Red, sandy, auburn, copper – but not ginger

We often get comments on Fainjin’s and Babess’ hair colour.  This week as we were walking from daycare to the car, I was stopped by a woman who sees us at that time every day.  She felt compelled to tell me she had two children with the same colouring – the only redheads in their family, now aged in their late 20s – and how thrilled she was to see our two each evening because it reminded her of (presumably only the easy and cute parts of) having small children.

People often ask “Where does it come from?”.  I haven’t replied “Follicles”, yet, although I am sorely tempted.  Instead, I talk of my Gran and her notorious copper-wire hair (the barber in her town refused to cut it when she was small, claiming it blunted his scissors), and point to similar colouring in The Dad’s family tree.

At times (in the right light), all five of us have been described as red-headed.  I call my hair-colour brown, but treasure the red highlights as a gift from Gran.  I’m always baffled when I recall that it’s considered an undesirable colouring and a target for bullying in some parts of the world.  I’m glad that’s not (so much) the case here – I want my children to grow up loving their hair-colours as much as I do.


10 Responses to “Red, sandy, auburn, copper – but not ginger”

  1. Pro_v_Con Says:

    I completely agree… I find it incredible that people – adults! – will pick on others for something so silly. I think red, ginger, and strawberry-blond hair is beautiful.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      Variety is the spice of life, or so they say. It’s certainly a conversation-starter – so many people comment on the hair colour, especially if they see both kids together. How’s that thesis going? 🙂

      • Pro_v_Con Says:

        Haha! Yes it’s going well… and your site is still a lovely break from work! I actually came back to this thread because the topic of hair colour has been preying on my mind for a while. Did you see a report in the news about a year ago about a family of redheads in the UK who were actually forced to move because of the abuse? I could hardly believe it…

        I’ve been thinking about it, and I suppose this kind of targeting is similar in a way to sarcasm – the lazy, low-IQ version of humour – just because redheads are easy to spot and they’re a minority group.

        Actually, it’s one reason I respect JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, which you might have read with Pearl. She deliberately gave her main characters ‘negative’ traits (brown bushy hair, large front teeth, being smart, having red hair, being overweight) to show that looks just aren’t what defines people. I love that because they’re such popular books, they might have changed children, teen and adult perspectives just that tiny bit.

      • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

        Yes, I did see that report, it was on my mind as I wrote this post. I was astonished, and so sad. I’ve always wished my hair was redder than it is, and I couldn’t fathom why people would be so awful about it. I’ve heard cracks about red-headed temper and so on, but it was never *mean*. Good point about the Potter books. I haven’t started Pearl on them yet, mostly because once she started she would want to finish. The first three books would be fine for her, but the later ones quickly move into things I think she is not quite mature enough to read about. She’s very good about it, actually. She’s heard of the books, of course, and asked about them. I explained that some parts are quite scary and I think she needs to be a bit older before she reads them, and she’s happy with that. She doesn’t like scary things!

  2. leechbabe Says:

    Heidi has a slight tint of red in her hair and I just love it. Makes her hair colour so unique.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      It’s a rather special thing to have, isn’t it? I read an article somewhere that red-headedness is becoming rarer and will eventually disappear, it made me so sad. But I think we’ve done our best to ensure its continued survival for a little while yet!

  3. L Says:

    Did I ever tell you that I used to henna my hair? It was red (strawberry highlights? who knows…) when I met R. 🙂 His mother used to always have hers done red, as well…

    I love red hair, and I think that the red hair in your family is wonderful.

    • Kate @ upsidebackwards Says:

      I did not know that, but I can imagine it, and it would have looked great on you! Evidently R liked it too 🙂 I used henna on my hair a couple of times many years ago, it really did great things to the red highlights I had already.

      • L Says:

        Was your hair long when you henna-ed it? I found it easy to do when my hair was quite short, but as my hair grew longer, it just got to unwieldy (and messy) to do. 🙂 But I loved it.

  4. kerf Says:

    Woo-hooo.Jump up and down and yell “My kids are in the amazing,totally brilliant ‘Ranga’s Club!!” Yep,you got it,I am so modest.

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