Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Where have all the dark-haired Spanish girls gone?

I was thinking about this on the Metro the other day. Whenever I meet someone new here or go into a store or restaurant, they automatically assume I am Spanish because of my black hair and brown eyes. It happened several times this weekend, even after I’d been speaking to some of these people in English.

I used to find it amusing when people mistook me for Spanish and tried to guess my true origins, but I must admit that after five years it has gotten a bit tiresome. Apparently in their minds it’s not possible for an American to be anything but blonde-haired and blue-eyed, something I find particularly strange since their images of the United States come primarily from TV shows and movies. The majority of big Hollywood stars these days do not fit into the outdated American stereotype and in fact demonstrate well the melting pot that is America (looking at, for example, Beyonce, J Lo, Julia Roberts, etc.).

I really don’t understand it, because my facial features are not “typically Spanish” and my dress style does not include the spangled, leopard-print, acid-washed, neon monstrosities the women tend to favor here. And as for the hair, well, in 10 minutes on the Metro yesterday I counted only ONE Spanish woman with dark hair. Granted, most of them probably have dark hair underneath the blonde, purple, or orange dye in their hair, but the fact remains that it’s hard to find many Spanish women with dark hair these days. Oh, wait, I forgot about Penelope Cruz. And her sister Monica. That makes at least three Spanish women in Madrid with unaltered dark hair. And one American.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow, I wouldn't complain if I was mistaken for a spaniard. You would get more respect in Spain (I mean you ARE in SPAIN. Why would you think they would assume you're not? Especially if you look like them?) AND spanish women are some of the most beautiful women in the world. I would be flattered, not bothered!