Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pre-Raphaelites and Mermaids or Why My Head is Red

Amy Adams, star of Enchanted and Julie and Julia, is another natural blonde whose switched to red and is now one of the most sought-ever actresses in Hollywood. Of course her talent got her there, but how refreshing to see a starlet in Tinsel Town who isn't tube-o-bleach blonde!

I have fair skin and green eyes and my family is of Scottish-Irish descent, so most people who see me assume I'm a--although perhaps a bit enhanced--natural born red head. Another term is "ginger" but in some places that is used an insult, so I prefer to say redhead. Looking at the pictures of women in my family (including some painted portraits), it appears we have a great deal of redheads including my namesake Great-Grandmother Josephine (I'm also middle-named for the Little Women character, and we have a lot of Megs, Beths, and Jos in my family: Alcott is popular with us). I have a strong, fiery personality and love to wear green (the complement to red). It seems perfectly natural for me to have red hair.

Except I don't.

Ready? I have naturally ash blonde hair. Not happy golden sunshine blonde--GREY. My mother had it, my aunt and grandmother too. It's the other hair color that runs in my family, from our Scandinavian ancestry. I wanted the red hair gene from the Celtic side and the height from the Scandinavian, but NO--biology got screwed up somewhere along the line and mistakenly produced a short, grey-haired child. So you know what? I fixed it. I wear shoes with lift in them and keep my hair a bright, fiery red! Sometimes you just have to say screw you right back to your mitochondria. After all, we're more than just our genetic make-up: we have the power to create our own identity. And I for one know I'm supposed to be a redhead! Here are five reasons I keep rocking the red tendrils:


1. Pre-Raphaelite Goddesses like those in the works of Waterhouse, Gabriel Rossetti, and Millais. These artists loved red-haired women and painted gorgeous romantic art featuring their bewitching locks on such characters as the Belle Dame Sans Merci and Pia de' Tolomei--even Miranda from the Tempest and the Virgin Mary sport red hair! The models of these works were talented, dynamic women all on their own like Elizabeth Siddal seen here on the left as Beatrice, Dante's muse (my online name comes from her). Millais' Ophelia is on the right:

Beata Beatrix by Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Ophelia by John Everett Millais
2. Opera Divas hit high notes with a head of red. Beverly Sills, Joan Sutherland, Renata Tebaldi and Hildegard Behrens all were famously redheaded at one point or another (Sills kept it going her whole career). Behrens and fellow Wagnerian diva Gwyneth Jones made absolutely breathtaking red-haired valkyries in Der Ring:

Some of the most amazing voices this world has ever heard. Oh, and RIP Bubbles and Behrens. Thanks for seducing me into opera after opera!

3. Christina Hendricks. Who is bringing not only sexy back on Mad Men as Joan Holloway (in the form of gorgeous full-figured curves and amazing acting), but is also a spicy red-haired vixen! As they say, it's not that she's a Marilyn, it's more that Marilyn is a sort-of her:

God, I'm so happy I can find a celebrity whose appearance I can realistically emulate.

4. Queen Elizabeth I=red head. I mean, talk about setting a fashion statement--women dyed their hair red during her reign. She was definitely an enigmatic historical figure. And her hair? 100% naturally red:

She's the queen, dude. Don't **** with her.

And finally, the biggest reason:

5. MERMAIDS. That's pretty much it. Cool mermaids with incredibly fabulous red hair:

Is it just me, or do mermaids spend a lot of time playing with their hair while sitting on rocks?

That's why I keep my hair fiery red! So how about you--do you proudly sport your natural hair or do you play with lots of colors? What do you do to your hair color?

At the Alice 3D Premiere: Alice may be a blonde, but the Red Queen and Mad Hatter are certainly a pair of redheads who know how to have more fun! Maybe I'm attracted to red because I'm kinda mad as well?


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