"the nicest and the sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens, but just those that bring simple pleasure, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string."
Lucy Maud Montgomery

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Making peace with my head...

...I am a redhead tried and true, to my core and in every sense of the word.  My mother was a redhead as was her father so that recessive gene really had a field day in our family.
As a child I hated having red hair, it seemed there was nothing worse that you could be and the teasing and taunting started when I was very young.  In fact my mother was deeply disappointed to see she had birthed a redheaded daughter.  I like to think that was because she knew it would add a cruel dimension to my life but her disappointment in me ran much deeper than just my red head.

History has not been kind to redheads.  In biblical times red haired babies were left outside for the wild animals to destroy.  Adam, Mary Magdalene, and Judas were all depicted as red haired and the mark of Cain is supposedly redheadedness.  Modern society hasn't done much to change past views of the red inclined.  The Nazi's were deathly afraid of redheads, as if they needed another reason to kill someone.  Witches are often portrayed in cartoons as redheads as are most villains.  They are portrayed as untrustworthy and unattractive, hot-tempered deviants.  How could a person ever make peace with that?

There are some interesting facts about us reds that you might find surprising. 

*Per square inch of scalp the reds have the least amount of hair but since it is so thick it appears to be much more.
* During the war when surgical supplies were low the surgeons would use hair from a redhead to 'sew' people up. 
*only 4% of the worlds population is redheaded...most of them being from Scotland or Ireland.  (my grandfather came from Ireland)
*we get more bee stings.
*obviously, the sun-burn-thing.
*we don't get gray hair...we go from red to white with not stopping for the gray.
*we really are stubborn and hot tempered but you would be to if you were taunted from birth.
* we are also very creative and great leaders...think Churchill, Elizabeth 1, and King Arthur.

So how did I come to this new found peace?  age.  As I stated earlier, I hated having red hair from the start.  People would ask me 'where did you get that hair?' and always I would answer 'God.'  It was very confusing to me as a child as to why people would care.  As I got older the silly questions and teasing took a turn and I noticed that men, older men, I mean old men, would make comments to me.  Most of them quite rude and crude.  This was not only confusing and scary but I think this may be the time that I developed my 'temper.'  I'll admit it...I have quite the temper and it doesn't take much of a push for it to come out.  Later as I grew in to adulthood and my hair turned from carrot-orange-red to a blonde-red I began to feel differently about it and myself.  Being 'different' wasn't such a bad thing anymore, I could fend for myself if necessary but it didn't seem necessary as friends, namely boys, found me interesting and funny despite the red locks.

At this point in my life it has toned down quite a bit and the annoying brightness  is less of a problem.  I enjoy not having to color/cover the gray/white.  (I've tried it but coloring and/or perming don't take to red hair).  I enjoy being just a little bit different and standing out in a crowd.  I finally feel a sense of peace with who I am, hair and all.  And if I'm completely honest, although I didn't want my children to have red hair (and they don't) I was secretly hoping that my grandbabygirl would have copper locks.  She doesn't, but I can always dream.





Nobody who has known a redhead can say that redheads are tame. Even shy redheads have a burning spark of adventure inside them. Opinionated, hotheaded, logical, loyal, friendly, reserved, whatever the redheads' personality, you can bet they'll have SCADS of it!" - Review of The Redhead Encyclopedia

13 comments:

  1. Red hair is my favorite. I dyed my brown hair red for many years. Now its more blonde. I think that redheads are the most beautiful women on the planet! I'm always envious when I see a girl with long curly red hair and freckles.

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  2. My hair has also changed through the years. When I was younger my Mom called it strawberry blonde. It's lightened up, and bleaches out every summer,(if we have sun) and then I have the winter grow out look. I'm stubborn and don't want to color it...It's actually getting quite white on my temples,(like streaks) and I like it! I understand how you felt though, it's tough as a kid. My Grandfather was Italian, my Mom had drk. brown hair, dark eyes and tanned to a golden bronze each summer, same with my brothers...Then there was me, blue eyed, albino...(well not really), but to me it seemed like I was. Never a tan, only pink or red...

    I work with a gal that dyes her hair red, it's beautiful, and I looove it!

    It's great that you're at peace with it now, because isn't that a wonderful place to be! xo & Big hugs, Debbie @ Cottage Hann~Me~Downs

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  3. Lot of Debbie's here (me too) and my ex-best friend since 6th grade has red hair and is also named Debbie...

    I had absolutely no idea of most of this news. The TEMPER I knew LOL

    She colors hers, but she barely has any left on the top but hides it well.

    Jojo, we love ya...red hair and all ♥

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  4. I totally agree with Debora! Red hair is my favorite!! My grandmother had BEAUTIFUL auburn hair and my cousin got it and a little more red with it. I LOVED her hair when we were kids and always wanted that same color! Today my cousin's hair is snow white and absolutely awesome! My oldest has some red highlights in her hair when she is in the sun and I hoped and prayed that one of my grandchildren would get some of that red! My granddaughter sometimes has a red look in the sun, but not as much as I would like! ha ha! I love red hair! YOU are lucky!! Love you, and have a GREAT day!!!

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  5. I never have understood the scorn of red hair. I think it's beautiful! Red headed kids are darling. How strange that it has gone on for centuries. My oldest is dating a red head. She's a sweetheart. :)

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  6. My grandmother use to dye her hair red. It fit her personality. She was outspoken, had a temper and was one tough lady.
    My sister just started dyeing her hair red. I can't believe how good it looks.
    My friend "C" is a red head and is a stongly opinionated, highly political person. So is her daughter. I can always count on her for an educated and strongly worded opinion. If you don't ask she gives it to you anyway.
    I think redheads are beautiful and interesting. Don't ever let anyone make you feel that being a redhead is a flaw. The flaw is in their brains.

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  7. Don't forget Trixie Belden!

    Have a blessed week, Jojo. :)

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  8. Lots of redheads in my mother's family. And I love(d) them all!!

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  9. I forgot to include that when I was in grade school and my grandmother from Kentucky came to visit, I invited my neighborhood friends over to watch my grandmother "do" her hair! I was fascinated with the beautiful auburn color and the way she would "twist" it into a bun!!!

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  10. Fun read Jojo. I have purposely dyed my hair red before...I do come by red highlights naturally though. xo ~Lili

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  11. I love you just the way you are. Your hair color is very attractive. I would have traded my curly hair for your red hair. I hated my hair. Everyone wore theirs long and straight. Mine never saw long much less straight. Now I love that I can shampoo, run my fingers through it and it's done. Took me all these years to make peace with my hair. At one time I was ready to shave it and be bald. Hugs, dear friend.

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  12. Hi Jojo,
    I am sure that redheads do take a ton of teasing. I didn't have red hair, but I was covered in freckles when I was young and that was bad enough. The teasing was relentless. I have several cousins that are reds, and you should see my nephew...it's not red...it is orange.
    There sure is a lot of money spent in salons for beautiful red locks though.
    sending hugs...

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  13. I've always loved red hair!

    You wrote: As I got older the silly questions and teasing took a turn and I noticed that men, older men, I mean old men, would make comments to me. Most of them quite rude and crude.

    I've found that no matter what color hair you have--seems like this happens! I don't know what they think gives them the right to make comments like that--but I wish they'd catch a clue.
    We have a friend whose daughter jut got back from her honeymoon cruise (she's a redhead), and evidently didn't take enough sunblock or didn't use any--and she nor her new husband came back very happy! I mean--she's 20--she knows she's fair--what in the world!

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