Blondes are prettier

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The same woman twice, but with a different hairstyle: bestselling author Ildikó von Kürthy before (left) and after her self-optimization crash. Photo: PD

Do blondes have more fun? Unfortunately, I am not predestined to answer this question, as I have been blonde all my life. White-blonde as a child, orange-blonde (thanks to henna) as a teenager, platinum-blonde during my time as a TV presenter (my boss said the audience would like that), mouse-blonde during my “pure nature” phase and golden-blonde (with a little chemical support) today . So I don't know if I am happier than black-haired people would have been.

One who can judge this is the bestselling author Ildikó von Kürthy, who was a brunette all her life and now for a project wore a blond mane for a year (the real hair extensions cost a good 2,000 francs). But the hair wasn't the only thing that changed the 47-year-old German journalist in her life. For a year von Kürthy gained self-experience and one Crash course in self-optimization made. The big question she wanted to answer was: How do you feel when you bring out “the best” in yourself? And not only externally, but also through internal changes. She tells her experiences in the book "Neuland - How I looked for myself and found someone completely different" (Wunderlich-Verlag).

One evening in December 2014, von Kürthy decided to give her Radically changing lives. "I had accumulated quite a bit of dissatisfaction, Christmas kilos and dreams." From then on she submitted 27 measures: Among other things, she fasted in a medical wellness clinic, remained silent in a retreat in the monastery, completed survival training in the wilderness, cared for the dying in a hospice, trained until she fell in a yoga camp, let her fat cells freeze and her forehead paralyze with botox.

It also lay down for everyday life a to-do list rightly:

  • No alcohol.
  • No white sugar (no, not even a single gummy bear).
  • No carbohydrates after 6 p.m.
  • Shop nothing to wear.
  • No internet purchases.
  • Restrict availability (“digital diet”).
  • To be as thin, as blonde and as beautiful as possible for one summer and then see if it's worth it.
  • Exercise four to six times a week.
  • Find more peace and concentration.

The "new" Ildikó was hardly recognizable. The natural and personable brunette became closed within a year a highly styled blonde, which, thanks to its optimization program, was no longer even recognized by its own colleagues. When asked what the biggest challenge was with all of these measures, she replied: "Getting blonde and beautiful - that was really a difficult hurdle to overcome."

Ildikó von Kürthy: Neuland - How I looked for myself and found someone completely different. Wunderlich, 2015.

Today, a year after her self-awareness turbo project, Ildikó von Kürthy is brunette again and a few pounds heavier. How happy she was with her action cannot be revealed at this point. Just this much: the author has found her way back to her normal hair color. So it can be assumed that the happiness quotient as a pimped up blonde was not particularly high.

«Neuland» is entertaining read, written with a lot of self-irony. Although the author leaves no cliché, her stories never seem clichéd. With ruthless honesty and pointed writing she holds a mirror in front of us, those who are looking for beauty, happiness and meaning: An ideal book for everyone who is always longing but never quite sure what.

Silvia Aeschbach is a journalist, blogger and author, she writes, among others, for, "encore!" and the “SonntagsZeitung”. She has written four bestsellers, “Bye-bye Traumfigur” appeared in spring 2018. She also runs the style consultancy www.stilbü Silvia Aeschbach lives in Zurich with her husband and their two dogs.