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Do You Have a Hidden Hair Hurt?
The other day my blonde 2-year-old spent a long time studying a picture book featuring a dark-haired girl. Finally she sighed, longingly, and said, “She has such pretty curly brown hair.” And so it begins: the everywoman’s struggle with wanting the hair you don’t have, from the curly-headed woman’s hour-long morning battle with the straightening iron, to the redhead’s love affair with the black dye bottle.
Redheads face this problem with special intensity, the Daily Mail reported recently in their story on International Redhead Day, when thousands congregate in Breda, Holland. Reporter Marianne Powers writes of communing with others who, like her, had felt embarrassed of their red hair and freckles, endured childhood taunts, or were victims of ginger-discrimination (in 2007 repeated abuse forced a redheaded Newcastle family from their home). The lighthearted festival offers a respite from anti-redhead sentiments, with weekend full of events like lectures on redhead-specific topics, movies starring redheads, and above all else, a chance for members of this minority (2% of the world's population, according to Powers) to bond with each other. Bart Rouwenhorst,the festival's founder, told Powers,"If you see one redhead it's beautiful. If you see this many, it's like a dream."
We can tell ourselves "it's just hair" all we want, but Powers' realization sparked a realization of my own: disliking even a small part of yourself can create "a little wound." Why not go ahead and love your hair?
What Oprah knows about loving yourself the way you are.
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