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Thursday, April 18, 2013

Trope-tastic Thursday: Brainy Brunette

Part Two of this series! (I bet you can guess what's coming up next week....)

Trope: Brainy Brunette

Description: If there's a female character who's known for her intelligence (as in, that's her most prominent trait), there's a very high chance she'll be a brunette. Hot Librarians and Hot Scientists often fall into this category. Bonus points if she's also wearing glasses. (Extra bonus points if she's still wearing glasses in a futuristic universe when one would think such bulky corrective frames would be obsolete.)

Examples: Belle from Beauty and the Beast, Hermione from the Harry Potter series, Jo from Little Women, nearly every character Tina Fey has ever played (if not Tina Fey herself)

Pros: Regular readers of this feature should know by now that I do enjoy smart women, regardless of their occupation. The more portrayals of intelligent, capable female characters in all forms of fiction, the better! I especially like said portrayals when the characters have multiple dimensions and are, say, passionate love interests or brave action heroes.

Cons: Sometimes (not always, but sometimes), there's a downside to being defined as the "brainy" character. Maybe she's socially awkward, and/or prefers her books to people. Maybe the romantic hero overlooks her for a less intelligent, but sweeter, more charming woman. (Though he usually sees the error of his ways.) Like it or not, there still is a certain stigma associated with being "too" smart, and that can come up with this trope.

Would/Did I Use It?: I suppose I can stick Geneva from Searching the Skies in here. As I've said many times, I like writing smart women, but I see no reason to limit their choices of hair color!


  1. I'm sure I'm guilty of using this a lot. Lol! I currently have a smart, brunette in a project. On the flip side, the dumb character in the story is the one with the glasses. Just now realized that...

  2. I use this one a lot--and I immediately relate to Brainy Brunette characters anyway by being brunette and bookish.