Being A Ginger Made Me A Better Person

Being A Ginger Made Me A Better Person

Do Not Tell Me I am "Pretty For A Redhead"

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you meet a redhead? Probably something along the lines of, “he looks like a Weasley” or “I bet she has a bad temper”. How many times have you asked a redhead why they were so pale or why they had so many freckles? As a redhead myself, I’ve heard it all.

Yep, I’ve had frizzy red hair for my entire life. I never realized just how uncommon red hair was until I was about 13-years-old. In my (already awkward enough) middle school years, I was the only redhead in all of my classes. There was one particular boy who always made fun of me for it. He told me I was weird looking and/or ugly every day. He eventually got his whole posse of boys calling me names and asking me questions such as “does the carpet match the drapes?”. I didn’t even know what that meant at the time, but I began to think I was a freak.

I started straitening my hair every day so it would be less all over the place. I would wake up early to put on makeup and pick out my newest Hollister outfit for school. I was so desperate to be “cool” and to “fit in”. I wouldn’t ask questions in class or volunteer to write on the board because I didn’t want to bring any added attention to myself. I even bought a pair of boys’ shorts to wear in gym class to cover up the paleness of my legs.

I was able to embrace my hair a little more when I got to high school. I rarely ever saw those boys that picked on me; they had a much different idea of extracurricular activities than I did. There were a few other redheads in my classes freshmen year, so I didn’t feel so alone. Unfortunately, they all dyed their hair by the time we graduated. Perhaps they were tired of being asked if they had souls.

I’m glad that I never gave into the name calling and irrelevant questions. As a 21-year-old college student, I’ve realized that my hair is one of my best features. I enjoy being the only pale redhead in all of my classes. I now know that I am not funny looking or weird, but that I am unique.

The bigger my hair, the happier I am. Being told that I have no soul no longer offends me, but makes me laugh instead. Buying SPF 150 in the summer makes me thankful that I’ll never have skin cancer. My freckles are cute and no, I could not possibly count them all.

Do not ask me if I’m going to reproduce with another redhead or if my parents have red hair. Do not tell me that I only make up 2% of the world’s population because quite frankly, it does not matter. Do not make jokes about a "redheaded slut" and expect to get my number in a bar. Do not ask why my eyebrows are blonde or if red is my natural hair color. Most importantly, do not tell me that I am “pretty for a redhead”.

As crazy as it sounds, I wouldn’t be the person I am today without my red hair. Having red hair taught me not to judge people based on their looks because I know how hurtful that can be. It taught me to embrace things that make me different and to love myself for who I am.

I encourage you all to think before the next time you call someone a ginger, carrot top, redheaded stepchild, etc. Although I was able to build up my confidence through the years, it wasn’t easy and it isn’t for anyone else either. If you’re a struggling “ginger” as I once was, always remember that you are just as equally beautiful as any blonde or brunette. You won’t be able to find bobby pins or hair ties in your shade, but that’s just something you learn to live with.

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To The Boy Who Will Love Me Next

If you can't understand these few things, leave before things get too involved

To the boy that will love me next, I need you to know and understand things about me and my past. The things I have been though not only have shaped the person I’ve become, but also sometimes controls my life. In the past I’ve been used, abused, and taken for granted, and I want something real this time. The guys before you were just boys; they didn’t know how to treat me until it was too late. They didn’t understand how to love me, until I broke my own heart. Before you truly decide to love me I want you to understand these things.

When I tell you something, please listen.

I’m my own person, I want to be loved a certain way. If I ask you to come over and watch movies with me please do it, if I ask for you to leave me alone for a few hours because it’s a girl’s night please do it. I don’t just say things to hear my own voice, I say things to you because it’s important to my life and the way I want to be loved. I’m not a needy person when it comes to being loved and cared for, but I do ask for you to do the small things that I am say.

Forgive my past.

My past is not a pretty brick road, it is a highway that has a bunch of potholes and cracks in it. I have a lot of baggage, and most of it you won’t understand. But don’t let my past decided whether you want to love me or not. My past has helped form who I am today, but it does not define who I am. My past experiences might try and make an appearance every once in a while, but I will not go back to that person I once was, I will not return to all that hurt I once went though. When I say those things, I’m telling the complete and honest truth. I relive my past every day, somethings haunt me and somethings are good reminds. But for you to love me, I need you to accept my past, present and future.

I’m just another bro to the other guys.

I have always hung out with boys, I don’t fit in with the girl groups. I have 10 close girlfriends, but the majority of my friends are guy, but don’t let this scare you. If I wanted to be with one of my guy friends I would already be with him, and if you haven’t noticed I don’t want them because I’m with you. I will not lose my friendships with all my guy friends to be able to stay with you. I will not cut off ties because you don’t like my guy friends. I have lost too many buddies because of my ex-boyfriends and I promised myself I wouldn’t do that again. If you don’t like how many guy friends I have you can leave now. Don’t bother trying to date me if you can accept the fact I’m just another bro.

I might be a badass, but I actually have a big heart.

To a lot of people I come off to be a very crazy and wild girl. I will agree I can be crazy and wild, but I’m more than that. I’m independent, caring, responsible, understanding, forgiving, and so such more type of woman. Many people think that I’m a badass because I don’t take any negatively from anyone. Just like we learned when we were younger, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all.” Most people can’t do that in today’s world, so I stick up for myself and my friends. I don’t care what anyone thinks about me, or their option on how I live my life. The only thing I care about is being able to make myself happy. Even though I’m an independent woman, understand that I do have a big heart. Honesty when I truly care for someone I will do just about anything they ask, but don’t take advantage of this. Once you take advantage of this part of me, all respect will be lost for you.

I’m hard to love.

Sometimes I want to be cuddle and get attention, and sometimes I don’t want you to talk to me for a couple hours. Sometimes I want you to take me out for a nice meal, but sometimes I want a home cooked meal. Every day is different for me, sometimes I change my mind every hour. My mood swings are terrible on certain days, and on those days you should probably just ignore me. I’m not easy to love, so you’ll either be willing to find a way to love me, or you’ll walk out like so many others have.

I’m scared.

I’m scared to love someone again. I’ve been hurt, heartbroken, and beat to the ground in my past relationships. I want to believe you are different, I want to hope things will truly work out, but every relationship has always ended up the same way. I’m scared to trust someone, put my whole heart into them, just to be left and heartbroken again. I sick and tired of putting my whole body and soul into someone for them to just leave when it is convenient for them. If you want to love me, understand it won’t be easy for me to love you back.

When “I’m done.”

When I say “I’m done” I honestly don’t mean that I’m done. When I say that it means I need and want you to fight for me, show me why you want to be with me. I need you to prove that I’m worth it and there’s no one else but me. If I was truly done, I would just walk away, and not come back. So if I ever tell you, “I’m done,” tell me all the reasons why I’m truly not done.

For the boy who will love me next, the work is cut out for you, you just have to be willing to do it. I’m not like other girls, I am my own person, and I will need to be treated as such. For the boy that will love me next, don’t bother with me unless you really want to be with me. I don’t have time to waste on you if you aren’t going to try and make something out of us. To the boy who will love me next, the last thing I would like to say is good luck, I have faith in you.

Cover Image Credit: Danielle Balint

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