My name is Diedra (“Hiiii, everyone”). My hair is strawberry blonde, so I’m half ginger, and although my husband has light brown hair, he has the most glorious red beard on planet Earth. I’m not kidding, it even has its own Facebook page.
And I have two ginger kids, an 8-year-old son and a 4-year-old daughter. So my kids are mutants, genetically speaking. I accept that. In fact, I’m right there with them. But I never actually thought much about being ginger until I had kids of my own and my sunblock expenses went through the roof. Of course, I’d read about all the stereotypes (mostly that gingers are evil), but I had always discounted most of them and I still do.
My son, Logan, who has bright orange Cheeto-coloured hair, is a pretty laid-back kid. He says some off-the-wall things, but I attribute that to the natural weirdness he inherited from me. When he was a baby, and before his hair really started growing, he had an orange strip of hair down the middle of his head. Now he looks more like a Weasley. Fortunately for me, he behaves more like Ron than Fred or George.
My daughter, Evelyn, on the other hand…ahh, where do I start? Well, she has long, red hair that falls in perfect ringlets to the middle of her back. She looks like a little Princess Merida.
At least that’s what everyone tells her. We went to the movies a couple times before ‘Brave’ was released over in the US and all through the theatre, I could hear people saying, “She looks just like that girl from that new movie!” So before we’d even seen the movie, my daughter was convinced that she was Princess Merida. Seeing the movie only reinforced her ‘proof’.
She even forced me to make a Princess Merida dress for her. It was inevitable, but in a world dominated by blonde and brunette princesses, I was happy to see a ginger heroine, one with whom my daughter could really identify. And truth be told, Merida is a wonderful role model for females everywhere (large or small), and that’s got nothing to do with her hair.
Since Evelyn was born, I have been stopped by strangers everywhere I go. Comments are always something to the effect of “Oh my gosh! Look at her hair!!!” or “Where did she get all that red hair?!?” Um, hello? Right here.
Seriously though, I can’t walk through a supermarket without getting stopped at least three times so someone can ogle my daughter’s glorious mane. People at the local stores recognise me when my daughter is with me. If she’s not with me, they have no idea who I am.
Once at a department store, a worker stopped to talk to Evelyn. Jokingly, the lady said, “Can I have your hair?” Now, as all natural redheads will understand, trying to take something, anything, from a feisty little redhead? Err, wrong move. Evelyn screamed at the top of her lungs, “NO! IT’S MINE AND YOU CAN’T HAVE IT!”
Enough said. Evelyn looks good and she knows it. She’s been hearing it since birth, not only from me, but from every single stranger we pass.
You know what I’ve learned from having ginger kids? Some of the stereotypes may be true. Bad temper? Sometimes. Wild? Sure thing. Bold? Absolutely. A witch? I’m going to go ahead and call this one bogus. The point is, gingers are unique, and not in a “spewed from the depths of Hell” sort of way. It’s all good, baby.
Ruadh gu brath! (Redheads forever!)
Tune in every week for a dose of mischief and hilarity from Diedra and her ginger family.