California Girls

The stereotype of California being a blond state is enduring. My daughter’s consumption of pop culture caused her to wonder why people think the typical California girl is a blond, when in reality that didn’t seem to be the case.

I explained as best I could, saying that during the 1930’s and 40’s lots of people from the Midwest migrated to California to flee bad times on the farm or to look for jobs in wartime factories. A lot of them came from German and Scandinavian backgrounds and they had lots of blond kids, so in the ’50s and ’60s I guess California must have looked like a very blond state.


Since then there’s been a new migration, which maybe wasn’t a migration at all because it was people from the Pacific rim retaking a place that used to be theirs. A guy I knew called it the Reconquista because a lot of those moving back were Latinos, but there were also East Asians and Filipinos… more and more of them as the blonds got fewer and fewer.

California seems destined to be a brown state and while the California girl is still an icon we need a different picture of her. Here’s one I like.

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