Claim: A study undertaken by the World Health Organization concluded that natural blondes are likely to be extinct within
Origins: Some factoids are just too intriguing, their hold on our imaginations too tenacious, for us to let go of
- The name of the group that conducted the
study — theWorld Health Organization (WHO).
- The reasons why blondes are headed towards
extinction — becauseblonde hair is produced by a recessive gene, and because "bottle blondes" are more attractive to men than natural blondes and are therefore more likely to be chosen as mating partners.
- Exactly when and where the extinction will
occur — thelast blonde will probably be born in Finland around the year 2202. (Finland is named because it's claimed to be the country with the highest proportion of natural blondes, and the year 2202 is cited because the putative study was conducted in 2002 and predicted blondes would "die out within 200 years.")
"We've certainly never conducted any research into the subject," WHO spokeswoman Rebecca Harding said from Geneva. "It's been impossible to find out where it came from. It just seems like it was a hoax."
The health group traced the story to an account on a German wire service, which in turn was based on a two-year-old article in the German women's magazine Allegra, which cited a WHO anthropologist. Harding could find no record of such a man working for the WHO.
Harding says the WHO made no attempt to contact the news outlets that went with the bogus report but decided to issue a news release yesterday.
"Honestly, we have better things to spend our time on," she said.
Blondes — real and bottled — are disappearing on a worldwide scale at increasingly rapid rates, according to a scientific study made in France.
Natural blondes, the kind gentlemen prefer most, may be extinct in
Though nobody knows why, the International Committee for Demographic Studies, which made the study, believes the trend is related to Darwin's "survival of the fittest" law. Blondes are believed to be more fragile than brunettes who are better able to adjust to climatic and other environmental changes.
Even Sweden, the world's blondest country, has had a drop in the proportion of blondes to brunettes of nearly
The decline of the natural blonde has been paralleled by the "evaporation" of girls with bottled yellow tresses. Several years ago one in three French girls was a peroxide blonde. Today the proportion is closer to one in six.
Stylists, noting a trend toward coloring the hair in dark shades, say western women are entering a "brunette cycle" certain to last a decade or more.
Major Woodruff Sounds Their Deathknell — It's Science.
The girl with the golden tresses is doomed, and within six hundred years blondes will be extinct. The fate of the blonde was foretold today by
The major said the blondes were on the toboggan and were scheduled to disappear in six centuries. The gallant major said her peroxide sister might endure, but the real twenty-two karat blonde would be only known in history in future ages.
Major Woodruff said science might discover some method of controlling the color of hair.
Condition of Affairs the Government Should Investigate
Blondes are said to be disappearing both in Engand and America, says the Illustrated American. Persons who can look back half a century unite in declaring that there is a marked change in this respect.
For every red-haired person seen now, 10 could have been met with
In New York a reporter recently made an interesting experiment which any one who doubts it may repeat. In the course of
He passed only 13 women of the pronounced blonde type. Three of these had red hair, and the hair of two had apparently been bleached. At the theatre the same evening he scrutinized
They sat surrounded by a bevy of dark women, who gave its prevailing tone to the complexion of the house. The public schools yielded a similar result. One class of
Another observer hazards the statement that not more than
"Go anywhere where pretty girls congregate, and you meet tall, striking-looking figures with dark hair and big, dark eyes. The blondes are disappearing. And why?"
Science steps in with an explanation. Dr. Beddoes of the British Royal Infirmary in London declares that after examining the hair of nearly 1000 young women who came before his notice, he has arrived at the conclusion that in matrimony the brunette was preferred over the blonde in the ratio of three to two, and so, gradually but surely, through the selection of dark women for wives and through the hereditary transmission of brunette traits, the blondes become extinct.
Not long ago, the admirers of blue eyes and fair hair were disgusted by certain wise men announcing that the blonde was becoming rapidly extinct, failing to hold her own even in her native North. Let them take heart and rejoice, and laugh to scorn the evil prophecies of Darwinian doctrinaires. Fashion, in Paris, has determined to thwart the disciples of the new school, and set natural selection at defiance, and the fiat has gone forth that the blonde is the true type of beauty, and golden your only hair. Amber-colored locks are literally worth their weight in gold, and all the hair-markets of Europe are being ransacked to enable Parisian belles to witch mankind with beauty not their own, except by right of purchase.
Last updated: 1 August 2013
Dobson, Roger and Abul Taher. "Cavegirls Were First Blondes to Have Fun." The [London] Sunday Times. 26 February 2006. The Appleton Post-Crescent. "Blondes Are in Global Fade-Out." 29 June 1961 (p. C7). BBC News. "Blondes 'to Die Out in 200 Years'." 27 September 2002. Boston Daily Globe. "The Blondes Disappearing." 19 October 1890 (p. 22). Flag of Our Union. "Golden Hair." 26 August 1865 (p. 536). The Marion Daily Star. "Blondes Doomed to Vanish from Earth." 27 December 1906 (p. 3). The Washington Post. "Extinction of Blondes Vastly Overreported." 2 October 2002 (p. C1).