The Blonde Factor


There is no question in my mind that Michaela and her husband (old what’s-his- name) just flew through the three security posts at the White House dinner for the Indian president because she was a confident and attractive blonde with a smile as big as Christie Brinkley’s. If the Salahi’s were just two beige-y people who looked a little intimidated by their first White House visit, they most certainly would have had their names checked against the guest list, even if the invitations were tattooed on their foreheads.

As a brunette, I have watched the magical effect that blondes have on men and some women, too.  I’ve often thought that if someone put a long blonde wig on an orangutan, guys would check it out to see if its ass was as good as its hair. My mother-in-law used to describe women as “not pretty enough NOT to be blonde. She was a Brooklyn Italian, and although there wasn’t a naturally golden head in the whole community, she and her sister and friends all looked like the Gabor sisters.

I’m not a hater here, with my short dark hair-HONEST. Blondes look like sunshine and fun and, well, happier.  One of my old boyfriends used to tell me, “Men date blondes, but they marry brunettes.”  Was that supposed to be a compliment? Now that I’m single and dating, and not interested in marrying again, who in the world will want to be with me? I had hoped just keeping the grays at bay was enough.

Like the rest of you, I’ve seen that same tape loop of the couple being announced at the event and boldly walking before the photographers. My favorite part is when Michaela yanks her husband, who seems intent on passing through as quickly and unnoticeably as possible, back to the limelight for the enthusiastic flashes going off. He looked like she might have a dislocated his clavicle.

Why wouldn’t the photographers want to drool a bit over the sparkly woman in the gold and red sari? She acted like she was somebody, she looked like she should be somebody and so no one wanted to miss the photo op.  Have you ever noticed that most young-ish and attractive-ish salon-streaked hair wearers act like they’re somebody? The have learned to expect excitement at their arrival and insist on it. I, however, enter such events worried that I may be breathing more than my share of oxygen.

A very successful and well-known businessman in New York used to teach his business students that if the money being offered to buy a company is equal to that offered by another interested purchaser, he could make the deal if he could figure out the seller’s “Blonde Factor.” Sometimes the Factor could be a private meeting with an idol, like Jon Bon Jovi and sometimes it comes with the offer of floor seats at a basketball game. It’s called the “Blonde Factor,” though, because it usually refers to a private introduction to a beautiful blonde actress or model and the opportunity to spend some private time with her.

If you really want to see it in action, go to a country in South America or Southeast Asia, where blondes are as rare as nice people on “The Apprentice.” They are oddities, for sure, but that might translate into not conforming to the local standards of beauty. But it doesn’t! It inspires little parades in the street as the locals follow the blonde trancelike through the town. Trust me, I’ve traveled with redheads, too, and as rare as they are, they don’t get the locals to strike up the band.

Ok, so maybe I am a little envious. After all, I became obsessed with subsequent interviews with Michaela and old whats-his-name. Her hair extensions change length as regularly as Dorothy’s pigtails in “The Wizard of Oz.”  Clearly, she recognizes the source of her power and nurtures it. Just watch, next time we see her she’ll be even blonder and have even longer beachy waves than Britney Spears.


Vicki Iovine – Girlfriends' Guides