I’ve been trying to find an article on being a redhead, beyond the usual list of myths or ‘amazing things you never knew’. Then, I stumbled upon Mirror Essay: The use of Power, Redheads, and Stereotypes in Popular Culture Today.
The piece begins very densely but there is an interesting intersection between heavy academic speak and personal narrative. It’s an unusual touch in an unusual piece that interlocks the writer’s own life as a redhead with pop culture instances of discrimination against red heads. In the personal accounts, there is a lot of resonance between my own experience. An early quote sums it up nicely by saying,
” I am constantly greeted with more attention than the average person”.
There is definitely something here that is unfamiliar territory, which combines ‘redheadness’ with heavy theory and the presence of discrimination in the world. I wasn’t too sure about it to begin with as I thought it might be stretching too far for a connection but she paints a convincing picture. The writer unpacks this in an academic way, then suddenly moving to a very unconventional style that uses time-points in a video to go through what the speaker really does right when he makes his case for gingers.
It can be convoluted at times with the language and essay-speak familiar to any university student. But, it ends with punchy, free language that really captures the reader. It resonated quite strongly with my own experience of being asked what would happen if someone said they were going to take all the red-heads away or being asked if I was teased about my hair.
The idea of looking in the mirror begins the piece and is brought round again at the end, which, just like the piece, reflects the world and ginger life back at you.
You can find the piece here.