Ancient Greeks dyed their hair red to show courage.
Gawker.com 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.