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Blondes a hot choice!

Natural or peroxide, blondes (and not only diamonds) are forever, writes Saumya Balsari in her column.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2005 16:21 IST

Politics has got pizzazz again. Instead of those uncomfortable questions on the number of British soldiers killed in Iraq, we can ruminate on whether politicians prefer blondes. They do. David Davis, contender for Tory party leadership, made the not so startling revelation a few days ago on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour. He apparently prefers blondes to brunettes. Senior women Tories were not amused by his response, but let’s face facts, gentlemen have always preferred blondes.

Whether politicians are gentlemen, or gentlemen politicians, is quite another matter. Natural or peroxide, blondes (and not only diamonds) are forever. Mr. Davis’ advisors claimed that he was merely joking, and that he did add that his wife, Doreen, was a brunette, but it was too little too late. Frankly, there’s nothing wrong in admitting that blondes have more fun. Uncleji has always thought so privately.

This is clearly good news for manufacturers of hair colour, and gentlemen will prefer blondes in the future, too. The blond gene is recessive, or so scientists say, so there will be fewer blondes to go around in the year 4000 than the population of . . . let’s think of an appropriately dramatic example - Barra in the Outer Hebrides. What about the rest of us with hair the colour of soot? When will it be our turn to be prized? The only consolation is that there are several billion of us in the same boat, and that we shall all go down together. Oh, there is one more sop – for an indecipherable reason, the word “dumb” precedes blonde.

Without the notion of the “dumb blonde”, the world of jokes would be poorer. The remarkable thing about dumb blonde jokes is that we’ve all heard one, but no-one can recall a single politically correct one that could be reproduced in polite company. For instance, isn’t there a joke explaining the similarity between a blonde and a railway track?

The trouble begins when “blonde” is equated with “beautiful”, and my raven-haired daughter stands in front of the mirror and hates herself for the way she looks. Lily Tomlin once said, “If beauty is truth, why don’t women go to the library to have their hair done?” Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if all the beholders prefer blondes?

In the interview on Women's Hour, Mr Cameron, the other Tory contender, astutely evaded the question on whether he preferred blondes or brunettes. He did, however, disclose his choice of underwear: boxer shorts. Mr Davis apparently favours briefs.

Does this talk really woo women voters of this country? Perhaps, as women buy what their husbands wear. Evidently, a man is known - not by the company he keeps – but by what lies within.

(Saumya Balsari is the author of the comic novel 'The Cambridge Curry Club', and wrote a play for Kali Theatre Company's Futures last year. She has worked as a freelance journalist in London, and is currently writing a second novel.)

First Published: Nov 12, 2005 00:00 IST