Authentic Ginger Ambassador "Amanda Smith"

Hi. My name is Amanda Smith. I am a model/actress/musician from Los Angeles. Honestly I’m not even sure where to start on growing up with red hair, but I’m just gonna go for it. I want to be fearlessly vulnerable and honest, because although my story has some darkness in it, I know that it can hopefully help others to feel less alone and hopefully give the people who read, a little bit of hope. I was the ONLY redhead girl, in every school I ever went to; Which basically made me a moving target. I was HEAVILY bullied, and the more I tried to fit in, the worse the bullying got. I wanted to be invisible, I wanted to disappear, I did not want to be me, I did not feel comfortable in my own skin, from about age 9 to age 16, I didn’t even want to be alive. I was angry at myself, I was angry at the world, I was angry at God. I didn’t understand why I had to be so inescapably different. I was made fun of for my freckles, for my hair, for the way I walked, for my braces, for my pigeon toed and knock kneed body structure. I felt like every part of me was being dissected and attacked with hate on a daily basis. I took it out on myself.

I started taking drugs, alcohol, to numb the pain and I started cutting myself to turn it physical- because at least the physical pain had some kind of concrete solution whereas the emotional pain was completely unmanageable. I spent a total of 3 months, from the ages of 12-19, in psychiatric hospitals, because I was considered a danger to myself. At 16 I got into an abusive relationship, and I stayed for four years, because I didn’t think anyone else would ever love me.

At 20 I had his baby. My daughter is 12 now. I thought when I had her, my “life” was over. I had no idea that she was actually an angel sent to me. I truly believe this. I didn’t have enough self love to want better for myself, but i had enough love for her, to want better for her. That’s not to say I had her and magically was ok. It’s been a process. My drug and alcohol use spiraled out of control, and I had two arrests related to it in my daughter's life, neither of which happened while she was in my custody. It was really hard for me to adjust to my modeling career, because suddenly I was perceived as “beautiful,” and people wanted to be around me, while my inner child still felt unworthy, unwanted, and “ugly.” It was incredibly uncomfortable and confusing.

However, today, I am soon to be, on Oct 22, 5 YEARS sober. Today, all of my terrible experiences help me understand, empathize, and help others. There are SO MANY women I have helped with my story, and my experiences. Today, I have peace. I’m still in therapy. I’m still working on myself, I actually hope I will always always continue to work on myself. But I’m also so glad that I’m still here. I have been to so many amazing places, have wonderful people surrounding me, have experienced so many beautiful moments. I’m so glad, despite all the struggles, I’m still here. Service and helping others has become a big part of my life today. Turning my mess into a message, finding purpose in my pain, has been such a gift and is something that’s incredibly important to me. I guess in closing, I’d like to say, to anyone, especially other redheads, who are struggling: keep fighting, Don’t give up.

I know life is hard sometimes, but it doesn’t stay that way.. I know this year especially, has been hard in so many ways for so many people- between Covid, unemployment, racism, hurricanes, and fires. But wherever you’re at, please be patient and loving and gentle with yourself and if anyone really needs to talk please reach out. I know that I am lucky to be alive because there were times that I was so hopeless that I tried to cut my life short.... but I have experienced so many beautiful things since and I’m so thankful I survived. So if you are feeling especially without hope, please reach out and I can give you some of mine ❤️

Xx Amanda

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