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Blondes 'to die out in 200 years' .
September 27, 2002 9:50 AM   Subscribe

Blondes 'to die out in 200 years' . The last natural blondes will die out within 200 years, scientists believe. A study by experts in Germany suggests people with blonde hair are an endangered species and will become extinct by 2202.

[Insert blonde joke here]
posted by MintSauce (66 comments total)

 
The question is, will the environmentalist seize on this as they seize on other dying species like spotted owls and what have you?
posted by dagny at 9:53 AM on September 27, 2002


I can see a lot of guys who read Stuff becoming activists over this one. Personally, I like dark haired guys, but that's me.

Thanks for the link. I needed a giggle today.
posted by greengrl at 9:56 AM on September 27, 2002


We must breed them to stop the population from thinning.

I volunteer. Gimme a setup like that first scene in "Conan the Destroyer." No really, I'm not a pig.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:59 AM on September 27, 2002


Is anyone else a little worried about German Scientists reporting on a doomed Aryan feature? (mostly kidding)

... anyway, as the article points out, its not like the gene isn't going to disappear, its just going to be less common. Silly German Scientists.
posted by malphigian at 10:01 AM on September 27, 2002


er, isn't = is. Curse you double negative.
posted by malphigian at 10:02 AM on September 27, 2002


I blame anime. All those freaks with blue and purple hair are just destroying the genetic structure of blonde women.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2002


As a natural blonde I hereby volunteer to donate a couple of those DNA-gene thingamabobs to science.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2002


Blondes untie and start breading.
posted by damclean2 at 10:04 AM on September 27, 2002


Dictionary.com's 4th definition for Aryan is:

In Nazism and neo-Nazism, a non-Jewish Caucasian, especially one of Nordic type, supposed to be part of a master race.
(Italics added. Am I safe in assuming that a token "Nordic" person would be blonde?)

Sorry to pull Godwin out of a sack so early, but isn't it a little eerie that Hitler was essentially aiming to "preserve the blonde gene pool"?
posted by zekinskia at 10:07 AM on September 27, 2002


Considering that Hitler was apparently himself not of true "Aryan" (Nordic) blood, it's not only eerie, it's rich fodder for psychohistorical polemics.
posted by alumshubby at 10:12 AM on September 27, 2002


XQUZYPHYR: You may not be a pig but are you a blonde? If not, then you won't be much use.

greengrl: of course you like dark haired guys...(what? me imply that peoples sexual preferences are totally controlled by genetics... ;).

Of course it is absurd to talk about an extinction of blonde genes in 200 years as genetic technologies will transform these glacially slow evolutionary processes. Two swarthy types want a blonde blue eyed child; no problem! Swap a couple of genes. As for myself I am brown eyed/haired but there is 50/50 chance that I have the blue eyed gene my mom's father had(he had blue eyes) (Mendelians can work this out for themselves if they want...)
The point is, I want to pass that gene on in memory of my grandfather(who passed away when I was quite young), no offense to grandma eye genes(I've known her my whole adult life). Of course it won't matter unless the mother of my child were to have blue eyes(or brown eyes but with a blue-eyed allele as my mother has). And of course I could leave this whole process to chance, but if I have the choice...
posted by nasim at 10:16 AM on September 27, 2002


Yeah, I'm surprised everyone just found this humorous - in essence it's a race question. The white-skinned population will also be drastically reduced over time (we'll probably end up mostly olive skinned) which is one of the things the neo-nazi movement commonly cites as a "non-racist" reason for their existence ('we're not against black people, we just want to preserve white people')
posted by mdn at 10:16 AM on September 27, 2002


make room for the redheads!
posted by lotsofno at 10:22 AM on September 27, 2002


They could be right. Every natural blonde I know will be dead in 200 years. Frightening.
posted by toothless joe at 10:23 AM on September 27, 2002


Scientists believe the last blondes will be in Finland

Sorry guys, we get the last few...
posted by rosmo at 10:25 AM on September 27, 2002


Sorry guys, we get the last few...

Yeah, and Linda Lampenius will live forever.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 10:28 AM on September 27, 2002


Thanks, Nasim, since I'm a lioness that makes a lot of sense. :-)

I am, however a natural blonde dating a very dark haired man. Guess I'm a traitor to my genes. Of course, I dye my hair red, so does that count at all?

In terms of it being a "race question", yes, I suppose so. Perhaps, though, if we all end up olive skinned, the race problems that exist in the world today will become moot, and everyone will turn to a new way to differentiate and disenfranchise. If it's not race, it will be something else, I think. Sad, but true.
posted by greengrl at 10:29 AM on September 27, 2002


Shhhh. Did you hear that?

It was the sound of genetic engineering slapping the authors across the face.
posted by Spiny Delicacy at 10:29 AM on September 27, 2002


See, greengrl is proof that blondes are dyeing already.
posted by madprops at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2002


rosmo: I imagine some operation 'Nordic Storm' being run by the U.S. in about 150 years all under the guise of fighting terrorism or something of the sort. Done by elite male powers in Washington to procure 'valuable resources'.
Today it's oil, tomorrow it's blondes.(More likely it will be water.)
posted by nasim at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2002


a "non-racist" reason for [the neo-Nazis'] existence ('we're not against black people, we just want to preserve white people')

Actually, no, I still see that as racist, or at least discriminatory. They're basically stating that if we lose or significantly alter this one branch of the human species, the other branches are so different that a certain - what? culture? breeding pool? will be gone forever.

Sorry, but all we humans are pretty much the same, barring some minor variations here and there. As far as I'm concerned, if the planet is still here and livable for any types of humans in 200 years, we'll be doing good.

Not arguing with you, mdn, arguing with the neo-Nazis...
posted by hilatron at 10:37 AM on September 27, 2002


See, greengrl is proof that blondes are dyeing already.

Ouch.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:39 AM on September 27, 2002


Haven't the American golfers taken all the blonde women?
posted by Summer at 10:42 AM on September 27, 2002


As mdn says, eventually, we'll all be homogenous anyway. I sort of like that idea. Except for the fact that blondes have all the fun. I suppose the future will be very dull.
posted by hoborg at 11:03 AM on September 27, 2002


Summer: *chuckle* Now, now, Tiger Woods is only dating one blonde, not all of 'em!

hoborg: It'll be like the present, only more so.
posted by allaboutgeorge at 11:07 AM on September 27, 2002


Hey, redheads are still around.
posted by Ron at 11:15 AM on September 27, 2002


Funny that the two women shown in the article are both bottle-blondes. The one at the top is so obvious-just look at her nice, brown eyebrows. THAT's not obvious at all. Couldn't they have found a real blonde?

I don't think my kids will be blonde. I am but my parents aren't and my husband and his parents aren't. Who knows what genes lurk back there, though?
posted by aacheson at 11:26 AM on September 27, 2002


I'm going to jump into this thread, with a few controversial opinions of my own. Personally, I would hate to see a future, where everyone speaks the same language, or shares the same skin color. It sounds like a dreadfully boring future to me, and while a future like that might have less racism, it's not worth the tradeoff if you ask me.

I want to see every race, ethnic group, and culture alive today to be around in 500 years, and yes that includes blondes. Every race and culture is worth preserving. It's only when someone says this in the context of a vanishing native European culture that they are accused of racism.

We can't be selective about this. Either we want to preserve all cultures and ethnic groups or we don't, so yes I'm concerned that western culture and native Europeans might become extinct, and I resent the implication of racism for feeling that way.

It's suppose to be called multiculturalism, not everyone-except-western-culturalism.
posted by Beholder at 11:27 AM on September 27, 2002


...western culture and native Europeans might become extinct..

Does mixing genetic codes really lead to a loss of culture?
posted by MJoachim at 11:42 AM on September 27, 2002


Personally, I would hate to see a future, where everyone speaks the same language, or shares the same skin color.

I dunno... a world where everyone looks Brazilian?

Yum.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:46 AM on September 27, 2002


Funny that the two women shown in the article are both bottle-blondes. The one at the top is so obvious-just look at her nice, brown eyebrows.

Er, you are aware that the color of your eyebrow hair and the color of your head hair aren't firmly connected, don't you? There are plenty of natural blondes with dark eyebrows, just as there are plenty of brown- and red-headed people with brown or black eyebrows.
posted by me3dia at 11:48 AM on September 27, 2002


To me, land, race, and culture, are all connected. If you lose one of them, it's difficult to hold onto the other two. Just ask native Americans.
posted by Beholder at 11:48 AM on September 27, 2002


This makes PERFECT SENSE! This explains why white cats, chocolate-point siamese and no manx are all a collective hallucination seeing as how they are all genetic recessives.

As a blond, I welcome our new brunette overlords. Rrrrow!
posted by bonehead at 11:52 AM on September 27, 2002


Except for the fact that blondes have all the fun. I suppose the future will be very dull

nah, the blond's Fun gene will just be diluted throughout the whole human gene pool, so we'll have be having a little fun, but not as much as a full-blooded blond.


yes that includes blondes

blondes are an ethic group?

where everyone speaks the same language

agree with you there.

or shares the same skin color

doubtful that people would all have the same skin color. i'm sure there will still be much variation. there's plenty of variation within each race as it is.


a vanishing native European culture

cultures change as time goes by, the way of the world.

To me, land, race, and culture, are all connected … Just ask native Americans.

wow. that's just bullshit. ask the racially black members of the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma.
posted by tolkhan at 12:02 PM on September 27, 2002


there are plenty of brown- and red-headed people with brown or black eyebrows.

What is your basis me3dia, I'm not doubting you, I like to learn new things. As my mother is a blond and my hair is more strawberrry blond, depending on how much sun I get it will lighten to blond or even darken in time to brown. Yet I have dated a lot of blondes both real and fake. Maybe your confusing a sandy brown haired woman whose hair has lightened from either the sun or chemicals.
Also white is the absence of color.........

Here is your joke, what goes blonde brunette, blonde brunette?
A Blonde cheerleader doing cartwheels.......

PS, If you ask more than one person the color of my hair you never get the same answer, maybe it's all in the eye's of the beholder or just the lighting.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:06 PM on September 27, 2002


Really? Can't strong ethnic identity create cohesion even when people don't have the same exact skin, hair, or eye color? I mean, wouldn't we consider someone to be a prejudiced if he or she decried the phenomenon of people choosing to marry outside of their racial group?
Also, white cats aren't that common in nature (unless in the artic), and the rest of the recessive breeds are preserved through selective breeding. I don't think blonds will disappear in a new multiracial world, just become less common. Even if the recessive genes aren't expressed, after all, they're still there.
posted by Charmian at 12:13 PM on September 27, 2002


One more thing..... Okay, so what are the genes for brunette, then? And redhead? Is it just straight Mendelian dominant/recessive inheritance? I have difficulty believing that, because when a person with very dark hair and a person with very light hair mate, the offspring usually has hair of an inbetween shade. Same with skin color. If that's true, then we'll see a disappearance of people with black hair too (because everyone will be that intermediate shade.....wonder why the title of the article isn't that instead?)
posted by Charmian at 12:28 PM on September 27, 2002


TCS, I'm speaking mostly from anecdotal evidence, not scientific. But I know plenty of people with brown hair and black eyebrows, red hair with brown eyebrows, natural blonde hair with light-brown to medium-brown eyebrows -- all sorts of variations, none due to hairdye. Just as hair color is a gradation from blonde to black, eyebrow color is variable, too.
posted by me3dia at 1:03 PM on September 27, 2002


As mdn says, eventually, we'll all be homogenous anyway.... I suppose the future will be very dull.
Check out the 1979 PBS version of The Lathe of Heaven for an interesting dramatization of this idea (skip the recent A&E remake, which is dreadful; the original LeGuin story is great, but I don't think it included the theme in question).
posted by languagehat at 1:16 PM on September 27, 2002


Actually, no, I still see that as racist, or at least discriminatory.

that's why I put it in those "quotes".

Personally, I would hate to see a future, where everyone speaks the same language, or shares the same skin color. It sounds like a dreadfully boring future to me, and while a future like that might have less racism, it's not worth the tradeoff if you ask me.

Okay, you're mixing unrelated things here, I think. A text feels different in one language than it does in another; there's something inherently expressive in different languages that's exciting and important. While I can appreciate that the striking skin or hair color of a beautiful person can be an enjoyable visual sensation, I really don't think life would actually become more boring if we shared more visual characteristics. If changes like that do happen, they'll happen slowly enough that people will find other differences to be intrigued (and probably also scared) by.

Anyway, regarding hair, we've already got that taken care of; I think people are already a lot less secretive about dying their hair, esp. in the post manic panic era (since no one's born with blue hair), so by the time it's unlikely to be a natural blond, people will still die it blond. Or, well, by then the style could be to implant lizard scales on your scalp or something, so who knows...
posted by mdn at 1:17 PM on September 27, 2002


Real blondes come with all shades of eyebrow color, pubic hair color, body hair color... It is silly to assume someones real hair color based on their body hair.

Question though, what about the inverse? Can someone have blonde pubic hair and not be a blonde??
posted by f00b4r at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2002


the original LeGuin story is great, but I don't think it included the theme in question

The "what if everyone was gray?" dream is in the book.

</geek>
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:37 PM on September 27, 2002


me3dia, I got you, I'm I people watcher so any tricks I love to learn. As I hate staring. I have been accused of dyeing my hair which as a guy going through adolescents in the 80's sucked, especially in CA. Then after I pointed out that other areas of my body Had the same color hair. The response was, well you dye that too. How do you dye your eye-brows, everyday? Most find my hair color changing and of a color to them that is not natural. Usually I learned after much discussion of having this pointing out was due to them wanting the dye color so they can do just that, dye their hair to the same shade. My Mom does to this day. Go figure.

PS, why does everyone equate red to Irish..........if I never said a word in Europe that is what I was referred to, the Irishman. In America same thing, TCS you must be Irish descent. Actually my hair is more from Lithuania and Eastern Europe.

Another Blonde joke, what's the differance between a blonde and a 747???

Well, not everyone has been in a 747..........
posted by thomcatspike at 1:52 PM on September 27, 2002


the genetics of hair and eye color are interesting.

brown hair/brown eyes are linked on chromosome 15 in humans. brown hair/green eyes are linked on chromosome 19.

red hair associates entirely separately and the latest thinking is that red pigment is there or not and hypostatic (covered up by, in fancy genetic-speak) to the presence of the brown or black pigment. so, you have to be a blonde to be a "striking" red-head. otherwise, you get auburn hair, i suppose. that redhead gene might be on chromosome 16 or chromosome 4.

this is a lovely treatment of the inheritance of eye color . you can also predict the eye color of your children.
posted by marmot at 1:53 PM on September 27, 2002


I want to see every race, ethnic group, and culture alive today to be around in 500 years

Well, then you'd better start writing laws that require genetically pure people to breed with there own kind, and laws against inter-racial relationships....oh, wait, we already have groups that believe that sort of thing, and try to enforce it violently.

I'm not saying you're racist, it's just that I think it's up to each cultural group to do their own preserving.

Besides, with cloning we can just whip up a batch of blondes any old time.
posted by Miss Beth at 1:56 PM on September 27, 2002


Besides, with cloning we can just whip up a batch of blondes any old time.

Throws away family supply of sun-in..............
posted by thomcatspike at 2:05 PM on September 27, 2002


Throws away family supply of sun-in..............
*guffaws*

Good info, Marmot. Especially interesting about redheads. Personally, I'm a brunet, but I've got a little of all the colors growing in my facial hair, and blond streaks appear at my temples in the summer. Don't know what that means for my chromosomes.
posted by me3dia at 2:14 PM on September 27, 2002


Cuba may be a good test case. As I understood it when I visited, interracial marriages are more common there than in most Western countries, and have been for the last 200 years. The ethnic groups that went into the mix were mostly Afro-American, American Indian and Southern European.

The result was indeed a lot of people with different shades of olive skin and dark hair. But you also ran into very blonde or very black people every now and then. My guess is that those recessive genes sometimes met up and the unexpected happened. Not a bad future, I'd say. Let's just hope racial integration doesn't always bring communism :)
posted by Triplanetary at 2:17 PM on September 27, 2002


Yeah, we've been taking bets on hair color, skin color and eye color of our soon to be born son. One thing we can be fairly sure of however, is that the blonde gene of my dutch ancestors has been fairly well trumped by all the other genetics.

As to the hair color/eyebrow thing...my hair, left natural is fairly light brown...almost ashy looking....blah. My eyebrows, however are dark brown. When I go to the stylist for color, I have him match my eyebrows, and just about everyone thinks it's my natural hair color. And were there a god of vanity, it would be. ;) My point being, sometimes nature doesn't provide us with matching cuffs and collar.
posted by dejah420 at 2:32 PM on September 27, 2002




Dirty-dishwater blonde here...sadly, my brother and I were both towheads as kids but darkened up a bit as we left high school.

My half-Japanese daughter, on the other hand, has the most phenomenal hair color. It is deep brown with gold highlights. I am a big fan of the mixed-race look.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:23 PM on September 27, 2002


My brother is a Blond, the other a Brunette, me I said above, yet when were together our brotherhood is doubted as fact because of this and eyes(that one is even trippier). Then our mother walks in the room and they say O' yes you are brothers. And above I said she dyes it, again go figure. I have noticed we would like the color we don't possess sometimes.

How does a blond turn on the lights in the morning?
Opens the car door......................
posted by thomcatspike at 4:00 PM on September 27, 2002


Did you note the theory that "dyed-blondes are more attractive to men who choose them as partners over true blondes"? They cannot be serious. The theory is that natural blondes largely end up virgin spinsters, never to mate? That surely does not match reality as I see it. Is any male here turned off by natural blondes, but if it turns out she started out brunette, is strongly attracted to her?
posted by quarantine at 4:50 PM on September 27, 2002


Just last week as I was getting my natural blonde hair highlighted (suckers everywhere fall for that one) ... my very beautiful German hairdresser told me that anyone over the age of 25 claiming to be naturally blonde is LYING. It made me feel a whole lot better too.
posted by oh posey at 5:34 PM on September 27, 2002


Im 35 and very blonde. So much for your hairdresser. But then I guess my Bavarian grandparents are to blame for that.
posted by stbalbach at 6:05 PM on September 27, 2002


26, natural blonde, dark eyebrows. My sibs are also blonde with dark eyebrows. Our father and both grandmothers are/were brunette. Our mother and both grandfathers are/were red heads. How they ended up with three blonde kids speaks of the amazing qualities to recessive genes.

(And before anyone asks, yes he is definately our father. Too much family resemblence not to be.)
posted by kayjay at 8:07 PM on September 27, 2002


Interesting how every post here treats this like a joke. Can you imagine the nashing and navel gazing should there be a report finding that last elder of the Kwakuitl tribe, or the last remaining elder who can speak Cree, or maybe the spotted owl, or how about the California newt, or whatever is endangered ? I'm sure there'd be a much different reaction. Welcome to the hypocritical world of political corectness.
posted by Kaslo at 9:47 PM on September 27, 2002


Kaslo, big difference between hair color and the last speaker of a language, between hair color and a species driven to extinction.

Welcome to the hypocritical world of political corectness

whatever.
posted by tolkhan at 10:52 PM on September 27, 2002


Cecil tackled a very similar question recently: "Will all humans one day be the same color?" Based on his experiences in Brazil, he predicts that one day the country will have "a fair number of pink people, a whole passel of brown people, and not very many black people." I think the point is that people at the extremes will become more uncommon, but they won't be gone entirely. He also notes that (in Brazil at least), there is a definite prejudice in favor of lighter skin. He feels that this means that the darker "pure-African" strains will die out much more quickly.
posted by web-goddess at 10:58 PM on September 27, 2002


Last names, among other arbitrary traits, are subject to similar processes of winnowing, despite the fact that having a unique last name is probably more advantageous than having a unique first language -- or at least demonstrably less disadvantageous.
posted by dhartung at 11:59 PM on September 27, 2002


Men with pattern baldness will probably become extinct THIS century, and no one seems to care.
posted by Devils Slide at 9:43 AM on September 28, 2002


As interesting as the eye color prediction chart is, I don't think it's completely accurate. Out of curiosity I ran my parents through it, to see if they could predict my eye color correctly. According to it my green-hazel eyes and my sister's blue eyes should be brown.
posted by Kellydamnit at 12:36 PM on September 28, 2002


Yolkhan: WRONG !! The point here is the dying out of genetic traits which makes biodiversity...diverse. That was point. Think about it. This board is predictable.
posted by Kaslo at 11:35 PM on September 28, 2002


'Blonds headed for extinction' report denied. The WHO has denied ever producing the report which was the subject of this thread.
posted by plep at 6:10 AM on October 2, 2002


"Welcome to the hypocritical world of political corectness"

The problem with "political corectness" is that to you it can mean being asked to call short people "vertically challenged" and similar ( book-selling, but only invented for that purpose ) nonsense, but to me it can mean not calling black people "niggers".

Please don't believe all you read about P.C. and just think that maybe, sometimes, you should think about the effect your choice of words has on the people you are speaking to.

Personally, I still call a seppo "a seppo" but, then, I'm a taff cunt.
posted by godidog at 8:18 PM on October 2, 2002


Kaslo, this article was a joke.
posted by thomcatspike at 3:00 PM on October 10, 2002


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