its ugly head. Taken to its logical extreme, in such places as Pakistan and Nigeria, it means that if somebody from group X has offended you, it is enough to punish some other unit from that group; no need to find the actual perpetrator. ‘They all look alike to me.’

Of course, if somebody did this trick with a Fashionable Minority, I’m sure this chick would be the first to go ballistic. It’s all about The Evils of Being White.

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