GNXP’s Agnostic has done a series of posts arguing that the trend in male preference for brunettes relative to blonds already exists in the US (and Western Europe?) and is becoming stronger. That contradicts the speculative conclusion arrived at here by looking at Maxim magazine’s list of the 100 ‘hottest’ women of ’08. He persuasively suggests the list isn’t optimal and offers some others. Rather than serve up a poorly restated synopsis of his post, read it here if interested.
68.1% brunette, 26.8% blond, 5.1% red. (Rich & Cash, 1993)
68% brunette, 25% blond, 1% red, 6% black (Takeda et al., 2006)
74% brunette, 18% blond, and 8% red (Mather et al., unpublished)
As the third is presumably the most recent, I’ll use it. Representation by hair color among the ‘hottest’ whites in ’08 relative to the general population (brunette includes raven black hair):
Blond — 269%
Brunette — 67%
Red — 25%
Among Maxim cover girls, Agnostic finds that brown beats blond by about 61%-39% when light and dark versions of each color are combined. Excluding red hair (which, for these purposes, Agnostic enters as a neutral value), representation by hair color among cover girls from ’97 to today relative to the general population:
Blond — 199%
Brunette — 76%
For “hometown hotties”, running from ’03 to ’07, Agnostic finds brown beats blond by a similar 65%-35%. Representation relative to the general population comes to:
Brunette — 81%
The actual blond overrepresentation among those of European descent is even greater, as Agnostic includes non-whites in both tallies used above. The inclusion of even a handfull of Latin American and black women thus artificially boosts the brunette number.
Regardless of whether or not blonds outnumber brunettes among female celebrity sex symbols in an absolute sense, blonds are overrepresented and brunettes are underrepresented among the most physically desirable relative to their respective frequencies in the general population. Northwestern European is beautiful!