I was already quite drained, so I made a Starbucks stop for black iced coffee. "What's your name?" the barista asked me for drink identification purposes. I paused -- those blonde bangs tickled my eyelashes and I just... didn't feel like myself.
"Kimberly," I replied with conviction.
In good (conflicting?) company
I met my best friend Veronica* for lunch, who also happens to be a blonde. She was blown away by my makeover, comparing it to staring at the sun: "It's very jolting at first and my eyes need some time to adjust!" she said. "You look awesome, I just wouldn't have recognized you had I not known to look for 'blonde Brooke.'"
"Yeah, so I'm Kimberly today. It just feels right."
Veronica was also that friend, I realized now, whose relationship status guys always asked me about. She's gorgeous, smart, and a catch -- but with my recent experience in being carnivorously catcalled just for existing, I was curious if she and her natural blondeness could relate.
"I think we do get more attention, but not just because our hair color is brighter," Veronica said. "Blonde stereotypes have been deeply ingrained in society. We are perceived as fun and bubbly, but also dumb and easy. The extra attention isn’t necessarily a good thing."