Despite the fact that a 2016 Economics Bulletin analysis of intelligence and hair type, found that blonde baby boomers have average higher IQs than women with brown, red and black hair, “dumb blonde” seterotypes nevertheless saturate society. Over the course of history, blonde women have faced their fair share of scrutiny for their level of intelligence. This demoralizing concept is arguably even more insidious than outright “obvious” bias, since it may not be taken “seriously,” while simultaneously subconsciously coloring people’s summations of women. As such, young blonde females may often feel the need to prove themselves on a slightly different level than their non-blonde counterparts.
Top podcaster, author, and blonde actress Melanie Avalon, is definitely aware of what she’s up against. The book jacket for her traditionally published What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine, jokingly notes she holds a Mensa card as “insurance for the whole blonde thing.” (Mensa International is the official society for highly intelligent people, requiring a 98th percentile on standardised IQ tests, quoting to a 132 on the Stanford–Binet Intelligence Scales, or 148 on the Cattell).
“I actually needed to join Mensa for a game show casting, which required a Mensa card to apply. So I got one. And now it is sort of nice, albeit I admit a bit disconcerting, to hold it as a sort of physical proof of my intelligence, despite the hair color,” she laughs.
And intelligence may be an understatement. The savvy blonde didn’t even graduate high school, leaving early at the age of 17 to attend the University of Southern California, where she achieved the highest GPA in the school of theatre, and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double BA in film and theatre. She not only excelled scholastically, but spent time working in different fields as well, like interning for blockbuster producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Julia Pistor (the former VP of Nickelodeon Movies and Executive Producer at Mattel), and Jim Whitaker at Disney Studios.
Melanie’s love for community theatre, and subsequent film and TV roles, granted her entrance into the official actor’s union, SAG-AFTRA. Melanie has appeared in films such as Neighbors, All I Need, and No More Chances, for which she was nominated as the best-supporting actress in the International New York Film Festival. On television, she has appeared in Deadly Wives, Glee, Codes and Conspiracies, and How Human Are You?
Struggling with some chronic health challenges, Melanie resolved to research and find answers in dietary and lifestyle solutions to reclaim her health. She relentlessly sought answers in the studies and writings of the world’s top doctors, authors, and researchers, and her obsession soon created a desire to share her findings – including the then fringe but now increasingly popular “intermittent fasting” – with those around her. Thus began her journey as the host of the top iTunes podcasts The Intermittent Fasting Podcast (with co-host Gin Stephens), and The Melanie Avalon Biohacking Podcast. To date, the shows have garnered millions of downloads.
Melanie’s curiosity and desire to spread her knowledge encouraged her to first self-publish, and then traditionally publish, her book, What When Wine: Lose Weight and Feel Great with Paleo-Style Meals, Intermittent Fasting, and Wine. She also developed the top iTunes app Food Sense Guide, to help users identify their potential food sensitivities and minimize food reactions.
For Melanie, her achievements have been a result of her willingness to learn, her consistent hard work, and – despite the blonde – her intelligence. Even now as a successful influencer, catering to thousands in her audience, Melanie loves crossing her mind with the best of the best, on her self produced show. Guests she has entertained on The Melanie Avalon Biohacking include the likes of the co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School, David Sinclair (Lifespan); the co-Directors of the Alzheimer’s Prevention Program at Loma Linda University Medical Center, Dr. Dean and Dr. Ayesha Sherzai (The Alzheimer’s Solution); acclaimed scientific journalist Gary Taubes (Good Calories Bad Calories); renowned pediatric neuroendocrinologist and NYT best seller Dr. Robert Lustig (Fat Chance); lawyer and entrepreneur turned research scientist and head of the Supercentenarian Research Study, James Clement (The Switch); and many more.
The secret to her success? “I believe passion, intelligence, honesty, and kindness are key for experiencing beautiful things in any endeavor,” says Melanie.