Tuesday, August 10, 2010

People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is

A funny thing has happened on the way to the election. Everybody wants to discuss Julia Gillard with me. From shop keepers to café owners to members of the P&F to previously unacquainted parents in the schoolyard. There is only one reason that I can see for this. Julia and I, we have the Red Hair.

I’m beginning to feel like my sister Multiple Mum does when people point out that she has four children. Her response, ‘er yes, I know’ (whilst inwardly seething the much-less-polite answer). This conversation is usually followed up for her by a comment such as ‘haven’t you worked out how it happens yet, love’ or something similarly hilarious.

My conversations tend to start with:

Random person: “So what do you think of Julia Gillard?”

Me: “She seems very smart.”

RP: “But you must be excited…”

Me: “Um, sure, it’s good to see a woman doing so well.” (Or words to that effect.)

RP: “No, not that – the red hair! Soon you’ll be taking over the world.”

Me: “Can I have a latte please?”

To be perfectly frank, I’m a bit over the red hair thing. Yes, Julia and I are both (now ‘helped along’) red heads. Beyond that, we don’t know each other (I know, you're shocked). We have certain things in common, I have no doubt: a tendency to freckle, suppressed memories of certain hideous moments at school when being a redhead was genetic freakdom at its highest level, and I suspect she has read Anne of Green Gables* because one does when one is a redhaired girl of a certain age.

But the hair does not define me and, for me, it does not define her. I suspect it has had a part in shaping her character, because our physicality does. Would I be so much of a smart-mouth if I did not have red hair? I suspect not. I spent a lot of time defending my lily-white legs in a town full of bouncing blonde beach babes. Perhaps it is the same for her.

But seriously folks, it’s time to get past the hair and listen to what she’s saying. If she had Dolly Parton boobs and that was all people talked about, the politically correct among us would be jumping up and down and crying sexist. Well, I’m crying ‘hairist’. Are all the brown-haired men in the world excited about the possibility of Prime Minister Abbott? (There are several responses to that question, feel free to leave yours in the comments.)

Give the woman a break and please give the ‘ranga’ term a rest. My other sister Maxabella (another redhead – maybe we are actually taking over the world) is happy to reclaim that word (along with Fanta Pants and other classics) and thus take the ugly out of it. Me, not so much.

And now I’m off to brush up on my Anne of Green Gables quotes. If Ms Gillard is returned to the Lodge in a week or so, I suspect I’m going to be needing them.

Hmmm. Here's a good one for Julia: "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"

But in the end, I must return to one of my old favourites: "You'd find it easier to be bad than good if you had red hair. People who haven't red hair don't know what trouble is."

I can't see it catching on as a campaign slogan though.

*Anne of Green Gables, by L.M. Montgomery


  1. THANKYOU from another redhead. I want to stab the next person who makes a ranga reference.
    Not for Julias' sake -- but for my own.

  2. What is a ranga? Hard 'g' or soft?

  3. I am baffled by this. Truly. How bizarre.

    I have had hte odd comment linking Olivia (6m with red hair) to Julia (who visited her school last term) which struck me as odd too.

    But, I never remembered that Anne of Green Gables was a red head, so off to remind myself of the tales now.....

  4. I don't have red hair & the constant banging on about Julia's red hair is just doing my head in! Seriously, who cares what colour her hair is, I really don't get it...I think it is hilarious that people ask you, too funny!

  5. I loved watching Anne of Green Gables when I was little and always wish I had red hair. I think that you guys are lucky to have it!

  6. I also have the Red Hair. Don't know if The Julia having the Red Hair is good for our cause or not ...

  7. I love red hair. I also love curly hair. But those people with either (or both!) seem to HATE it. Great post!

  8. Its a bit like when I speak here in America people just think I must know the Queen ...what cause I'm English... I mean people really?
    So I feel your pain and totally see your point.

  9. And maybe you should change your name to Allison with an "e." =>

  10. The whole bloodnut as a political statement thing is a bit mental, really. I overheard a lower life form on the train say that he 'wouldn't vote for a ranga'. I mean, for crying out loud! I wouldn't vote for a total boofhead either, but that doesn't seem to keep them out of parliament.

    I beg to differ though, Al. I think redheads DO sort of know each other. We all bear the scars of unfairness and are united in battle against the narrow minded, hypocritical hairists. We've all narrowly escaped out the back door from those weird redhead-lovers that stalk you in pubs just because you're a flamethrower. There's a certain knowing look that passes between redheads that I just know Julia would give me if I ever ran into her. Yeah, I know her well.

  11. That's so funny! My son has red hair, and truly, everytime we go out in public, someone comments on his hair! It's such a funny phenomenon!

  12. I loved Anne of Green Gables! I might have to dig out one of the books I have (of the whole series) for old times' sake now :)

    It's sad when I hear people talk about Gillard or Abbott's physical features rather than the policy they're actually presenting. Which I suppose begs the question...maybe the policy on either side is particularly good? :)

  13. I love Anne of Green Gables.... so much. As for hair colour, with a father, a sister and a son with ginger hair I am over comments.
    Every one and their dog comments on it, I don't like to be defined by my physical attributes and I certainly don't like my son to be either.

    Me? I spent much of my late teens and twenties paying good money to have read hair.

  14. Hahaha. I am genuinely surprised, don't all red head's know each other? lol.

    I am more surprised though that you are related to so many bloggers. Hi ladies! How cool that must be, my brother blogged for about a month before giving up. Booo to that.

  15. Do you remember how much I LOVED Anne of Green Gables? I wanted to change the spelling of my middle name! You poor poppet copping the Julia Hair Colour Connection. You will have to come up with a witty quip you can whip out (and scare people off with)!

  16. I secretly have flaming red hair underneath the pink and well remember getting totally fed up with people drawing attention to it all the time. I'm in England though where red hair is generally really hated so most of the attention has ranged from mockery to outright abuse!

    I have that Anne of Green Gables quote on my blog, although I suspect it confuses people because I've been hiding my hair colour for so long! ;)

  17. I have Dolly Parton boobs - does that mean I can be PM?

  18. Hairist? You made me snigger. And thanks for the memory of how much I love Anne of GG. Going to dig out my copy for a few more memorable quotes.

  19. God, I loved Anne of Green Gables. So much so I auditioned for the part of Anne at our local theatre company when I was 14 years old. I was too tall. And of course a redhead got the part (a SHORT redhead at that). Never got over it. Then I ended up marrying a redhead!!

  20. For all The People with The Red Hair...

  21. I love your 2nd quote:) love that book:) Having children with a variety of hair (including red) we hear all the hair jokes and perceptions. Not true.

  22. I think the world envies red-heads.

    I heard a story that said in 100 years, red-headed folks would be extinct. I asked a doctor friend of ours about this, and he said it's in the gene pool it will never go away.

    Cheers to the red-heads. Actually, I think two words sum it up best for red-heads: Maureen O'Hara!

    Love your posts and visiting from the Rewind.

  23. @K - I LOVE that Tim Minchin song. Saw him in concert earlier this year and it was fab. :-)

  24. There was, and still is, far too much emphasis on the physical appearance of Julia Gillard. I didn't ever hear comments about John Howards new haircut, or Kevin Rudd's choice of suit. But we come from a culture in which the phrase "OMG have you seen what she's wearing!" is not only accepted but often encouraged, so it doesn't surprise me. Just makes me a little bit sad.

    I was once actually told that I looked a bit like Julia. Our hair colour is the only feature we share.

  25. The rude red hasn't done so well in the top job. Might be time for her 'twin' to step in? Thanks for Rewinding x

  26. It truly is bizarre that this should be a conversation point, anywhere. Obviously as someone with very standardish brown hair I cannot imagine my hair being a talking point (and it never has been!). I must say though of the children in my mothers' group 40% of them have red hair so my blonde-haired boy is actually a minority - perhaps he will grow up with a different attitude?! We can only hope!

  27. While not JG's biggest fan (bring back KRudd she chants) I was pleased that we finally had a female PM. I thought that meant we'd come a long way, and while we have, we still have a really long way to go - considering we are still commenting on having a ranga for a PM (um, the colour of her hair doesn't affect how well she does her job) and what suit she's wearing (again, big whoop! as long as it's not a KKK outfit I don't know why it makes headlines).
    But as a blonde I do have to say... it's annoying, isn't it? When people CONSTANTLY draw attention to your hair colour. So for all those who have made 'ranga' comments and 'blonde jokes' - BORING! (She says as she catalogues the 500 million blonde jokes people have told her over the years, of which there's one, yes ONE she still finds funny...) You have to laugh sometimes!
    Joining in with the weekend rewind (now we have to find a new catch phrase - rewinding at the fibro worked so well! Perhaps rewinding with Multiple Mum...)

  28. Love this post! I'm a dyed redhead & even I've had comments about whether my temper matches my hair!

  29. LOL! I was born a redhead, but as I got into my thirties my red faded into mousy brown, so of course I began dyeing it, trying to find MY colour. A few months ago, I bought a home colour for the first time in my life and as I rinsed the dye out I realised I had given myself "Julia hair". Of course I began telling everyone that, because I thought it was hilarious...


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