Blondes: Still having more fun in Times

It's Sunday in the New York Times, and the tresses are buttery.


Rebecca Traister
April 17, 2006 8:05PM (UTC)

OK, who at the New York Times is on the Clairol board? This week, the paper's editorial interest in the dyed female coiffure approached -- and, I believe, surpassed -- the "fetish" mark. Two weeks ago, there was the "Golden Girls" story about the "New York Blondes" (remember the photo caption? "Blondissimus." Purrrr.) Last week blogger Rachel Sklar picked up on a line from a story about women and their doormen: "And isn't it a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman would sooner give up her colorist than her doorman?"

And this weekend, the Times magazine hit one out of the park and straight into the land of your campiest fantasies with a magazine piece about going platinum that began, heavingly: "Platinum is a metal more precious than gold. Blond is the hair of an innocent child. Put the two together, and you have a phenomenon that can be expensive or cheap but never reasonable. Innocent? Au contraire."

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The magazine also carried a Deborah Solomon interview with Cyndi Lauper in which she talks about cross-dressing, androgyny and the fact that "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" is "totally feminist ... [and] a song about entitlement. Why can't women have fun?"

The Styles section was on fire this week. First Warren St. John dubbed a new genre of fast-selling books by boys with blogs "fratire." "I think that when you have a self-fulfilling prophecy that men don't read and you don't publish for men, they go somewhere other than book publishing to read because they're not being catered to," Jeremie Ruby-Strauss, editor of Tucker Max's "I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell," tells St. John. Ruby-Strauss also explained the genre's testosterone fuel as a reaction to "over-socialization, or maybe an over-feminization of the culture." That overfeminization is a bitch. Especially in Congress.

Also in Styles, an important story on celebrity baby monikers. Broadsheet was clearly remiss last week in not publishing an item about the birth of Gwyneth Paltrow's son, who was named Moses. The Styles section allows us an opportunity to rectify the omission with Sunday's story about why famous people name their kids things like Apple, Moxie Crimefighter, Makena'lei, Coco, Eulala and Kal-El when the rest of us are just catching on to the vogue for Ella and Jack. (Hint: Celebrities are not, I repeat not, just like us.) Actually, baby-name-book scribe Pamela Redmond Satran tells the Times, "In a weird way, it's like anorexia ... Anyone can be thin. The famous have to be thinner." And, apparently, weirder.

The "Night Out With" column was about Hugh Hefner's 80th birthday party, where one of the rules was "don't pet [Hugh's] bunnies." Yack. Also, he's apparently reduced his stable of seven or eight blond "girlfriends" to three (ages 21-32) because "they got so jealous and competitive." Well sure. Who doesn't want to scratch and bite her way to an active sex life with a hard-of-hearing octogenarian who wears a bathrobe all day and has six other girlfriends?

And in the book review ... drum roll, please ... someone doesn't hate Caitlin Flanagan.


Rebecca Traister

Rebecca Traister writes for Salon. She is the author of "Big Girls Don't Cry: The Election that Changed Everything for American Women" (Free Press). Follow @rtraister on Twitter.

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