In ALL, LIFE OBSERVATIONS by Stephanie Klein14 Comments

Ancient Greeks dyed their hair red to show courage. claimed today, “Redheads are the new blondes” much like “gray is the new black.”  Redheads have never been in fashion; we’re right up there with the mustache.  I mean, really, what’s worse than a redheaded stepchild?  Lean in, I’m going to tell you.  It’s being a redheaded fat girl.  There’s something about freckles, pink nipples, and all that orange hair that makes you cry in the mirror.  Then you see the double chin and decide not to leave your room.  You begin to think about the price of your parents land and wonder if you’ll go into real estate because you can’t imagine ever leaving the house.  You abandon the dream of acting and instead settle on real estate.  Land, fixtures, places you can hide and lean on.  Outside they point, pull your braids, and in the schoolyard, during hide and seek, no one tries to find you.  You’re not just picked last; you’re picked after even the legally blind kid who picks his nose and shoots it at people.  Like shooting a rubber band but instead it’s a booger.  Bang.  Bang.

You sit on your floor flipping glossy magazines, staring at photos of people which you will never look like.  You can’t help but notice your dimpled stomach resembles a puckered potato.  You’re spotted with freckles and moles, and now you want fried, scalloped, or mashed potatoes.  You are what you eat.  So you pick your scalp and bite the inside of your mouth trying to estimate your MTBU.

MTBU, Maximum time to belly-up; the maximum number of days, weeks, or months you’re expected to survive.  You’re certain someone wants to beat you up.  But they don’t.  Instead they say, “I would beat you up, but I’m afraid you might fall on me.”  You’re not only fat, you’re ugly and pink.  And your mother is giving you milk with dinner. Whole milk.  Your MTBU is shrinking while the rest of your body spreads.

Then you grow up and develop Madame Bovary Syndrome.    You overspend to be fashionable and admired to compensate for your tortured childhood.  You live a loan-filled life to dodge dull and embrace esteem.  But you’re no longer the redheaded fat girl, now you’re the redheaded woman, who has grown into it, right down to the dusting of freckles. I’m still learning, actually.

There’s this bit about redheads and the devil.  I mean, no redheaded baby is a sweet angel; instead, “you’ve got a little devil on your hands there, don’t you?”  You can see our passion, our feistiness.  It’s so strong, it comes out in a mass of curls.  Try to tame that shrew.  We can’t hide it; it’s in our habits, in our genes, in our curls. Sometimes we straighten it to make you more comfortable.  It’s treason, really.  That’s why I don’t like the boys who prefer my hair straight; they prefer safe girls who cross their ankles and read at the museum.  I’m a bitch, a lover, a child, a mother… I’m a Meredith Brooks song at the top of your lungs with the top down.

We’re not sleek, meek, little girls as self-contained as eggs. We’re complicated and quick tempered which is a lot to handle sometimes, too much for most. I’m not making this stuff up.  We make up 3% of the world’s population, so like other minorities, we’ve got stereotypes: bad temper, sexual fire, untrustworthy, smart & eccentric.  Lately it has been the topic of many a conversation.  Some guys go Asian, while some prefer neat blondes.  It’s rare, actually, to find a man who is into redheads, but when they are, they are with a vengeance.  There is no wavering or fannying about with the love of redheaded women, it’s as fierce as we are.  It’s just like the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead.  And I know, it’s the person, not the package, blah, blah, liars.  It’s a type, a stereotype, which from my experience is pretty accurate.  And pretty scary.


  1. "There’s something about freckles, pink nipples, and all that orange hair that makes you cry in the mirror."

    Actually … that really kind of turned me on.

  2. I'll third that. Nothing hotter than an attractive redhead. Redheads have a natural advantage over brunettes and blondes (natural or bottle) in that they're less common. Scarcity makes you more eye-catching.

    I hope by the time you've read this you've washed that shame out of your beautiful hair and you're closer to embracing your rare redness for the treasure that it is.

  3. hmm! My daughter is a redhead, and I've always been partial to redheads, even before she was born. Redheads are rare –at least here they are. You're a redhead? Maybe more like strawberry blonde?

  4. A little story, when I first got together with my future wife we were watching mtv and Shirley Manson (lead singer of Garbage for those who don't know) was on the screen. I started to drool a little as the story goes and mentioned something like "you know how i am about redheads" which of course she didn't know. To this day I still HAVEN'T lived down that comment.

    Funny thing is that Shirley Manson isn't a very attractive.

  5. Anyone who would want to tame thsoe curls just isn't worthy of taming them for.

    (Even if they wouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.)

  6. It's funny. My 87-year-old tiny grandma is still a tiny, fiesty readhead. My mom was a readhead until she had me and it turned strawberry blonde and she's pretty damn docile. Sometimes I think it's my fault. Did I change her hair and thus her personality when I made her a mother and came kicking and screaming into the world bald? I eventually ended up with blonde curls, but I always wish they had turned out red.

  7. "Then you grow up and develop Madame Bovary Syndrome. You overspend to be fashionable and well liked to compensate for your tortured childhood. You live a loan-fuelled lifestyle to avoid boredom and generally bolster feelings of self-worth. But you're no longer the redheaded fat girl, now you're the redheaded woman, who has grown into it, right down to the dusting of freckles. I'm still learning, actually."

    School's out. You made it. No more need to worry about your worth. For real.

  8. Anyone who would want to tame thsoe curls just isn't worthy of taming them for.

    (Even if they wouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.)

    Posted by: Brian | July 15, 2004 05:57 PM

    "Anyone who would want to tame those curls is one jut not worthy of having them tamed."

    And no, absolutely not. I wouldn't want those curls any other way. Can you guarantee that your children will have them?

  9. im a redhead but iv had it dyed brown..i miss being a redhead their unique!but im more confident being a brunette i get more guys coming up to me..and i must admit brunette is better!

  10. Wow, I am blown away by you. I was that fat red headed kid too. It ain't pretty. I love how you describe the fierceness that comes with the hair. Are we born with it or do we develope it in response to the sterotype? Nothing makes me madder than someone asking if I have that infamous red-head temper. Damn skippy! Now get outta me way.

  11. Not at all… One of my old coworkers (very tasty) used to fantasize about redheads. Not anyone in particular. Just one that had long curly red hair and freckles. He would have loved YOU!

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.