Is It Real, or Is It Clairol?

Fashion and its victims.
July 8 1998 3:30 AM

Is It Real, or Is It Clairol?

The end of natural blondness.

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It's a sign of a permanently altered world that natural blondness should have such sacred power no longer. Instead, we have reinvented the much more flexible and imaginative Venetian blondness. We have a new awareness of how limiting and unfair the cult of fair hair can be. Natural dark-haired beauty--despised or exoticized for eons by Europeans, Britons, and Americans--has at last been universally recognized and welcomed. Its varicolored roots have grown in for all to see and for all to reckon with. Blondness has become just one of the many attractive ways to adorn dark hair.

Anne Hollander is Slate's fashion columnist.