Zijn we (haar)kleurenblind? De impact van haarkleur in advertenties als cue op de ad-likeability

Tessa Feys
An experiment (N = 581) investigated the impact of a model’s hair color on the ad-likeability. This resulted in a general preference for brown hair. Yet, the sex of the model seemed to impact this preference slightly. Although the preference for brown hair was valid for both male and female models, blondes were also preferred for female models. Especially women had a strong preference for brown-haired models while men seemed to lack preferences. The explanatory theory for these differences was homogamy while sexual imprinting did not seem to have much impact.

Haarkleurenblind? Neen toch niet.

Stel u een doordeweekse dag voor, waarbij u op de trein zit met een krant in de hand. Na enkele pagina’s bladeren, ziet u plots een advertentie in de krant. Uw aandacht wordt getrokken door een knap lachend model. Hoogstwaarschijnlijk zult u het model zeer gedetailleerd kunnen voorstellen, waaronder de haarkleur van het model.

Haarkleur in verschillende dimensies
Vooraleer uit te leggen wat bovenstaand voorbeeld nu exact betekent, is het belangrijk om de drie dimensies van haarkleur te begrijpen. Hierbij is de eerste de culturele dimensie, die betrekking heeft op de verschillende geografische regio’s. Niet overal ter wereld is er evenveel variatie in haarkleur zoals in België. De continenten Afrika, Azië en Zuid-Amerika kennen voornamelijk de zwarte haarkleur en zwarte scharkeringen. In Europa en Noord-Amerika liggen de verhoudingen anders. Hier bestaan er vier haarkleuren die voorkomen bij de geboorte: blond, bruin, venetiaans blond en zwart. Daarbij valt wel op te merken dat er bij vrouwen een grotere variatie is. Bij mannen variëren de haarkleuren ook, maar komen de donkere haarkleuren wel vaker voor. Door de bovenvermelde geografische verschillen, worden er ook verschillende culturele betekenissen gekoppeld aan haarkleur. Deze hebben op hun beurt dan weer invloed op de voorkeur voor een bepaalde haarkleur.

Verder is er ook een sociale dimensie, waardoor er ook verschillende karakteristieken toebedeeld worden aan haarkleur. Voorbeeld bij uitstek: de domme blondjes moppen waardoor blondines soms als minder intelligent gezien worden. Aan elke haarkleur worden er begrippen en karakteristieken gekoppeld, al dan niet bewust. Deze hebben ook een invloed op de voorkeur die ontwikkeld wordt voor een bepaalde haarkleur. Soms gaat dit zelfs zo ver dat bepaalde mensen niet tevreden zijn met hun eigen haarkleur. Deze personen proberen dan de sociale perceptie te beïnvloeden door hun haar te kleuren.

De laatste dimensie is de persoonlijke, deze brengt de invloed van leeftijd in rekening. Wanneer een persoon ouder wordt, kan dit soms een impact hebben op de haarkleur. Deze kan namelijk veranderen van kleur, maar ook grijs of wit worden. Deze veranderingen kunnen ervoor zorgen dat iemand zijn opinie verandert ten opzichte van haarkleur. Dit kan opnieuw een impact hebben op de voorkeur voor een bepaalde haarkleur.

Voorkeur voor haarkleur in advertenties, hoe zit dat nu?
Bruin haar is de haarkleur die het vaakst verkozen wordt. Geslacht speelt hier weliswaar een grote rol in. Ten eerste kan er een onderscheid gemaakt worden volgens het geslacht van het model. Bruinharige mannelijke modellen genieten de voorkeur terwijl er bij de vrouwelijke modellen een voorkeur is voor zowel blond als bruin haar. Het tweede onderscheid is deze omtrent de voorkeur van mannen en vrouwen, die de advertenties met modellen bekijken. Daaruit blijkt dat mannen een minder uitgesproken mening hebben en bijgevolg dus een minder specifieke voorkeur. Vrouwen daarentegen kiezen nog steeds vaker voor bruinharige modellen.

De algemene voorkeur voor bruin haar, kan verklaard worden door de theorie rond homogamy. Deze stelt dat mensen een voorkeur ontwikkelen voor de kleur van de eigen haarkleur. Bruin haar is de haarkleur die het vaakst voorkomt als eigen haarkleur, waardoor er een voorkeur ontwikkeld wordt voor deze kleur. Toch is er een verschil terug te vinden tussen mannelijke en vrouwelijke modellen. Dit kan mogelijks verklaard worden door de repeated exposure hypothesis. Volgens deze hypothese zal iemand een voorkeur ontwikkelen voor de haarkleur die hij/zij frequent ziet. Hierdoor kan de voorkeur voor zowel bruinharige mannelijke als blonde en bruinharige vrouwelijke modellen verklaard worden. Bij mannen is er namelijk minder variatie en komen donkere haarkleuren vaker voor. Bij vrouwen is die haarkleurvariatie in grotere mate aanwezig, waardoor er ook een voorkeur is voor verschillende haarkleuren.

Om af te sluiten nog een boodschap voor de adverteerders: een bruinharig model is inderdaad de veiligste keuze, maar laat daarom modellen met een andere haarkleur niet in de kou staan!

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1.2Secundaire bronnen

1.2.1Boeken en readers

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Meyerowitz, J. (1991). Redheads. New York, N.Y.: Rizzoli International Publications.

1.2.2Wetenschappelijke artikels

Clayson, D.E. & Maughan, M.R. (1986). Redheads and blonds: Stereotypic images. Psychological Reports, 59(2), 811-816.

Juni, S. & Roth, M.R. (1985). The influence of hair color on soliciting help: do blondes have more fun?. Social Behavior and Personality, 13(1), 11-19.

Kondo, T. & Hearin, V.J. (2011). Update on the regulation of mammalian melanocyte function and skin pigmentation. Expert Review of Dermatology, 6(1), 97-108.

Montalvo, F.F. (2004). Surviving race: skin color and the socialization and acculturation of Latinas. Journal of Ethnic & Cultural Diversity in Social Work, 13(3), 25-43.

Schweder, B.I.M. (1994). The impact of the face on long-term human relationships. Journal of Comparative Human Biology, 45(1), 74-93.

Sorokowski, P. (2008). Attractiveness of blonde women in evolutionary perspective: studies with two Polish samples. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 106(3), 737-744.

Thelen, T.H. (1983). Minority type human mate preference. Social Biology, 30(2), 162–180.

1.2.3Ongepubliceerde werken

Miller, C.J. (2006). Perceived differences between blonde and brunette females: Intelligence, promiscuity and attractiveness. Niet-gepubliceerde scriptie, Greenly, University of Northern Colorado.

Universiteit of Hogeschool
Communicatiewetenschappen
Publicatiejaar
2017
Promotor
Prof. dr. Patrick Vyncke
Kernwoorden