Dear American Girl,
I get straight A's, people always ask for my help in school, and I happen to have blonde hair. I don't really think about my hair color until somebody says that I'm not smart because I have blonde hair. They say things such as, "I'd tell you a joke, but you probably wouldn't get it because you're blonde." That kind of teasing is mean, but it's also really unfair to me. I'm sick of this stereotype. What should I do?
-A smart girl with blonde hair
Here's your advice:
Tell people, "I may be blonde, but I'm smart. Who told you that hair color determines the intelligence of a person?"
-Lydia, age 13, Ohio
These bullies have one main goal—they want to see a reaction from you. If they tease you for being blonde and you don't say anything, they might realize that the comments don't bother you. Good luck!
-Georgia, age 12, Hawaii
When people laugh at you, sometimes the best thing to do is to laugh with them. You could say something such as, "Wow! I didn't know that my hair color affected my brain. You learn something new every day!"
-Arielle, age 13, Texas
The next time someone calls you unintelligent for having blonde hair, say, "Actually, what's not very intelligent is believing a stereotype like that." That might make them stop.
-Caiti, age 11, Illinois
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, feel sorry for the kids who believe this stereotype, because they are missing out on being friends with a smart blonde like you!
-Marley, age 12, Tennessee
Hair color has nothing to do with how smart you are. Remember the saying, "Don't judge a book by its cover." Stay positive and try to not let this problem affect your grades. Keep up those A's!
-Irena, age 10, Oregon
I have blonde hair, and I also happen to be in the gifted group in my class. I've been teased for my hair color, too. A response that I like is, "If you had blonde hair, how would you like it if I teased you?" That might get the person to think about what she's saying.
-Emily, age 8, Maryland
Every person usually faces some form of stereotyping at some point in her life. If someone insults you because of your hair color, stay calm and point out that intelligence isn't based on how you look but on how hard you work.
-Irina, age 12, Massachusetts
Ignore these bullies' taunts. You are who you are, and what you look like on the outside doesn't match what's on the inside. Try your best to stay positive, and if you need more advice, talk to a parent or another trusted adult.
-Abigail, age 11, Texas
Respond to these bullies with, "My hair color doesn't define me as a person, and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop saying that." Standing up for yourself is a great way to feel more confident.
-Emma, age 12, Massachusetts
If you don't sink to a bully's level and tease her back, then you're automatically smarter than she is. Try your best not to respond with a rude comment.
-Marie, age 13, Virginia
The next time someone bullies you about your blonde hair, just say, "You know, not only are stereotypes untrue, but they're also mean. Please stop."
-Emily, age 11, New York
I can relate to what you're talking about. I cover my head with a scarf as a symbol of my religion, and many people have talked about me behind my back. When someone teases you in a stereotypical way, just say, "I can't wait to prove you wrong," and walk away.
-An American Girl fan, age 12, Virginia
If someone is teasing you about your blonde hair, just say, "Thanks! I love your hair, too," and then go about your business. The bully probably won't know how to respond.
-Vicky, age 9, Ohio
Don't let these kids know that the teasing is hurting you. Instead, keep your head held high and focus on what you're good at: getting awesome grades!
-Mackenzie, age 12, Ohio
People have teased me about my blonde hair for most of my life. My advice to you is this: don't tolerate it. If someone makes fun of your hair color, firmly say that you don't appreciate her comments. And always remember to believe in yourself. Know in your heart that you are smart, and even though it's unfortunate that stereotypes exist, you will always be an intelligent, strong, and beautiful person.
-Annabeth, age 11, New York