Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Facing Adversity The Only Way To Overcome It

Dear Tazi:

I am in seventh grade and my life stinks! I have blonde hair and nobody has ever made fun of me for it before now. This year the boys started calling me dumb because of it. It is hard to ignore because I know I am not dumb. It is very upsetting, especially because the boy I like joins in when the other boys are making jokes.

I have asked my Mom if I could dye my hair and she said no, that "overcoming adversity should not be so easy" and that I will "never learn to be strong" if I always take the easy way out. My Mom has no idea how tough this is for me! She was always popular in school, and nobody ever made fun of her. She was head cheerleader at her school and friends with all of the cool kids. I know because I have looked at her old yearbooks that she keeps on a bookshelf in our living room.

I am thinking of using my allowance money to buy a package of hair coloring and dying my hair at home, but I know that my Mom will freak out, probably ground me, and never let me color my hair again so it will look stupid when I start to get roots.

Tazi, can you think of a way to convince my Mom to let me dye my hair? If not, can you think of a comeback to say when the boys call me stupid?

Not A Dumb Blonde

Dear Not A Dumb Blonde:

I recently wrote a column on the inherit sexism of blonde jokes. I suggest you read it, and try to remember the important points it makes. For starters, you will discover that scientific studies have shown that brunettes and redheads who color their hair blonde are the ones lacking IQ points, not natural blondes. Another thing is that you never hear any blonde jokes where the blonde is a boy, which means the jokes are a put-down only to girls - of all hair colors, not just blondes. Both of these are facts that you might want to point out to your female friends who don't appear to be standing up for you! Once they realize that the boys are basically calling all girls stupid I am sure they will start standing up for you, and for themselves.

I think your Mom has a very good point when she says that you need to learn to stand up for yourself, that hiding from adversity will not make you strong. I suggest you start to pay attention in history class to learn what true adversity is, or better yet talk to a person of color who grew up in the 1960's. Listen to the recorded speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and learn what it was like to be treated like garbage because your skin was too dark.

Products like this were dangerous, and didn't even work

I suggest you do this for two reasons: First, as I mentioned, is so you can learn what true adversity is. Second, because the more educated you are the less intimidated you will feel when the boys call you stupid. If you feel smart, being called stupid will not hurt your feelings so much and you will have the courage to tell these boys to cool it with the insults. Once they see that you are not bothered by their cruel taunts they will stop picking on you.


P.S. There are a lot of smart, impressive blondes out there! Former /Secretaries of State Madeline Albright and Hillary Rodham Clinton are two of them, as is Joan of Arc (she had dark blonde hair), Princess Diana, and my own Mommie! Be proud of your golden locks!

Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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