I am a proud red head. In fact, if I was to nominate my favorite feature, it would be my long red hair! I was delighted when two of my children were born with a great shock of the stuff…my eldest daughter was born with a bright red Mohawk!. I feel happy, proud and honored when a passersby on my blog, or in real life tells me how lovely their hair is…
…but it wasn’t always this way. During my childhood and early teenage years, I would have given anything NOT to have red hair. I was teased mercilessly because of it. I was called a red-headed chook and an orange carrot top. I was convinced nobody wanted to be my friend because I had red hair.
Fast forward to my adult years and I wouldn’t have it any other way…. I still don’t like the word ‘orange’ J…..But I have learnt to appreciate my hair colour! My hair has been the subject of some often hilarious pick-up lines (….yes…red ones do go faster, by the way….and yes I am a REAL red-head!) and I leant that sometimes what makes you different also makes you stand out in a crowd and remembered. Now, I would never change my hair color!
|Me and my hair at a a soccer game|
However, there are two things yet that I have not reconciled with being a red head. The first is the term
Ranger is derived from the orangutan, a large, orange tree dwelling ape. Honestly, would you like to be called a name after a hairy primate? I have to admit that I just don’t like the term. Maybe it is the sound of the word. ‘Ranger’ can be almost thrown, or spat out of a persons mouth if it is used in a derogatory way.
I dislike this word when used to describe me or my children. I also don’t like it used to describe the current Prime Minister of
. Regardless of ones political beliefs or persuasions, I think it is a low act to simply bring a person down based on their appearance. I can’t believe that it is socially acceptable to do this! Australia
My friends teenage niece is intelligent and beautiful, and she also has red hair. This girl has taken a different approach and taken ownership of the word ‘Ranger’. She makes a joke of it and describes herself as ‘everyone’s favorite ranger’. She uses the term ranger to sign off on her emails and facebook posts. Although I am proud and a little envious of the way she has taken ownership or the word, I worry that such a beautiful an intelligent girls defines herself simply by her red hair….because surly this is not how other people see us…just our red hair??? …or is it??
This brings me to the second part of being a red-head that bothers me. That is the propensity of non-redheads to think that all people with red hair look alike. You would be amazed at how many people have said
“…..There is someone from my home town/school/ mothers group with red hair and she looks just like you! Do you have a sister there???...”
If there is a red-haired child on a TV commercial my children even get asked if they have been on TV!
I do realise that I, and the other people mentioned share red hair and a similar pale complexion. I also realise that most of us are probably not lacking in the freckles department! However red heads, like other people, have different facial features and different personalities. We are not all related. We are individuals.
Red-heads should not be defined, grouped and stereotyped simply by the color of their hair but, just like everybody else, what is on the inside…our personalities.
I would love to hear what you think of the term ‘Ranger’? If you are a red head, or have children with red hair, do you like being referred to a ranger….or do you ever get told you look just like somebody’s mothers cousin, who also has red hair??
OK rant over now….I feel so much better!!
I am joining in with Jess from Diary of a SAHM who has also written a great post about hair (!!) (great minds obviously think alike!) for the wonderful Tuesday link-up #IBOT (I blog on Tuesday) Come and read what others have blogged today!