I have right to see red
By LISA FALKENBERG
Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle
The very sight of the dyed-haired redhead can still fire me up.
It's not that I don't acknowledge other people's pigment prerogatives.
I just think people shouldn't get to enjoy the spoils of red hair without first surviving the stigma: the adolescent name-calling, the stereotypes of being hot-tempered or devilish, the painful sunburns. There are stresses associated with these flaming tresses that the bottle-brewed variety can't possibly appreciate. It ain't easy being red. You have to earn it.
Full article here.
It's a very amusing article mentioning something I'd never considered before - the people who 'fake it' by dying their hair red.
Although ginger is a source of ridicule in the UK, French women love to dye their hair red. In fact, the flame-haired temptress is an international symbol of sexiness all over the world (except in stupid old England.)
Think of all those redheaded femme fatales in the Private Detective novels, or gorgeous redheads Dana Scully or Willow Rosenburg from X-Files and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
It's only the ignorant English who seem to have a problem with redheads. Even Lisa Falkenberg discovered that. I was rather ashamed of my countrymen when I read:
"Oi, Ginger!" I got a taste of this from some of the Brits I encountered while studying in Spain.
I find the hatred British people have for ginger hair particularly funny considering that so many women across the world actually dye their hair to become redheads.
I mentioned that red hair is popular in France. That's an understatement. It's enormous in France. The short, chic haircuts and the dyed red locks are a staple amongst 'women of a certain age' on the continent.
And elsewhere, women are turning auburn whenever they can. I mentioned Dana and Willow - two of television's most famous redheads. It's probably surprising to learn that both of them get it out of a bottle.
But why do women turn red? What is the allure of the Titian hair?
Well, redheaded woman are always seen as sexy. The Romans and Ancient Greeks saw red hair as a highly attractive quality (much like modern fascination with the blond.)
The term 'Titian' itself comes from Renaissance painter Tiziano Vecelli, who was famous for painting redheaded beauties. Before the days of fake tans and sunbeds, pale skin was the ultimate 'look' to go for and redheaded women were always naturally pale.
But sexy isn't just a look. It's also an attitude - and redheaded women are renowned for having plenty of that. The 'hot tempered' redhead is a positive stereotype. The flaming locks signify a woman who's fiery, passionate, impulsive and sensual. Read an old detective novel and the words used to describe the redheaded romantic interest are usually dripping with innuendo - words like 'smouldering.'
Red hair is also a symbol of strength. Think of famous redheads in the past - the terrifying Boudica - 'Ice Queen' of the Celts - had red curls that fell down her shoulders. Queen Elizabeth I, who rode to face the Spanish Armada at the head of the English army, was renowned for her beautiful red hair.
Women with red hair are seen as leaders - as symbols of strength and passion. They're seen as sexy, sassy, sensual and smart. Gentlemen might prefer blondes, but Bruce Springsteen sang: "you have not lived til you have had your tyres rotated by a red-headed woman."
Women dye their hair red because they want to be associated with these positive traits. And who can blame them? The only sad thing is that most fake-redheads are easy to spot. I've seen many women die their hair red - but I've never seen one who looks entirely convincing.
It's the pale skin. The freckles. The icy blue eyes. The entire 'ginger' package is difficult to emulate. Turning into a blond Playboy bunny only involves a slap of fake tan and some peroxide. Redhead women, however, are in a class of their own.
All hail the honest, home-grown, 100% natural redheaded woman...
Models - pictures sourced from Flickr, models featured: Feline, by .hi3photo, Jen Thornton taken by Chris Flook at Doubletree Studios, Sara by jaidecker.