I used to be a redhead. For about 2 years. In 4th and 5th grade. One day I up and told my mom that I wanted to dye my hair red. Being the most supportive-of-self-expression moms you could imagine, we went that day to the drug store to pick up some Clairol Nice ‘n Easy in “Natural Auburn”. Permanent. I was all-in. My hair was blonder than the blondest hair sample on the before and after chart. I was giddy with excitement!
I remember my mom reading the instructions on the package as my 4th grade self anxiously imagined what this “new me” would look like. My hair processed as I sat under the 50 foot weeping willow tree in our backyard that my great great grandma planted nearly 100 years earlier. She was a natural redhead. Lucky. I always thought I should have been, too.
When I first saw myself in the mirror there was no shock or regret. I looked how I felt inside: wild, spunky, free, a tad rebellious, unique. I didn’t care that people at school thought I looked ridiculous. Even the lunch lady, upon seeing me for the first time with red hair, said “I don’t like it. I hope it’s not permanent”. I really didn’t care what she thought! I felt like me and I loved me!
I kept it up for a couple years. Then middle school started and I cared what EVERYONE thought. No more red hair. Blend in.
I’m working on being like that little girl who really didn’t care. There’s so much noise and insecurity in our lives that need to be turned off. So much fear of rejection. Know that I won’t reject you. I love that you’re different. I love that you have a geeky “thing” you’re obsessed with. If you have dreams that you’re afraid to tell someone for fear of rejection, tell them to me! I’ll tell you MY crazy dreams. Zero percent chance of nay-saying. Even if it’s that you want to be a redhead. #ifeelpretty