What are the stereotypes about someone like you? Which of those do you consider offensive? Which do you think have grains of truth?

The first thing that flashed through my mind when I read stereotype was redhead. It tends to be the first thing that identifies me no matter where I go, what I’ve made of myself, or even who I’ve become.

My entire life the color of my hair has had a strange pull. It is nearly impossible to hide in crowds when your hair is the color is traffic safety cones. I could forget people forgetting me since my hair is the first thing people see and the first/last thing they remember. I have older generations come up to me and tell me they like my hair, “thank you I grew it all by myself,” and on the flip side I have the very young stare at me, mesmerized, and I just know they are wondering if I am Ariel walking around on her “new legs”.

It has taken me most of my life to appreciate what I’ve had growing out of my head. I’ve cursed it, cut it, tried to straighten it (HAH!), cut it again then permed it into a horrible football-helmet-granny-like impression hairstyle (YIKES! those were not good hair years), until I finally just stopped trying to fight what was growing out of my head and let it go. Since then I’ve received more compliments and wonderment on what I must do to it then I ever did when I fought with it. Who knew el natural was so attractive.

So, as far as stereotype do I believe in all redheaded ones?

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The few redheads I know are just like me, they hated their red hair most of their childhood and into their young adult life just as I did. It was only into their adulthood that they came to appreciate it. Whether it was bullying, the feeling of just being different, or some other factor that led them to actual hate the hair growing on their head as a child I  don’t know, but I have yet to meet a redhead that basked in the glory of wearing the bright bush that was more of a curse. So I do believe there is truth to that stereotype. I will let you know that as adults, like most adults do, we have grown up, grown to appreciate many things and the hair that has been bestowed upon us is one of many things to be thankful for.

What stereotype do I find offensive?

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I would have to say as a child I was more sensitive to the teasing when it came to the nicknames and innuendos that came along with being a redhead. Whether someone thought I was an immediate hothead, a slutty sexpot, or I was downright ignoring them because they recognized me across the room thanks to my bright orange hair and they blended in with the other 50 brunettes in the room (not that that was a common occurrence or anything).

Actually, from the redheads I know, we’re all different just like every other human being I know. I know someone who suffers from anxiety, another who is authoritative, another who is sweet, and yet another who is just crazy.  I’ve personally never met a redhead that was an instant “hothead”, nor have I met a redhead that was a “slutty sexpot”. Sorry, no real life Jessica Rabbits walking around, at least none that I’ve met, yet.

Now I would like to clear up the reference about ignoring people. Ask any redhead and they will tell you about the feeling we all share about standing in a crowd. A redhead feels like a shining beacon, similar to a lighthouse. You cannot enter a crowd and just hide, people can find you within moments. Everyone else in the world has an unfair advantage on the redhead population since we are literally wearing a neon, flashing sign on the top of our heads. The general population, however, is not. So give us a break and realize that we have to sift through the rest of you, the other 96% of blondes and brunettes, who frankly all look the same (okay, I just had to throw that stereotype in there for laughs), but seriously please don’t think that we are ignoring you or we may lose our temper and you may never get sex again, ever!

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Lastly to close out the stereotype gap. Please be nice to your fellow woman and man no matter what color his/her skin/hair/eyes/toenails/bellybutton is. Everyone is fighting something inside you may know nothing about and let’s all work on being kind to one another.

As always keep reading, keep writing, good fortune.