Loaded Words
A loaded word is described as, any word, set phrase or idiom that has strong positive or negative connotations beyond their ordinary definition. In knowing this, the media tends to use such words to illicit certain emotions out of their viewers and make for an interesting story; but who is to say whether particular loaded words are entertaining, or just disrespectful? Many people could easily be offended by controversial words such as retarded or handicapped, but there is one that sticks out in my mind that I have been dealing with my entire life, blonde.
Just out of curiosity, I looked up the word blonde on, and one of the first definitions to come up was, “A hair color that is light gold, and is usually associated with ditziness and stupidity.” This perfectly describes an unsolicited stigma that has been associated with me for as long as I can remember. Other stereotypes that are commonly, and not to mention unfairly, affiliated with being blonde are: slut, airhead and bimbo, along with many more that I shouldn’t mention.
I can’t speak for all blondes, but personally it is degrading to only be defined by the color of my hair. When a reporter is writing a story about someone who happens to be blonde, I feel that it is unnecessary to mention that aspect unless it is prevalent. By enlightening the reader on that facet of the person, it might subconsciously imply that the person in question is not very intelligent, based on popular stereotypes. For example, if someone in a wheelchair is being interviewed for a story about pets, there is no relevant reason to mention that they are in a wheelchair. The same concept applies to blondes; if one is being interviewed, there is no reason to mention the fact that they are blonde, just as there would be no value in mentioning if they were brunette.
Although this stigma associated with blondes might seem trivial to most, it truly has impacted my life. I am prejudged with an...