I Purposely Dye My Hair Red After Being Teased for It in High School

Being teased is no fun.

Take it from someone who was made fun of heavily from elementary school through high school for a bevy of things, including my glasses, my pale skin tone, my freckles, my weight and even my hair color. The latter seems the most odd—who gets made fun of for their hair color in grade school? I'll tell you who: redheads.

Red is one of the rarest hair colors on earth with only 2% of the world's population boasting crimson-colored locks. Got light eyes to boot? Red hair and blue eyes is the rarest hair and eye color combo in the world, so if you're lucky enough to be one of them, know that you're pretty dang special.

My story starts when I was born with bright orange red hair, which was a bit surprising since my mother has dark brown hair and brown eyes. My dad, on the other hand, is Irish, so that's definitely where it came from. As I grew up, the red sadly faded but the stigma around being a redhead lingered.


The irony of it all is that I told the kids in school I used to be a redhead and would show them pictures at play dates, because I was proud of my hair color. Somehow that stayed with me for years, despite the fact that I, at best, had strawberry blonde hair as I grew up. Kids would be so mean to me, teasing me constantly about how lame it was to have red hair, and slowly I started hating myself. Why did I have this hair color and the pale skin and freckles that usually accompanies those with naturally red hair?


All I wanted to be was tan and blonde, like all the other Southern California girls in my class. And as I got older and had access to hair color and spray tans, that's exactly what I did. But, I was still unhappy, because it's hard to be happy with yourself when you're constantly trying to look and be someone else. I didn't go back to my red roots for over a decade, but then in my mid '20s, I started adding red back into my mane.

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And you know what? I freaking loved it. I began adding more and more, and fast forward to now, I have full-on bright red hair and couldn't feel more like myself. There's something powerful about reclaiming something that gave you pain, and I've never felt more confident with myself than I do now. If anyone gives you a hard time for the way you look, know that it's because of an insecurity they have with themselves and nothing to do with you—you're just how you're supposed to be.


Are you the one known for bullying your classmates? HERE's how to shed a bad reputation.