This I Believe

Abbey - Cold Spring, Kentucky
Entered on March 25, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Finding Comfort in Being Different: Perspective is Everything

I used to hate my red hair. Despite compliments I received from my mother and grandmother, I still wished I had brown hair like my best friend. I was convinced that red hair was a curse; as a child, I just wanted to be like my friends. My hair drew attention many places I went, especially because I am the only redhead in my family. Having red hair was irritating until I finally realized and accepted that everyone is different. For the first time, I liked my hair.

No matter where a redhead goes, she always stands out. A redhead’s uniqueness should not be artificially altered. The formula for natural looking red hair is top secret and cannot be easily mastered. True, there are many imposters, but a natural redhead is easily recognizable. She is the one with porcelain skin and light eyebrows. Oftentimes her hair holds natural highlights, which appear to be honey-colored intruders among strands of ginger, though these physical qualities are easy to mask. The hair may be forced into a shade of brown or blonde and the skin tones may be altered with tanning lotion, but a redhead will always be a redhead. Though these alterations may deceive many as her hue is temporarily shielded, a redhead’s natural “glow” will endure.

Delving a little deeper beyond the superficial characteristics, we may see the actual character of a redhead. Characteristics of redheads range from tenderness to boldness. In fact, I am often labeled as “hot-headed” or described as having “that redhead temper,” but I don’t mind. I laugh when being called “redhead” is used as an insult—in fact, I know it’s a blessing. A few friends have given me the nickname of “Ginger,” which I interpret as a form of endearment; this reassures me of my pride in having red hair.

I believe in redheads like me. Being in the hair color minority gives me an interesting perspective on life. I’d like to think my personality is as unique as my hair—there are a few in the world similar to me, but none are exactly the same. I believe in redheads who let their natural colors shine. It’s not everyday people see someone comfortable with being different.

For these reasons and more, I believe in the power of redheads. It takes a lot of confidence to be comfortable with being different. Just being a redhead takes a lot of responsibility and should be regarded as a symbol—it is possible to be different and fit in anywhere. Redheads are comfortable with being different and perhaps more people should live by this philosophic example: fitting in isn’t all about being uniform, it’s about being comfortable with yourself even if that means standing out in the crowd. Kudos to redheads!