Things People Ask or Say to a Redhead in Summer

They do, they still do, and in all seasons. Disclaimer: by people I don’t mean friends and family.

So, to sum up my experiences…

Did you put on sunscreen?

Sad, but true. Maybe I should just answer No? Instead of nodding or saying nothing at all. Then I might get the following:

Anything starting or ending with the words “with your skin tone”, including, but not limited to:

You should take care of your complexion.

Did you know there’s lip balm with SPF?

I guess being in the sun is difficult for you.

Then there’s the classics:

Wow, you don’t tan at all, do you?

You don’t have a lot of freckles.

And the unexpected:

I put on sunscreen first thing this morning! – So??

Sometimes, same as many other people, we redheads get sunburn despite taking precautions. We might come to work looking a bit red in the face or with slightly fried shoulders. And then something happens in my local German experience which I still don’t understand. “Ha! You were out in the sun!” OR “Aha, someone was enjoying themselves yesterday!” OR, incredulously, “Did you forget to put on sunscreen?” All this with a knowing smile while scrutinizing you.

I only have this to add:

1. It’s rude to comment face-to-face on anything related to people’s appearance. Even if you know them well, it’s better to proceed with caution or at least phrase it in a tactful, kind way.

2. Sunburn sometimes hurts. Leave the person alone.

3. Do you seriously think the sunburnee doesn’t know they got crisped?

So I’ll just be on my merry way and find some delightful shade to sit in, while others busily compile beauty tips for me that I didn’t ask for.