More Things People Say to You When You’re a Redhead

There was a time when I naively thought I had listed all the possible comments I could get. I also thought I had caught the main season for getting those reactions. But no! Because there is no season, the fun continues!

Bild von Lorri Lang auf Pixabay

Have you ever thought about dying your eyebrows?

No.

It’s just they are lighter towards the edge.

Yes.

And it would be a more harmonious transition if you dyed them.

I like them as they are.

Do you ever fill them in? With a pencil?

No (resisting the impulse to add I only use pencils for note-taking, even if I know perfectly well what is meant).

Hey, wow, you’re REALLY fair!

Been there.

Yeah, I wouldn’t have dared to wear that lipstick, but somehow it does work on you, even though I guess it can get tricky, with your coloring?

Meh.

You should use sunscreen EVERY day.

SO SHOULD YOU.

Does anyone else in your family look like this?

MOM!

That’s your sister? The one with the dark hair? Your real sister?

MOM!

Wow, your mother looks so different from you, can’t believe you two are related.

MOM!

I’d say you’re more a strawberry blonde than a redhead, though.

And I really wouldn’t say anything.

No way, your hair is NOT red. You’re NOT a redhead. You’re, like, NOT ginger.

 

 

 

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.

Things People Say to You When You’re a Redhead

And that you STILL hear even as a fully-fledged adult.

I’m not the first, and I won’t be the last, but oh, the topic is current. How to be a Redhead‘s Instagram page provides regular relief in the form of witty, saracastic, to-the-point memes, and, of course, there’s always a gif or two out there.

I’ve never been teased because of freckles, or my hair colour, but I was bullied plenty for other things, so the sensation is not unfamiliar. However, to this day I don’t expect comments related to my red-haired existence in particular. Is it confidence? Healthy self-awareness? Reasonable disinterest for other people’s opinions? No time? Occupied with my own thoughts?

I’m still undecided what fascinates me more, the open rudeness of some of what comes my way, or the fact alone that people insist on spending their time pressing what they think is an issue or an excuse for a chat.

Whenever the comments do come, it’s always a bit of a surprise. Sometimes I leave them be, but sometimes the person commenting is demanding. They repeat the comment. They can’t let it go, like Elsa, but I don’t have time to recommend they watch Frozen. And that’s when I employ one of the following kick-ass responses (or inner reactions).

Comment Category Number 1: Hair

Did you do something to your hair? – No.

Really? Seriously, did you do something to it? It looks different. Why does it look different? – I washed it.

Was this always your hair colour? – Yes.

You didn’t dye it? – No.

You sure? – …

Category Number 2: Skin

You’re so pale. – Actually, I’m fair.

Well, that’s what I mean, I guess, but are you feeling OK? – …

Do you tan? – Not really.

What, not at all?

Comment Category Number Three: Style (Sort Of)

Wow, you wear red? With your hair? – Yes. I did it so you would ask.

Pale people like us can’t wear those colours. – * Shrug *

You want those shoes? But you’re so tall! – Oh, wait, that’s another blog post.

And let’s not forget the crowning glory of all those comments:

“You’re not a redhead! Your hair is brown.”