On Being A Redhead « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowOn Being A Redhead

On Being A Redhead
Published on Wednesday, April 28, 2010 by

hot redheadsI can tell you this.  It was hard growing up as a redhead.  Little boys and girls just don’t GET redheads.  We appear to have no eyebrows; we are sprinkled with freckles and stand out in a crowd with that orangey-red hair.  To not tease a redhead would be a waste, don’t you think?

And tease they did.  “Freckle Face!”  “Carrot Top!”  “BOZO!”  Each name was like a slap in the face.  “Mom, why do I have to have red hair!”

Through all this, the adults tried to reassure me.  “You are so lucky to have red hair!”  “You are beautiful!”  “You will appreciate your hair when you are older, TRUST ME.”  The “Trust Me” had an overtone that as a child I failed to recognize.  But now I do.

Just hit the “keyword suggestion tool” sites and type in redhead.  The first on your list will simply be “redhead.”  But move down a bit.  You’ve got redhead, readheads and then HOT redheads.  Now you’re talking.  Sexy redhead, naked redhead and busty redhead follow.

It gives me great pleasure to look at this list.  Sometimes I will type in redhead just to see those dirty redhead overtones.  And then I picture that one boy in particular who would constantly torment me with redhead slams.  “Yea buddy, I’m not so bad NOW, am I!”  <spit, scratch!>

Much to my chagrin, my hair became more chestnut colored as I grew older and had babies.  But even knowing the teasing I received as a child, I dreamed of having a daughter with red hair.

My dream came true on baby number three.  And oh what a redhead she is.

But why do I say it that way?  What is the stereotype for redheads?  At first thought, don’t the words “temper” and “hothead” come to mind?  Just go back to The Quiet Man to see this stereotype in action.  Yet we still hear John Wayne say to Maureen O’Hara, “Being with you pleases me!”  Maybe that brings us to the second stereotype – hot redhead?

So why are us redheads deemed as outcasts in so many circles, destined to one day die out with our decreasing gene pool?  Why do my sons constantly taunt my daughter with “GINGER!” and “DYING BREED?!”   If we are so beautiful as adults, why are we just so UGLY as kids?  At least through the eyes of other children?

I’m proud I was a true redhead.  And I’m even more proud I have one of my own.  Of course I will be locking her up when she turns 16.  She can come out when I’m ready for redheaded grandchildren.

What stereotypes do you think of when it comes to redheads?  Did you ever tease a redhead when you were young?  Are girl redheads acceptable while boys are not?  Or has Conan changed all that?  What do you think?

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  • Funny you wrote this post today, as I’m going to be dying my hair red in another hour or so. It’ll be my first time having red hair, so I of course think its AWESOME!

    There was a girl that I went to middle school with who had red hair and she did get picked on by the boys. I think because its so different is why kids pick – I got picked on for wearing glasses. It is sad that its a dying gene – hopefully that’s not really going to happen!

    • Momma Drama, how did your hair turn out!!! I might get some Henna to make mine a bit redder again. And you are right… I think kids will pick no matter what. Kids will be kids, right?

  • Have you heard comedian Tim Minchin’s song “Prejudice”? If not, here it is – http://www.youtube.com/user/timminchin#p/a/u/1/KVN_0qvuhhw

    Both my best friends through Primary and High school were redheads, so no, I certainly never teased. My Mum and her twin sister both have redhead grandchildren, but none of them are my kids, clearly I missed out on that part of chromosome.

    • Mimbles, I will watch the video in just a sec – can’t wait! I would love to know if you heard other people tease your friends!

      • @Katherine, I think my high school friend used to cop the occasional comment of two when she was younger, but I think as a pair we were fairly formidable so no-one ever had a go at her when we were hanging out together.

  • I have always LOVED redheads. And I always wanted to be a redhead. And that’s exactly WHY I dye my hair red!

    • Meleah Rebeccah, You are the BOMB, as always!

  • I’m not a redhead, but I do have red highlights. I don’t remember being teased about it, except by my brothers, but they teased me about everything!

    • Nicky, what is it about brothers teasing! My boys always tease Elizabeth – but of course she can dish it right back, “being a redhead!”

  • I don’t remember teasing redheads too much as a kid. Maybe carrot top or something, but nothing too bad.

    Girls can get away with red hair much easier than boys.

    When I think of red heads, I think HOT, with personality!

    • One of The Guys, I LOVE it… Hot with Personality… oh YEA!

  • Jen

    Bozo and carrot top as a child and then much worse as a teen. I’m pretty sure I was teased because often I ended up cutting my own hair (to get it out of my eyes, to cut the gum out of it)and I didn’t do a very good job. Awkward was what I was as a young redhead. I love having it now, and have since I was about 16 and got a set of boobs, that made all the difference, oh and getting my braces off helped too. I’m with you on locking up my redheaded daughter. She is beautiful and doesn’t see it. She hates her red hair as much as I hated mine. And yes redheaded females have it much better than redheaded males. Opie, Howdy Doodie, Conan….not hot.

    • Jen, I couldn’t wait for your reply. Oh I think Conan is actually pretty hot!

      You know, right now our daughters are GORGEOUS redheads. But do you think they will go through that teenage gawky stage? I wonder if I hope so or not, you know?

  • ScoMan

    My brothers a redhead. He’s into his 20’s and still gets teased a bit, but that’s the Aussie way.. he plays along with it and has a good sense of humor about it all.
    A girl I work with has a daughter who is a redhead. She’s shy and quiet and the kids pick on her and she cries and just wants to dye her hair a different colour.
    But then her youngest daughter is the type to take no BS, and my coworker wishes it was her youngest who had the red hair because if anyone teased her about it they would be in a world of trouble. She’s only 3, but she scares me a little bit, so I think she’d handle herself.

    • ScoMan, do you think that it is harder in places other than in America to be a redhead? I wonder if there is more teasing outside of the U.S. I assume in Ireland it is GOOD to be a redhead!

      Fortunately my daughter is pretty tough. The boys can bring her to tears if they really work at it, but fortunately they know when to stop. If it wasn’t her hair, it would be something else, just like it is with all kids, brothers and sisters.

  • You know I have a red head and my hair reddens the longer I’m in the sun.

    I thought of you today – I spent a ton on lush.com…..

    • And a handsome redhead he IS – especially in the prom pictures.

      So… it would be WEIRD for me to wait on your doorstep until your Lush arrives, and then ask if I can borrow your shower, right? 😉

  • It’s not the “red head” aspect that attracts mockery and teasing in the UK but the ginger haired – I didn’t see mention of the word ginger – is it just a UK thing?

    • Cherry Red… yup, the boys call my daughter Ginger ALL THE TIME. That is THE bad word in the house, NEVER to be spoken. I really don’t hear that word much, but they picked it up and MADE it bad LOL. So is a Ginger the same as a Redhead? Same color?

  • I was teased mercilessly about my red hair and freckles as a child! I hated my hair. I wore hats to cover it up. I would have dyed it brown if my mother had allowed it. I was in college before I finally came to peace with the red hair and curls that I had hated for so long. And now I love it! Love, love, love having red hair! And none of my kids have even a smidge of red in their hair and it disappoints me.

    • Tara, One of mine is brown hair, one is a toehead and one is a redhead. But she isn’t a “carrot top” – is is a really pretty darker red, but red nonetheless. And of course the freckles. Did you ever try and make your freckles fade with lemon juice? I did! Of course it didn’t work!

      As far as your kids… look at it this way… they have the genes in there somewhere… look out for redhead grandchildren!

  • I agree with previous commentors that redheads are teased when they are little because they are different. Kids tend to attack anyone who is different.

    • Anne, I wonder why kids do that!!! Perhaps to feel better about themselves. I don’t remember what the reasoning was for that, looking back!

  • the first thing that came to mind was Alfred E. Newman and I really shouldn’t have mentioned that 🙁 My friend has two redhead children. Her daughter sounds very similar to you. Anyway, they live in Singapore – and when they traveled with the kids to Vietnam, the children were an oddity. People wanted to touch them, they were so amazed. You need to go there and then blog about it. I found it fascinating.

    • Carma, oh BOY would I love to go visit Vietnam… noodle soup for breakfast! YUM! That is really neat that the kids were considered so special and different… what a great story!

  • I don’t remember other kids making fun of my red hair, but, my brothers and sisters never stopped. They made fun of my red hair, my big butt, my big nose so of course I thought I was an ugly little thing. My mom NEVER let me wear pink, “redheads can’t wear pink” – once I got in high school I loved being different from everyone else – and man, there is a HUGE group of men out there that ADORE redheads! After years of not being made fun of I had kids and now they make fun of my spots. One of the things I did hate about being a redhead was the fact that I couldn’t tan – I wanted to get a suntan SOOO bad but every time I think about the sun I get 500 new freckles.

    • Sheila, that is HYSTERICAL! I go to OBX on summer weekends to mom’s house. I am in the sun all the time. of course I wear sunblock 5,000,000, but I still get TAN. THEN… I stand by a real person… a non-ginger person, and realize I am pale as a ghost. Compared to how I am in the winter, I’m tan… but not compared to others!

      When I was a teen I remember African American guys being really attracted to me. Then after college it was pretty much anyone from that “selected group” of men…. but then there were some that wouldn’t even consider dating me. Anti-redheads LOL. To each his own!

      My mom never put me in yellow b/c I almost died of jaundice. But you know what, I think I also was never put in yellow b/c it doesn’t work with redheads. And my Dad always wanted me in plaid… I would just CRINGE and scream NOOOO!

  • tubist

    All I can say is that when I realized I “scored” (i.e. married) a redhead, well, I just thanked my lucky charms and begged her to never leave me!

    • Tubist… did you hear me say, “AWWWWWWWWWW!!!” from way over where you are????!!!!! Your wife is lucky too!

  • My best friend was a red-head and she never got teased – she got followed around by drooling boys. Uh, not that I was jealous.

    • Jerseygirl, Heyyyyy how come I never got followed by drooling boys!????!!!! 🙂

  • Thomas@FoodieBlog

    I love redheads. Fiery passion is what comes to mind.

    • @Thomas@FoodieBlog, Don’t you KNOW IT Tommy!

  • For me, a redhead=the ultimate beauty. Two of my friends have red highlights in their hair. I am planning to get the same. Though the only problem being, I am a pure brunette and the color will not have the same effect on me as on a blonde. Still, I adore the color like anything. It makes the perfect color for hair. So, just “paint me(my hair) red”. 🙂

  • Remyc Sigel

    im 14 and a red head. I want to dye it so bad but my mother will not let me she tells me people would pay a ton of money to have hair like mine. When I was little I used to love my hair but now that I am in high school I absolutly hate it. Even though I am a cheerleader and have many friends in my school. I still get teased. Its something I will never forget.

    • I was called bozo for the red hair, and all kinds of other things too. My boys call my daughter “Ginger” which makes her crazy. I tell her the same thing your mom says… she actually likes her hair but hates the teasing. I know you have heard this over and over, BUT… one day you will GET IT. You will realize how lucky you are to have such a beautiful color hair… when you are older, you WILL GET IT, trust me. 🙂 You are beautiful inside and out!!

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