Yes, My Daughter Has Red Hair. By The Way, She is Also Intelligent and Kind.
When we welcomed our daughter into our lives in 2011, I was pretty aware of the social pressures on females in our society. Most importantly because I am a female who grew up in the millennium and also I had recently graduated with a sociology degree so all this was fresh in my mind and all that. I understand the immense pressures and judgements that are on women and girls today in terms of weight, beauty, success, sex, social media, magazines, etc. Being hyper aware of this, I thought I could protect my daughter from societal commentary and pressure. Because hey, knowledge is power, right? LOL. Big fat, LOL at me. Oh, how naive I was. Did I mention I knew it all before I got pregnant?
She was born with red hair. And the most gentle, beautiful soul, both of which she still carries today. I did notice her hair when I held her for the first time, but I was so engulfed in breathing in her tenderness, her red hair was secondary. My daughter radiates this sweet, love energy that if you ever privileged enough to take in, will sit with you a while.
Everywhere we go, someone comments on her hair. Grocery store, the mall, the park, museums, airports, the orthodontist. And I know for a fact that every single one of these people that comment on her hair do it with sincere, genuine, kindness. I know they are truly just in love with it. And who can blame them? Many of them tell us a story of the red heads in their family, or how they spend money coloring their hair and how lucky she is to have it naturally. I enjoy the small talk, because I understand it isn't malicious whatsoever.
But what is hard is when the first thing people notice about her is her looks and specifically, her hair. And I know this is just going to continue, and it is human nature, and it isn't harmful, and yes, I have read "Blink". But I am always tempted to tell them that "Yes, she is beautiful. And she is also intelligent and kind". I don't, however. I do plan on using these opportunities as a teaching moment to her about looks and how true beauty comes from within when she is mature enough and in an age appropriate way. And I hope that the future generations of women aren't going to be as scrutinized and judged in the media and in life about their looks. As for right now, I teach her about the kindness of strangers and how small talk can be a fun way to get through the grocery store. And that her hair is beautiful. And she is smart and so incredibly kind.