Blog Archive

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I read a news article about a week ago saying that it is believed that natural redheads will cease to be over the next few decades. This is due to the fact being a redhead is the result of a recessive gene and so it will recess itself out of existance.

I am a natural redhead. On both sides of my family redheads stood loud and proud, or maybe just proud. My grandmother Kersey had redhair as did her mother. My mother's maternal side of the family had several redheads, including one Shadrack Short who was known as the Corn King of Sussex County, Delaware. He had redhair and a long red beard. I have three cousins with redhair.

Here I am in first grade with the redhair and freckles galore. Did I look like a problem? I was. I was more hyper than the average kid, couldn't focus and was into everything.


There is an art to being a redhead . . . little things you are aware of and do each and every day because you are a redhead. For example, I can't go into a store and buy whatever soap is on sale, body spray or body cream is on sale. It has to be good stuff, not because I'm a snob but because the less quality brands irritate my redhead, freckled skin. I went in for a thorough eye exam and the intern examining me suddenly excused herself. She came back with the chief doctor who examined whatever so disturbed the intern and pronounced that I was someone of Celtic origin and such folks tend to have clear-looking retinas - it was not a disease.

I have to wear hats and long (I prefer) linen clothing on the beach and when out in the sun. It's a matter of survival. I get extremely ill if I get a sunburn and I'm prone to skin cancer anyway. I used to envy the people I went to school with who did not have red, curly hair that was unmanageable as mine was. I wanted it to be straight but I was stuck with it being red. To make my hair flat, after I washed it I would put a hat on until the hair dried. The end result was that my hair style looked like Oliver Hardy's.

Not being able to tan bothered me a great deal but I've long since gotten over it. Many of those school friends who worshipped the sun (and I had to be so careful) now look about 15 years old than I do.

Makeup - not easy to get the stuff that looks good on a redhead. There are websites devoted to products for redheads which I was thrilled to discover. Fortunately, I don't look good with a lot of makeup so I just have to be concerned with buying basics.

When I was a kid, I despised having red hair because I was practically the only person with red hair in any group I was in such as school. On top of that, I was hyperactive even for a kid so between making myself the center of attention with my antics and having red hair, what I disliked about myself was what my peer used against me. Of course, I have freckles too though they exist only on my arms and face. The whole "carrot-top" name-calling drove me to distraction on top of having curly bright red hair I didn't like. I was tall, gangly and looked like a matchstick.

But now I love having red, curly hair because it is different. Frankly, most entertainers/celebrity women look alike to me. It's hard to tell them apart. There are a few who have distinctive enough facial features that allow them to standout from the other brunettes and blondes but given a choice now, I would keep my hair and skin coloring in spite of the extra care required. Now it's just something that I do and I don't think about the measures I take to protect my skin and buy what suits my coloring.

Here's what I look like today. Red isn't dead as far as I am concerned. I wouldn't be anything else.


Lola said...

Hello there, not quite sure how I found my way here but had to comment on your blog.

Although I am not a natural redhead (naturally dirty blonde bleached much lighter)I can completely relate to your issues having that fair, freckled Celtic complexion myself (with green eyes). I couldn't tan in hell.

My sister and my aunt are redheads in addition to having the family's fair complexion and I laughed when I read about your hair issues growing up because it reminds me of my sister now. Always flat ironing what she calls her 'red fro'. Her red hair has since faded to reddish brown but not one to go down without a fight she colors it such a briliant shade of red just to let everyone know that her inner redhead is still alive and well.

Great blog and whoever thinks that we will eventually be recessed out of existence hasn't met a Celt!!


~Jackie~ said...

I hope redheads don't go extinct!! It would be a boring world to see just two colors on top of beautiful people's heads. There are so many shades of redheads and I hear men go google-eyes over them. I'm not a redhead myself but I find the hair color very attractive on those who do have it. I think your change in acceptance to your color and skin type comes with age... not that you are getting older, but more that you are getting wiser!!

Will McKinley said...

Are you drunk in that picture?

Nancy Kersey said...

I was so hoping no one would pick up on that.;)

Mr. Smartypants.

Nancy Kersey said...

Lola, glad you found the page. Thanks for the comment!

Will McKinley said...

Wow. Irish, redheaded and drunk. Way to break those stereotypes!

ltwhb said...

I too am a natural redhead (its gray now though)
I disagree with your theory and I base my disagreement on the following facts;
In a large family,mom&dad one sister (no paternal aunts or uncles) 7 maternal aunts and uncles 19 cousins, I was the only redhead.
No known redheads on my wifes side. We have 7 children, 2 of them have red hair, We have 15 grandchildren 5 of them have red hair, the same shade as mine was (almost orange). I believe that a recessive gene does not die out but under the right circumstances can get stronger