I love my red hair. I know that may sound strange, but that statement took me years to say. With Tuesday, Nov. 5 being the fifth annual National Love Your Red Hair day, I thought I would write, once again, about my journey to love my hair. My dedicated readers will know my hair is a favorite topic of mine. It’s a large part of my identity, so why shouldn’t I write about it from time to time?
National Love Your Red Hair was created by HowToBeARedhead.com founders, Adrienne and Stephanie Vendetti, two redheaded sisters.
“We wanted to create a national recognized day of the year that empowered redheads to love their hair. But, most of all, it’s a reminder for women everywhere, redhead or not, to love their unique qualities,” Stephanie Vendetti wrote on their website.
Being a redhead truly is life-defining, but not always in a good way. Redheads are nicknamed, and referred to, as gingers very, very often, and that’s not always a polite term. Imagine your whole identity being based around negative connotations about your hair color. Sure, blonde is used often to describe and refer to people, but it’s namely attractive women.
Does ginger have that same connotation? No, I don’t think any redhead would tell you it does.
When non-redheads use the word ginger to describe redheads, there is almost always an insult hand-in-hand with it. Ginger has a long history of meaning soulless, freckled, ugly, pale and undesirable. And it’s not ever talked about. There are so many anti-bullying ads and social media movements that encourage people to love themselves, but how often is red hair included? I am a redhead advocate, simply because I can’t think of any others, besides the Vendetti sisters.
I didn’t like getting teased because of my hair color, and I don’t think anyone should be made to feel less of themselves for a physical aspect. Since I’ve been in college, I’ve really tried to reclaim the word ginger. It’s in my social media handles, and I embrace my ginger-ness.
Seeing the overwhelming amount of support on social media for #LoveYourRedHairDay was empowering. Messages of encouragement made me smile, and I love seeing so many people embracing their red hair just like I do.
So, in the spirit of National Love Your Red Hair Day, I want everyone to love a part of themselves that they’ve been told they should hate. I want them to treat themselves a little better. And, most importantly, I want everyone to remember they are more than their physical appearance. I hope that one day we don’t only judge people based on looks.
Amanda Larch can be contacted at [email protected]