Authentic Ginger "Ambassador Sam P."
Sam P. from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
I wish I had been more proud of my red hair sooner in life. It’s one of the biggest regrets I have.
As a kid, I was mercilessly teased about my red hair. All of the usual names, but the most hurtful one that was used often and always stuck with me was "ugly".
Ugly because I was different. Ugly because I didn’t look like everyone else. Ugly because I felt like I didn’t fit in.
I never really grew up with kids my age that had the same hair colour as I did besides my sister. It is crazy to think that such a silly detail like your hair colour could cause kids to be so cruel. Fitting in is the norm. Standing out is weird. That is what I was to others: weird.
I begged my mom for so long to colour my hair so that I could take away this flaming red mop I was constantly made fun of for. When she deemed me “old enough” (which I believe was in high school), she started helping me colour my hair to darker colours so that I could fit in with all the other kids. I never actually told her about the teasing because I knew it would make her upset to know that her own daughter was being made fun of, just because of a hair colour. I continued colouring my hair all throughout high school. I do not think there were a lot of people back then who knew what my natural hair colour was. At one point, I remember my mom telling me it would be best to take a break from colouring or else I would damage my hair. It was just before college and I asked her to help me change it just a little bit. So she helped me colour my hair underneath black in hopes that it would take the focus away from the "raging carrot top".
In college I met one of the most important people in my life and someone who encouraged me to be my most authentic self, hair colour and all: my husband.
He LOVED my red hair. He claims he had “ALWAYS wanted to meet a girl with red hair”. And one day he flat out said to me “You’re trying to blend in with everyone else. Why are you trying to change the thing that makes you born to stand out? You have a larger than life personality. Just be you.”
Since that day, I've stopped colouring my hair. It's been twelve years now. I never realized how much I just didn't want to be myself because at that time, it was easier for me to blend in, as I do not like being at the centre of attention.
Today, all the comments I get are “Oh MY GOD, is that your natural colour?! It’s beautiful.” Or “ I would give ANYTHING to have your colour”.
Embracing my red hair has given me a confidence I never knew I had and that confidence was further explored when I received an “Authentic Ginger” t-shirt for Christmas in 2018 from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law. I looked at it and got very emotional. I had no idea there was such an amazing company out there helping fellow redheads to feel confident in themselves by allowing them to be proud of who they are and show it off to the world. I wear my t-shirts as often as possible and ALWAYS get compliments on them. It’s something I can wear proudly and let everyone else know how proud I am to be different. To be a Redhead. To be an Authentic Ginger.