TikTok users are asking if blonde hair is still desirable, but this is just another way to penalise women for personal choices.
“Every celebrity, cool girl, model is going dark with their hair and I love it,” says TikTok user @girlbosstown. “My question… is being blonde, like, cheugy?”
If you’re not familiar, cheugy (pronounced chew-gee) is a term coined by 24-year old LA copywriter Hallie Cain and refers to a number of alleged social faux-pas. Side parts? Cheugy. Skinny jeans? Cheugy. If Keira Knightly or Kate Middleton wore it in 2005, chances are it’s cheugy.
According to patrons of the word (Cain and her friends), cheugy is the phrase to describe being out of date, passé or behind the trend.
Never one to come undone by the futility or facility of a concept, the internet has since run amok with the idea that blonde hair is “off-trend”. Yes, you read that correctly. Blonde, the universal hair colour with myriad iterations and variations, has been found wanting. Primarily for “trying too hard”.
Youth trend forecaster @thedigifairy, took it one step further, claiming that “the trend away from blonde may be a trend towards more diverse beauty ideals,” with “natural cuts and colours” becoming more popular.
So, at the zenith of Hailey Bieber’s “expensive brunette” era, is being blonde cheugy? Or are celebrities simply following the aeons-old hair trend of darker-for-winter, lighter-for-summer?
Six blonde women share their thoughts.
“Being blonde to me means being able to dictate what my image looks like and being able to select what makes me look better. You can shove your cool or uncool. I look better blonde. Shaming can hold people who don’t love their natural image or hair colour back from being comfortable enough to do something simple like dying it to make themselves feel better. It’s elitist.”
“Whether it’s weight, hair, make-up or whatever is now being imposed on women’s bodies, the only thing that really matters is the reason behind why YOU do it and how it makes you feel.
“If it makes you feel better, then it’s nobody else’s business. Do what makes you feel happy but not to the detriment of others. Be kind, really. At the end of the day, beauty is subjective and an ever-changing beast with fashion trends/fads/crazes doing the rounds year after year. Just do you.”
“At 27, my side part was first, which I kind of get. But, blonde? I’ll never change.”
“Blonde is my natural colour and it’s definitely what suits my complexion. Just like with fashion, trends come and go but when you find what suits you and makes you feel good, it would be stupid not to stick with it even if it’s not trendy right now. If I dyed my hair every time a new colour came into fashion, not only would I have very damaged hair but a damaged sense of self, as I wouldn’t know what I personally really liked!”
“Having your own style, whether that be reflected in your image, tastes or passions, is a personal expression and should be celebrated, not shamed. It’s disappointing to hear people speak negatively about the image choices of others.
“I highlight my natural blonde hair because it’s more vibrant, upbeat and, frankly, it makes me feel great. I feel more me when I get my hair highlighted, I feel more confident and being called “cheugy” doesn’t and won’t ever change that.”
“I’m 30 and have been brunette all my life. I recently decided to go blonde… I must be getting old.”
Main image: Getty