As proud and celebratory we are of our ginger hair, could you ever imagine being named Queen of the Redheads?!
Sure, your friends might already call you ‘Queen Ginger’, but just picture it: you get to wear a crown in your shining red hair and you represent all red-haired females for a whole year. Not to mention how cool your CV would read.
It’s enough to make you start hyperventilating.
But luckily, that’s not what happened to Sarah Mullins, who kept her cool when she was named Queen of the Redheads at last year’s Irish Red Head Convention!
We caught up with her to find out what her duties of Queen of the Redheads entail, and what we can expect from 2014’s event…
How do you feel about being crowned Queen of the Redheads?
It feels amazing. It’s been such a busy year since being crowned last August and I’m loving every minute of it. I’ve met some wonderful people and had so many fantastic experiences. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I’ve had this year because of the Irish Redhead Convention.
What responsibilities do you have as queen?
I do a lot of promotional work, both for the convention itself and for the Irish Cancer Society, which is the charity the convention supports. I also do lots and lots of interviews for radio, TV, and newspapers about my experiences as a redhead and my opinions on all things RED!
In every interview I do I try and get across all the positive things about having red hair. It’s a kind of ‘say it loud, say it proud’ thing. I love my red hair and I want everyone to know it.
How much pressure is there on representing all female redheads now that you are Queen of Gingers?!
Of course there’s pressure to a certain extent. I want to be a good role model and represent them well. I suppose I just feel that, I’m so passionate about this I don’t want to say something to offend anyone.
For example, one reporter asked me if it was OK to call me ‘ginger’ in his article. I had no problem with it myself but I know some people don’t like being called ‘ginger’. Small things like that stress me out sometimes because I always want to do a good job.
Have you always been proud of your red hair?
Yes, always. I think my parents had a lot to do with that. They both love red hair so I naturally grew up loving it too.
What was it like for you growing up with red hair?
It was no different from growing up with any other hair colour. I think when people ask you this they expect that, because you have red hair you’ll have a story about some negative experience you had growing up, which I don’t.
For me, that’s something important to address. While I know that there are redheads both male and female that have had negative experiences and even been bullied outright because of their hair colour, not everyone was.
I never had any problems and the thought of someone being targeted because of something like their hair makes me furious. Red hair is so unique and rare it should always be celebrated.
Do you find that your hair colour contributes to your personality and identity?
Of course. Everyone remembers you for starters. “Do you remember Sarah?” “Oh yeah that’s the girl with the red hair.”
My hair is my crowning glory (excuse the pun). I love it! It’s part of who I am. I look at old Hollywood photos and so many of the women are redheads! They’re gorgeous and their hair emphasises that.
Do other members of your family have ginger hair?
I have one brother who is also a redhead and so is my Mom. My Dad has black hair – he obviously drew the short straw! Sorry Dad.
You’ve got gorgeous long red hair – what’s your best haircare beauty tip to your fellow redheads?
My hair is naturally curly and can get quite dry and frizzy at times. I make sure I use a really good conditioner and a deep conditioning mask once a month.
It’s all about working with your hair. Mine likes to do its own thing – if I try and force it into rollers or straighten it, it backfires on me!
Who is your all-time favourite ginger and why?
Is it too cliché to say Prince Harry?!
Seriously though, I really like seeing redheads become successful. People like Nicole Kidman, Ed Sheeran and Ireland’s very own Michael Fassbender and Domhnall Gleeson.
I think the more redheads we see making a name for themselves the better.
Describe your feelings when you were crowned Queen of Gingers.
Shock, excitement. I originally only planned on entering the competition for the longest red hair.
But my friends said I should give the Queen of the Redheads competition a go. When they called my name for the queen it was such a surprise. I remember ringing my Mom to tell her I’d won, she was so proud.
Aside from being crowned as Queen of the Redheads, what was your personal highlight of the Irish Red Head Convention 2013?
The group photoshoot of all of the redheads was fun but I thing my favourite part was meeting all the kids.
They were so excited to get their photos taken with me and they all really enjoyed the Convention. There were lots of little workshops for them like mini circus, face painting, storytelling and ruby red jewellery making.
What can we expect at this year’s Irish Red Head Convention?
This year is the Convention’s fifth birthday so a weekend of non-stop partying is on the cards.
We want to invite everyone back who has been around for the Convention for the past few years. It’s an opportunity for them to see how much the event has grown and to celebrate the part they had in making that happen.
There’ll be farmers markets, red pub crawl, fairy walks in the woods, photo booths, ginger speed dating, street performers, movie screenings, live music and so much more.
There is something for everyone whether you’re a natural redhead, a redhead wannabe or a lover of fiery locks. From the parade to the various competitions like ‘Most Freckles Per Square Inch’, ‘Best Redhead Couple’ and ‘Curliest Red Hair’, you’ll never be bored.
To those who are considering attending the Irish Red Head Convention this year, what would you tell them to encourage them to attend?
Come once and you’ll be hooked. It’s so much fun and who doesn’t want to spend their weekend surrounded by redheads??
It’s a great weekend for all ages and I’ll be there to make sure everyone is seeing red and loving it!
The Irish Red Head Convention takes place on 22-24 August 2014 in Crosshaven, Cork, Ireland. For more details, see www.redheadconvention.com.