Ever wondered what life would be like as a red-head?
Born a lady who indeed has a little more than just a tinge of the ginge and who has dabbled in adorning heads of the blonde, brunette and balliage variety I feel qualified to give you an un-biased perspective.
I believe there is, and has been a new dawn approaching. A dawn where being, and being with a red-head is sought after. We are a feisty breed, and not to mention, more often than not highly intellectual. I think the extra smarts were science’s way of saying ‘sorry about the childhood torment, here’s a few extra cells’. And there was that, childhood torment… Let me give you some background. If my memory serves me correctly I believe I was dubbed “small ears, carrot tops”, granted from the not so endearing nicknames I’ve heard others talk of since, I got off easy. I remember one time on camp our school had merged with other fellow adolescent campers and decided to enrich our lives with a barn dance, cough. There was a boy who proclaimed to me after dancing and holding the hands of every other person in front of me that “he only touched people he liked” and refused to hold my hand as a result of my head of red. This can be quite detrimental when you’re 8. I was asked in year 7 by some un-godly rather rotund year 12 boy if my carpets matched the drapes. I’ve been yelled at from cars by grotty hard on the eye bogans, called fire crotch by management and told by a girl I worked with once that she just didn’t like red-heads, ‘oh , but you’re the exception.’ This isn’t a sob story, if there was pity stirring within your emotions stop right there. This story needs anything but.
During my teen-esque years, desperately desiring a sense of normality, I ditched the rogue locks for a while and went blonde, then brunette, then blonde, then brunette… I’m very easily bored. During one of my blonde phases I also adopted an addiction to fake tan and decided that my university days were best spent as a gym junkie. I was blonde, ridiculously thin, and tanned. I somehow single-handedly embraced the complete opposite of everything I naturally was. My mother would say to me “you will never be happy or meet the right person until you are proud of who you are.” So, I did what any girl in her very early twenties would do, scoff and ignore every word she said. It never occurred to me that 5 years on she would be so incredibly right. After a Myriad of ridiculously bad life choices, broken hearts and drunken nights I thought to myself, is this me? Is this my life?!…Simply, no.
As I quickly approach my quarter of a century, I believe it has been almost a year since I embraced my inner rang, ditched the fake tan and stopped obsessing over being thin. Can I tell you, I have never felt more alive. Granted, at first it was hard, when you give up being blonde you pretty much giving up half of your allocated ‘attention’ quota. But as they say quality over quantity – this I now have. I was actually forced to grow as person, and develop myself in ways that were beyond skin deep. This potential to find myself had always been there, laying dormant awaiting its opportunity to be awakened and unleashed – it was just, ahh?… Momentarily, covered by a smokey cloud of orange hues and peroxide tones.
The interesting life moments that come from being gingerly inclined are never few and far between. I recently went on a date with a guy who let slip his 2011 goal was to “bang a hot red-head.” I often wonder if the recent surge in the popularity of the lass with flames is due to recent shows like mad men in which men of power celebrate and seek strong red-headed women. One of my favourite lines from John Cooper, “I love red heads, they’re like a drop of jam in a glass of milk.” Our allure, for those who are evenly slightly intrigued by a copper beauty seems to be one of intense proportions.
So, if I can give one piece of sound advice to my fellow ladies of red – do not try to fit in when you are born to stand out.
Written artfully and inspiringly by Jessica Reeve: A bangin’ hot red-head & Co-founder of creative group The Awkward Collective.