Did Jews invent the dumb blonde? Everyone knows that image–the young, beautiful female blonde who can’t think. Where did she come from, and when? Is there a why? Is it even a valid image? Can a cultural stereotype actually be invented?
In American culture, the first dumb blonde was in fact a Jewish girl, Judith Tuvim, from Sunnyside, Queens. She was on stage as a fumbling dumb blonde as early as 1956 in “The Bells Are Ringing,” (for which she won a Tony). The stage musical was later made into a movie. Judy had been an extra in an Orsen Welles film in 1938 (Too Much Johnson), but she was already the universally established dumb blonde by 1954, as Gladys Glover in It Should Happen to You. She was the kind of dumb blonde that, as mazeltov would have it, ends up on top of the situation, despite her disjunct personality. She wins. The dumb blonde female is the victor. The white female body is the draw, and a curious fate provides the compassion. The stars pity her, and she wins.
Judy Holliday, the original dumb blonde.
She was innocent, hopeful, and Jewish
Born in Queens, 1921, died in 1965.
Now, this is show business, this is New York, this is Hollywood. Speaking of stereotypes, everyone generally accepts the Jewish dominance in this media. (Jews did invent Hollywood, no question about that. No one else saw any potential in the “moving picture” phenomenon in the beinning. A few Jews did. They created the business, and they’re certainly not to be faulted for that.) And, this dumb blonde image was created in the 40’s and 50’s, especially after WWII was over. (Judy Holliday was in on the war movie bit, too: Winged Victory, 1944.)
And what was WWII all about for Jews? Degradation. It was about that German denigration and cruel humiliation of Jewish people, the disdain for their darker coloring, and rather the exaltation of the blue-eyed blonde “Aryan.” The superior race. The master race.
So, American media Jewry comes up with the dumb blonde.
Eye for eye. Tooth for tooth. If the Germen propaganda presented the superior blonde, American Jewish media would show the dumb blonde. And yet the Jewish dumbe blonde did win in the end, partly because of her prettiness, but mainly because of her dumbness.
It seemed, in a way, a covert new sex appeal stunt. Take the mind away from the girl, and all you have left is the body–the more appealing for its psychological nudity. This may have been part of the invention, but, the timing of its occurrence is apropos for the overthrough of the German superior blonde type. It reduced the implied German to the mere body, having removed that lofty intellect.
But it also reflected the Jewish experience. Yes, the dumb blonde was mistreated, demeaned, ridiculed, as the Jews were by the Germans; but, in the end, she triumphs–for the very reasons she is scoffed. Her simple, positive, joyful approach to life, like a Pollyanna, was to be honored. Whatever her plight for being who and what she was, in the end, she was the winner. It’s called an optimistic take, vicarious but victorious. The Jews are eternal optimists. Isn’t that a great thing? A thing to be cherished? The dumb blonde was a remarkable testimony to Jewish faith.
Judy Holliday, the Jewish dumb blonde, created an enduring stereotype that many others employed–without any association with history or social issues. Marilyn Monroe, Jane Mansfield, and a host of others continued to benefit from it. Even today, the image is still lucrative. Some actresses perpetuate it in nearly all their roles. Melanie Griffeth (Working Girl, 1988), and Reese Witherspoon (Legally Blonde, 2001) are just two examples. The image is, for some reason, permanent. Dumb blonde jokes are ubiquitous. The repertoire is ever-expanding.
Funny, how all the darkies of the world still prize the blonde, the American blonde, as the ultimate triumph. Dumb or smart, it’s the blonde they want, from the writhing Negro to the frothing Arab. In a way, the blonde is still the victor. Just for being born blonde. I’d say blondes need to preserve themselves, and stop indulging the darkies. That truly is dumb. It should cease.
So, we can look at Judy Holliday as the mother of all dumb blondes, with all the social accoutrements attendant. We can look at the dumb blonde as a Jewish media invention which became a social stereotype based on sexual attraction combined with a desire for justice. It was a kind of medicine, meant to heal the social distortions of Nazi Germany.
Unfortunately, for all her salubrious effect, Judy died at 44, of breast cancer.