“You’re just jealous because my hair color can be found in the rainbow, and yours is only found in the dirt.”
“Blondes get noticed but redheads are remembered.”
“Redheads are like other women – only more so.”
“Gentlemen may prefer blondes, but it takes a real man to handle a redhead.”
“A trucker will slow down for a blonde, stop for a brunette, but he’ll back up 500 yards for a redhead!”
Imagine the scene: a redhead walks into a party with all of her dearest friends and family. She greets her best friend, who happens to be a brunette. Her friend compliments her on how nice she looks that day.
She smiles, and replies, “Thank you! It’s because my hair color is found in the rainbow.” She looks her friend up and down. “Yours is only found in the dirt. Pity.”
Okay. What’s with the story? After reading one too many “ginger empowerment” quotes, I felt that I couldn’t be a blogger who focuses on redhead beauty without addressing this. It irks me so much when I see these images and quotes on the internet. It’s harmless; it’s a small thing, right?
But is it really?
Starting around 11-12 years old, when I really got into makeup, I found myself frustrated by how different I looked from everyone around me. I didn’t mind being a redhead, but I did mind being unsure about how to choose makeup for myself.
There are so many more options available to me now than when I was a little girl, fretting over what to do with my “weird” blonde eyebrows. I remember several occasions, alone on my bed, when I lined my eyes with black pencil and applied my mom’s black mascara. Then I’d hold a mirror centimeters from my face, thinking, “If only I could look like this all the time. If only I could wear this outside the house, I would be happy. I would be happy.”
When you finally find support, through specialized makeup brands, blogs, etc., it’s easy to swing the other way–wow! I am special! A person could start to believe that special, unique, rare = better than everyone else. As though the only way to embrace yourself is to put others down.
Self-esteem built on tearing others down is not true self-esteem.
I see quotes from these websites, images shared across social media, that speak boldly about how red hair is best, even going so far as to attack other colors. That is simply unacceptable. Can they really be so bold as to proclaim that red hair achieves something brown hair never can? Take that, blondes! Take that, brunettes! You thought you could tear us down, tease us, and we wouldn’t fight back? Not only are we awesome, we are the MOST awesome!
No. We’re not. Red hair is not the best color. There is no best color. There is only beauty. I don’t see “brunette” when I look at my unspeakably amazing best friend, or my endlessly patient and kind husband. I don’t see “blonde” when I look at my sweet mother, or my indescribably awesome baby sister. I just see people.
I never want this blog to be mistaken for the sort of place that only welcomes redheads. (And by the way: whether or not you’re natural, if you feel like a ginger, you are one!) We can be different without being better. We can enjoy our rare coloring, while simultaneously appreciating the unique characteristics of others.
And more than that: we can see others around us as complete people, more than the sum of their features and colors.