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Victoria Vetri, Thou Art Avenged, or, Does the Carpet Match the Drapes?

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Here's another reason Larry Summers insisted science is for men only: Scientist Peter Frost (obviously an alias) argues that the xanthochroid gene MC1R emerged because cavemen preferred blondes.

The blonde gene began in Europe as a rare mutation, but proved a key to female survival as the dangers of Ice Age hunting killed off more men.

"Such a [male-female] imbalance would have increased the pressures of sexual selection on early European women," writes Dr. Frost in the latest edition of Evolution and Human Behaviour, an international journal. "When an individual is faced with potential mates of equal value, it will tend to select the one that stands out from the crowd—[the one] that has the rarest colour morph."

One of the publication's editors predicts the article could raise an academic storm. "In most hunter-gatherer societies that have been studied in recent times there are unmated males, but there are never unmated females," said Martin Daly, an editor-in-chief at the journal's office in McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont.

Whole article. Abstract of Frost's study at the EHB site.

The article did get a lot of attention, and even sparked a revival of an old hoax about the World Health Organization and the coming extinction of the blonde, blue-eyed gene. The WHO has had to issue a denial, asserting: "[W]e have no opinion on the future existence of blondes."

The hoax, of course, is the expression of an unconscious wish that's rooted in the West's hostility toward blondes. But that's a relatively recent phenomenon in a generally pro-blonde cultural history. It was Archie comics that made the sexy brunette an object of risky desire for modern America, with the raven-haired Veronica regularly taking the steam out of Betty's wholesome alternative. And you'll recall that on Bewitched it was always some carnivorous exotic with dark brown hair who was trying to seduce Darwood. (I'm referring to the first few seasons, not the later decadent episodes wherein Elizabeth Montgomery herself played evil twin "Serena" in a dark wig.) What sold America on this notion of blondes as hot but contemptible objects? Ordinarily I'd blame The Jews, but maybe it's a reaction against the myth of Aryan superiority? Was Three's Company the turning point? Is Ann Coulter mixed up in this?

Why did Frost bother with all the research when he could have just watched When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, the ur-text of the blonde as an evolutionary inflection? See star Victoria Vetri (blonde) sleeping in a dino egg and (brunette) stretched out on a tigerskin rug.

Should 4 Non-Blondes reunite? Sign the petition here.

Video interview with an ailing Dick "Darwood 1" York, including a bumper by a not-yet-bald (though also not blond) Bill O'Reilly.

Hollywood starlets go dark for meatier parts. (Maybe that didn't come out right.)

If blondes have more fun, why do redheads pay the price?

NEXT: Cowboys Eat Pudding at the Oscars

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  1. Any one of you sign that petition to encourage 4 Non-Blondes to reunite, and I come to your house and personally kick your ass. That goes triple for Cavanaugh, for putting the idea out there in the first place.

    That song of theirs was the second worst song of the 1990s. The worst being “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground.

  2. In the spirit of reunification, let’s urge eternal antagonists Betty and Veronica to kiss and make up.

    And for those curious what a possible showdown between both would look like.

  3. I’m not necessarily defending this particular hypothesis, but I hope Cavanaugh isn’t poo-pooing evolutionary psychology in general, a valid discipline that exposes and explains the folly of utopian social engineering.

  4. Also, considering that nowadays all manners of female celebrities, from pop princesses to slutty heiresses, seem to be sporting lighter hair while the one exception, Angelia Jolie, is the talk of the town, I’d say that brunette is the new blonde.

  5. Trust me on this, Deus. Its not her hair we’re talking about.

  6. I read the redhead link and noticed how many regular commenters here have red hair. Obviously, it was only a matter of time before I found this place. I’m glad to learn that blondes aren’t going to disappear any time soon.

  7. 4 non blones should stay in the dustbin of history– where they belong. The only thing worse would be an Alanis Morissette reunion. I think most Reason readers would agree.

  8. Red-heads are the hottest babes. This is an indisputable fact.

    Hot blondes are a just creation of clever marketing. Any chick can be hot regardless of hair if she works it, but the hottest chicks are red.

  9. Amen, brother

  10. “That song of theirs was the second worst song of the 1990s. The worst being “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground.”

    Agreed.

  11. The worst being “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground.

    AAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

  12. You guys have too high standards. There were tons of shittier songs released during the 90’s

    • Barbie girl – Aqua
    • Popular – Nada Surf
    • I Wish – Skee-Lo
    • Lovefool – Cardigans
    • Two Princes – Spin Doctors
    • Anything by Three Doors Down
  13. “[W]e have no opinion on the future existence of blondes.”

    That’s hillarious!

  14. the World Health Organization and the coming extinction of the blonde, blue-eyed gene.

    As a member of this endangered species, I have been waiting quite a long time for the captive breeding program to start up.

    So where is my invitation?

    I am waiting…

    Hello?

    Helllooooo…..

  15. “That song of theirs was the second worst song of the 1990s. The worst being “Sex and Candy” by Marcy Playground.”

    No truer words have ever been spoken.

  16. If we’re going to nominate songs for the title “Shittiest Song of the 1990’s”, I can’t believe that the Spice Girls and whoever sang “How Bizarre” didn’t make the list.

  17. Add me to the list of redheads (male by the way, so don’t you guys get any fantasies going).

    I also read that link for the first time. I never noticed a greater pain tolerance, but I also don’t recall being in much pain. Perhaps that is the morphine effect?

  18. You people are racist;)

  19. Redheads and pain: I was awake throughout my wisdom teeth extraction, which also involved treatment for periodontal disease and filling four cavities. The dentist gave me 2 10 milligram Valium tablets with instructions to take both in the morning and have someone else drive me home because I’d be so out of it. Not only was I awake, but I had a pad and paper and wrote notes to him throughout the procedure, which I endured in state of hyperventilating panic. Based on that, and on having broken a couple of ribs a few years ago — the treatment is painkillers, which didn’t work — I certainly believe that redheads are immune to painkillers.

  20. “whoever sang “How Bizarre””

    Why did you have to mention that? I had thought we could collectively forget that horror of horrors.

  21. That would be OMC who sang it, and if you want to know the rest, hey, buy the rights.

  22. Have you never heard Limp Biscuit?
    My god, the did it for cookies.

  23. C’mon! “Achy Breaky Heart” outblows them all.

  24. Uh, that’s Limp Bizkit

  25. Uh, that’s Limp Bizkit

    And, uh, their real name is even worse. Fictitious musical horrors are infinitely preferable to their manifestations on my airwaves. Spelling those nu-metal bands’ names with proper English goes a little way towards writing them completely out of history.

    Terrible songs of the ’90s: I was a late-nite Top 40 DJ (i.e., total sucker) when Celine Dion’s song from Titanic was hot. Don’t write off these two contenders either: “Pretty Fly For A White Guy” and whatever song Ma$e was drooling over.

  26. “My Heart Will Go On” wasn’t that bad a song…it’s tarnished by association with the movie. But any song would be.

  27. I wonder if the same holds true for polar bears and arctic foxes? What about ermines?

  28. NO WAY JB, That song was tarnished by the KOOK who sang it. Yeah the movie was sappy, and sure CD has great pipes, but once she starts talking..
    Pfffssssssssssssttttt! Immediate deflation!

    On pain & redheads, My better half is a redheads and i’ve never seen anyone who can suck it up & work through pain like her! mountainbiking, snowboardind, and the ultimate…childbirth! Two hours labor, two pushes, no meds…the doctor barely arrived in time to catch the baby!
    Reds ROCK!

  29. sorry for the spelling, typing too fast..

  30. Jeez, I’d successfully suppressed all memories of How Bizarre before now. If the past decade has taught us anything it’s that Swedes and New Zealanders have no business making pop music.

  31. do dooo do doo do do do do Can’t touch this . . .

    I’m so excited, I just can’t hide it, I’m about to lose control and I think I like it . . .

    “What’s the frequency, Kenneth?” is your Benzedrine, uh-huh, Butterfly decal, rear-view mirror, dogging the scene . . .

  32. Also, despite making headlines for causing a riot at Woodstock ’99, Limp Bizkit reached the zenith (or is it the nadir) of their popularity in the early 00s.

  33. Bonar: Oh, ‘cmon, “What’s The Frequency Kenneth?” is great for no other reason than its bizzare Dan Rather connection.

    And “I’m So Excited” came out in 1982.

  34. I’d rather hear any of the aforementioned songs five times than have to hear What’s goin’ on even once. Although Barbie Girl did give me pause.
    Other than that, I’d say two of the most annoying songs of the 90’s were Pearl Jam’s Evenflow and ALice in Chains’s Man In THe Box.
    I actually lump How Bizarre together with that Geggy Tah song as pop songs that were pleasant enough. I kinda liked them but I didn’t buy them.

  35. This discussion is not complete without the idiotic “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” song.

    As for “How Bizarre”, I think that’s what happens when a songwriter has 7 different hooks laying around that he’s never worked into a song and says “fuck it, I’ll just put ’em all in one song”.

  36. What’s so objectionable about “Sex and Candy”? Just wondering, cause I’m not hearing it. And no mention of the exceedingly dreary “One of Us” by Joan Osborne? (What’s the point of that song, anyway?) But word on the annoyingness of Spin Doctors and the excruciating screech of “What’s Going On”.

    I agree objectively that “Barbie Girl”, Britney, and the Spice Girls are among the worst, but I can’t hate them. Guess I have a tiny taste for bubblegum.

  37. I liked Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

    A couple years ago, a radio station in Santa Barbara did an all 90’s weekend. I heard all these songs that I hadn’t hear in years. What was amazing is that some of the songs that I had hated in the 90’s actually sounded good.

    This is what happens when you only hear the song once every few years as opposed to five times per hour.

  38. “Barbie girl – Aqua

    Popular – Nada Surf

    I Wish – Skee-Lo

    Lovefool – Cardigans

    Two Princes – Spin Doctors

    Anything by Three Doors Down”

    Actually, some of those could arguably qualify for “best 1 hit wonder” status.. Skee Lo always comes up on the allhiphop community discussion.

    BTW, Three Doors Down didn’t even “come-out” until 2000. And Linda Perry from 4 Non Blondes seems to produce at least half of all major label releases these days.

  39. What about ash-blonde? It’s totally unremarkable.

  40. This is what happens when you only hear the song once every few years as opposed to five times per hour.

    This is truth.

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